Blake Shelton has walked away from season 22 of The Voice with yet another win under his belt. He couldn’t contain his excitement when rising country star Bryce Leatherwood was announced as the winner of the NBC singing competition during the live finale on Tuesday (Dec. 13).
The “Gods Country” singer quickly took to social media following the finale to gush about Leatherwood and predict that he has a bright future ahead.
His caption read, “YOUR SEASON 22 @nbcthevoice WINNER EVERYBODY!!!! BRYCE LEATHERWOOD!!!! I’m such a proud coach.. @bryceleatherwood, you are so damn deserving of this. Thank you America and GET READY WORLD!!! #TeamBlake #TheVoice.”
Leatherwood, the Statesboro, Georgia native, matched Shelton’s feeling as he showed gratitude towards his long-standing coach and everything this journey on the show has taught him.
“The biggest lesson that I’m going to take away from being coached by the Blake Shelton is be yourself and be who you are,” Leatherwood said.
Before he received this live-changing news, Leatherwood took the stage beside Shelton one last time to perform a duet of the superstar’s 2011 song “Hillbilly Bone.” This collaboration was a long time coming as Shelton has had high hopes for Leatherwood ever since he first stepped on the stage to sing Conway Twitty’s “Goodbye Time” during his blind audition.
Leatherwood started the Live Rounds as the Instant Save Artist voted on by America, which then allowed him to advance to the Top 13, and eventually lead to his win. This accomplishment meant leatherwood was the first-ever Instant Save Artist to win The Voice.
Now that he is well on his way to stardom, Shelton was asked if he had plans to book Leatherwood at his chain of bars, Ole Red.
“I don’t think we can afford him now, that’s the truth,” Blake told ET with a laugh. “I was actually texting with the manager of the Old Red in Oklahoma, and he goes, ‘So we won’t be able to afford Bryce, but who else can we get from this season?’ I was like, ‘Well, maybe Bryce will throw us a solid, but maybe not. He’s gonna be busy.’”
“I mean the world’s at his fingertips right now. That’s what most exciting for me as a coach, after the fact — after all this time, I know what opportunities are coming his way,” The Voice coach continued. “People love the guy. He won The Voice, so imagine how many people wanna come see him in concert now. There’s a lot out there for him.”
Throughout his journey, fans have also fallen in love with the deep, tender voice of the 22-year-old country artist. Going forward, Leatherwood says he wants to continue making music that best suits his abilities and mission.
“What I hope is next is just making music that people love, that makes people wanna dance, that makes people happy, and makes people wanna cry,” he shared.
This win for Team Blake brings the total to nine since Season 1 of the show. Leatherwood earned first place followed by fellow Team Blake Shelton singer Bodie in second, and Camila Cabello’s Morgan Myles in third.
Next year, Shelton will return to his coaching seat one last time for his final season on The Voice. He recently announced he would be stepping down from the show after serving the longest run for 23 seasons.
This news broke just hours after it was revealed that he will be joined by Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan and Chance The Rapper on the 2023 season.
“I’ve been wrestling with this for a while and I’ve decided that it’s time for me to step away from The Voice after next season,” Shelton said in his statement.