During the day, Lauren Duski kicked butt on iTunes. Her songs landed at number one and number two on the site’s singles charts. She placed three tunes in the Top 10.
Yet Chris Blue was declared the winner of Season 12, a result that should tear a gaping hole in The Voice’s already tattered credibility as a singing show where fans choose the winner.
Some of Lauren’s fans were shocked by the outcome. But you could see this one developing long before the finale.
Twice in the last four weeks, The Voice handed Chris the most desirable performance slot, last on a two-hour episode.
Despite her season-long dominance on iTunes, Lauren never got to close a live show.
Two weeks ago, The Voice changed its rules and allowed contestant duets to count toward voting for the first time ever.
The result: Chris was able to place two songs in the Top 10 that week and breeze into the finals on the basis of fan voting just when it looked like he might have to compete for an instant save.
The capper came Monday when Chris got to close the show with a song and dance cover of “Rhythm Nation.” Entertaining, for sure. But this show is called The Voice.
And one almost hopes that was manipulation on the show’s part, a show where producers likely figured country music prominence and Blake Shelton dominance had gone far enough.
Because if Mark Burnett and company truly thought that was a better conclusion than having Lauren Duski sing an emotional self-penned original destined to top the music charts … well, they have no business running a singing show.
Meanwhile, Chris’ crowning came at the end of a finale that was more about NBC’s ability to round up star power and promote future Voice coaches — Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson got prime performance slots — than a celebration of Season 12.
In the past, Voice finalists have taken the stage up to three times in the finale.
On Tuesday, the Top 4 each performed just once, during their superstar duets — Lauren with Little Big Town, Chris with Usher, Jesse Larson with Cee Lo Green and Aliyah Moulden with Alessia Cara.
Gone were the bring-back performances, where each finalist got to perform with their best friends from the show.
And remember when the finale included a group performance by everyone who made the semifinals? All 20 artists who competed for our votes.
Tuesday, the only contestants on hand were the Top 8. Plus Mark Isaiah, for some reason. Oh where, oh where were you, Lilli Passero?
Yep, the official record will say Chris Blue won Season 12.
But Tuesday’s Season 12 finale also had a loser: The Voice itself.