He may have won yet another season of The Voice — his fourth for those who are counting — but moments after his team finalist Craig Wayne Boyd was named the Season 7 champion, Blake Shelton was ready to throw down... a water bottle.
"We don't drink water tonight," the country singer proclaimed as he (jokingly) threw the plastic bottle to the floor backstage after Tuesday's two-hour finale.
All kidding aside, it was a hard-earned victory for both the celebrity coach and his last remaining singer. "I really haven't had time to process it yet," Boyd told reporters moments after his win. "It caught me so off guard. I don't know what I expected."
Going into the finale, the odds were heavily in favor of Adam Levine, who had three singers competing: Chris Jamison, Matt McAndrew and Damien. The sweetness of beating his longtime frenemy was not lost on Shelton. "It's f---ing awesome," he said. "Will I rub it in Adam's face? He may quit the show before I'm done rubbing this in his face, but what's awesome is this guy holding this trophy."
Continued Shelton: "I don't care if it's politically incorrect. I don't give a crap at this point because we went into this thing with the odds stacked against us and I'm not talking about to beat Adam. It's just awesome to know that so many people connected with this guy with the odds against him."
Shelton is referring to the rough times Boyd endured ever since moving to Nashville a decade ago to make it as a professional musician. Just a year ago, he told his drummer that he was considering quitting music after losing his house and his truck. "I didn't know what I was going to do," he recalled. The next day, Boyd received an email inviting him to audition for The Voice, and the rest is history. "Its just validation that all that hard work I've put in up to this point was not in vain."
"I'm also aware of how much he's put into trying to make it as an artist in the music industry and the struggles and the ups and mostly the downs that he's had, all the doors shut in his face, the carpet yanked out from under him," Shelton added. "There has never been a more deserving person to hold that trophy than Craig Wayne Boyd as far as paying dues. This guy has put his time in."
Host and executive producer Carson Daly said Boyd's many life experiences, and his ability to channel those struggles in his music, worked to his advantage. "Storytelling is another big part and [Blake] makes sure that his artists are telling their true stories and that resonates," Daly said. "[Craig] got right to America's heart. Sometimes that proves to be deeper than the perfect note."
Boyd's victory isn't just another mark in the win column for Shelton, but it's also yet another triumph for country music. Many of Shelton's other singers from The Voice, such as Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery and RaeLynn, have found success in country music and many of them have done it with the help of Shelton, whether it be going on tour together or even offering a place to stay with him and his wife, Miranda Lambert. "Country music is literally my life. My life is not this show. This show will come and it will go and my life is country music. That's what I do. That's all I really care about," Shelton said. "That's why it actually matters to me that somebody like [Boyd] gets through and gets a record deal and makes music because when this is said and done, I can sit back and say, 'That's Craig I'm hearing on the radio now. He represents us. He's really good at what he does.'"
So does that mean Shelton and Boyd will be coming to a concert venue near you soon? Don't count on it, at least not yet. "Maybe a year from now realistically, I would love to do that when you actually have time," Shelton told his protégé. "The man's going to get busy, but I don't know anyone that likes to work more than this guy."
What do you think about Craig's victory? The Voice returns next year for Season 8.
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