'The Voice' Season 17 Crowns A Winner

by Julie Scagell

Shocking — and well deserved — season 17 winner has been crowned

If you tuned into part one of The Voice last night, you already know the finale really started when the four remaining hopefuls — Ricky Duran, Katie Kadan, Jake Hoot, and Rose Short — belted out the final song of the night. Host Carson Daly described the night as the “most important night of the competition” and the finalists did not disappoint.

All four artists were required to sing an original song and a holiday duet with their coach, as well as a cover which was the final performance of the evening. With this being the first season all four coaches — John Legend, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, and Kelly Clarkson — had a horse in the race it was fun to see them all on stage performing alongside their team. Even so, the holiday songs and the originals left them all pretty much neck and neck and the competition didn’t really heat up until the cover songs were delivered (though Duran’s original song “A Woman Like Her” is the #1 song on iTunes as of this morning).

Duran landed on Tom Petty’s hit “Runnin’ Down A Dream,” which he performed flawlessly. Hoot took on Lonestar’s “Amazed,” which Clarkson described as a “finale song.” For her cover, legendary up-and-comer Katy Kadan Chicago took on Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” which Legend said was a “perfect closing statement.” For her cover, Short took on Elton John’s “Border Song.”

Everyone was on pins and needles watching the show. Old contestants came back to sing, big names like Black Eyed Peas, Little Big Town, and Lady Antebellum performed, and hello, Adam Lambert singing Cher. Enough said. It was a night of superb performances mixed with a healthy dose of nerves anticipating the winner.

Clearly, this final four were all deserving of the crown. It would be unreal if they all don’t get recording contracts, but we know how damn hard it is to make it in the music industry, even when you’re flawless.

But alas, the results.

Viewers waitied months to see the end of the road for these talented souls. Short summed it up best saying, “It’s been a hell of a ride,” and we completely agree. Daly ripped the bandaid off quickly (if three hours was quick) by announcing the fourth place finisher as, unfortuantely, Rose Short. The next to be eliminated was hands-clasped-over-the-mouth complete surprise, Katy Kadan. Not cool, America. Not cool.

And finally, the winner was crowned. The highly talented, country soul singing Jake Hoot got the most votes (country singers definitely turned out for this one) and is the season 17 winner. Congrats, Jake. You did it.