It’s every reality show competition’s ideal ending: The struggling musician from the Midwest wins the big prize, solidifying the American-dream-of-stardom storyline that the show is built on.
Indeed, Josh Kaufman — the Indianapolis rock singer who plays in a local band and also grabs gigs during the lunch rush at Potbelly Sandwich Shop — was crowned the Season 6 winner of “The Voice” on Tuesday night. He lands a record contract with Universal and a $100,000 prize; he bested runner-up Jake Worthington and third place finisher Christina Grimmie.
“I can’t even talk,” a stunned Kaufman said at the end of the show, as confetti streamed down and he was surrounded by his wife and three adorable small children. “I’m overwhelmed, I’m surprised, I’m happy, I’m relieved. This has been so much more…than I ever could have imagined.”
Plus, thanks to Kaufman’s win, that means a coach other than Blake Shelton and Adam Levine got to notch a victory. Kaufman was on Team Usher. Well, first he was on Team Adam, but the Maroon 5 frontman let him slip away during the battle rounds. Usher promptly used the “steal” to swipe Kaufman for his team, which paid off.
(Interestingly, Usher has a reputation for spending the most amount of time with his teammates. In a recent interview with The Post, Season 6 contestant Ddendyl Hoyt — who was on Team Shakira — said that she was envious of her friends on Usher’s team, because they all raved about how the R&B mega-star made a genuine effort to mentor his singers, even off-camera.)
Still, not all hope is lost for the runners-up. Country crooner Jake Worthington has built up an impressive fan base. And YouTube sensation/pop singer Christina Grimmie better hold Adam Levine to his word: Levine promised early in the finale that if she didn’t win, he would sign her to his record label, 222 Records.
“THANK YOU ADAM LEVIINNNEEE!!!!! For wanting to sign me to yur label….bc after 5 years on YouTube, not a single label out there would sign me,” Grimmie wrote on Facebook during the show.
Meanwhile, these finales are obviously rarely about the winners. The first two hours were naturally all about jamming in as much product placement as possible (really, does that Sprint “framily” commercial need to be incorporated into our TV shows now?); plugging NBC summer shows like “America’s Got Talent”; and performances from former “Voice” contestants. Plus, there were songs from singers who generally have some tie to Universal Records, including One Republic, Ed Sheeran, Justin Moore, Alabama, Robin Thicke and Coldplay.
On an unusual note, the episode started with a slight controversy; apparently, there was a weird iTunes glitch with Josh Kaufman’s Monday night performance of “Set Fire to the Rain.” And because iTunes song sales count as votes, out of fairness, Daly said none of the iTunes sales would be included in the final vote count for the winner.
Daly assured the audience that officials said iTunes numbers didn’t affect the outcome anyway. We trust him.