From the very beginning of The Voice season 22 blind auditions, it was clear it would be one of the most competitive seasons we've seen yet on the popular competition series. Coaches Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, John Legend and Camila Cabello all had teams full of incredible singers, and any one of them could have taken home the coveted title of 'The Voice.' But 2022's winner went to Team Blake's very own country star in the making, Bryce Leatherwood. Will this be Blake Shelton's last win or will he bring home one more in Season 23?
It was anyone's guess what would happen in the Season 22 finale episode, as all of the finalists really brought their A-game in their final performances. 16-year-old Brayden Lape gave a strong performance of a Tim McGraw classic, Morgan Myles wowed with her Little Big Town rendition, and Omar Jose Cardona brought down the house with some Queen. But America was partial to Mr. Leatherwood and his two songs by a couple of iconic country stars — Travis Tritt and Keith Whitley. Since his debut in the blind auditions, Leatherwood stayed true to his country roots, regularly bringing some old-school songs to the spotlight, and his performances in the finale were potentially his best of the entire competition.
Here's a closer look at Bryce Leatherwood, the winner of The Voice Season 22.
The Voice Season 22 Winner
Country singer Bryce Leatherwood not only has the ultimate country name, but he also has an old-school sound that prompted Shelton to compare him to the likes of George Strait at the beginning of the competition. His stage presence was undeniable, as Leatherwood has plenty of live performance experience back in his Georgia hometown. But it was his renditions of Zac Brown Band, Brooks & Dunn and Conway Twitty that really showcased his true talents in the country space over the course of his season.
There was a minute there in the competition where it seemed like Leatherwood might not make it all the way to the end. After making it to the top 16, Coach Blake opted to choose teenage Rowan Grace over the country singer, meaning Leatherwood had to give one heck of a last-chance performance and get enough votes from America to proceed to the next round. Luckily, his rendition of Billy Currington's "Let Me Down Easy" was enough to take him to the top 13, and he was back on track with more notable performances from the likes of George Strait and Morgan Wallen. With his signature cowboy hat always on or close by, he continued to knock it out of the park week after week.
The 22-year-old singer grew up in the Georgia town of Woodstock on his grandfather's farm, where he learned to love country music from an early age. Outside of winning The Voice, Leatherwood is studying business at Georgia Southern University, where he actively performs live music around town. He previously opened up to People about how much he enjoyed working with Blake Shelton on The Voice and said that he hopes "to be something like him one day." Seems like he's right on track!
Leatherwood announced on Instagram that he's hitting the road on tour this summer, with stops all over the country from Texas to Ohio. Following his win, he told NBC Insider that he had big plans for the future, which included lots of recorded music.
"Definitely releasing a lot of music. Playing shows. That's what I love to do: play shows," he said. "But I want to get some original content out there. I want to get an album or two out there in the next couple years. So many people have given so much love to me, It's time to give back to them. So whether that's music or playing shows and festivals, making people happy is my goal."
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