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Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched The Voice's Season 15 finale.
The latest cycle of The Voice did not happen without its fair share of hiccups -- with Adam's weirdness being the most notable -- but the two-part finale went off without many hitches at all. In the very end, Chris Kroeze and Chevel Shepherd were the two finalists remaining, with the latter announced as this season's champion. Her coach Kelly Clarkson legitimately couldn't believe it, saying:
So, that's why I kind of prepared her: 'It doesn't matter if you win, girl.' I thought they were going to split the country vote and I thought it would be Kennedy. It's amazing it's Chevel, but Kennedy, Chris and Kirk deserved it [too]. They all worked really hard. And it matters what you do after, regardless of if you win or not.
As one of the guiding lights on The Voice, Kelly Clarkson was temporarily responsible for shaping the dreams and talents of each performer on her team. And though she may have been innately confident in Chevel Shepherd's abilities and chances of winning viewers' votes, the Grammy winner let strategical pragmatism take over when giving Chevel her pep talk.
The instinct was perfectly natural, of course, since Chevel Shepherd is just 16 years old and may not be as weathered by disappointment as an older performer. Plus, losing a competition on live TV is a vastly different experience than losing in front of a high school class, so it's presumably important to be prepared for any outcome possible before heading out on the stage that one last time.
For her part, Chevel Shepherd never really looked all that nervous while awaiting Carson Daly's reveal, nor through the rest of the season, it seems like. Actually, though, the teen shared with USA Today that she wasn't necessarily bursting with assumptions that she would come out on top. In Shepherd's words:
I had no idea what was going to happen because all four artists were incredible and we're all so different. Each of the country artists, me, Kirk and Chris, were all different aspects of country, so I didn't know what would happen. I was just out there praying.
Considering the relatively similarities between some of the finalists, the results certainly could have gone the way Kelly Clarkson thought they would, with country fans' votes being spread out and Kennedy Holmes slipping through to win. Instead, Holmes actually ended up in fourth place, which was not something that Twitter Nation was happy about.
Kelly Clarkson, who can be heard on the Greatest Showman covers album, is now a two-time Voice winner in only her second year as a coach. (She does have a knack for taking top prize at reality shows, doesn't she?) She'll also be hitting the road soon to go on tour, for which Season 14 winner Brynn Cartelli will be an opening act. Maybe next year, fans will get to see Chevel Shepherd hitting the road?
The Voice released a video compiling all of Chevel's best moments throughout the season, which you can watch below!
The Voice is now finished for a few months, and it looks like its return will be a shortened one, as NBC's midseason schedule makes it look like six weeks will be lopped off of the next season. Stay tuned for when that release date will be announced, and stay equally tuned into fall TV and the midseason schedule for all kinds of ways to make primetime fun in the near future.