By Meredith B. Kile‍, ETOnline.com.

“The Voice” has crowned its season 22 winner — and it’s Bryce Leatherwood!

The country star pulled a shocking upset during Tuesday’s finale, winning the record-extending ninth “Voice” victory for his coach, Blake Shelton.

“Bryce, you already made it, man,” Shelton told Leatherwood ahead of the surprising announcement. “I know my genre, and I know the country music fans out there. You got a career ahead of you, dude. Congratulations already.”

Leatherwood won the coaches over in the semifinals when he showed off his impressive and faithful rendition of Justin Moore’s “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” that got his coach on his feet and had Shelton’s wife, Gwen Stefani, tearing up over his emotional reaction.

“It really moved me to see Blake get up and get so excited,” Stefani raved. “You’re so authentic and classical and old school and everything you want to see in a country artist… You have this crazy sort of star quality and stage presence, and I think America can see that.”

Shelton agreed, calling his shot, Babe Ruth-style, and pointing Leatherwood towards the season 22 finale, as Stefani brushed away tears.

“You just engaged the army of country music fans that watch this show,” Shelton raved. “That is the performance and you’re the kind of guy they want to represent them on this show.”

“The Voice” will return for Shelton’s 23rd and final season in 2023!


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Ellen Bullock