Jermaine Paul of Team Blake won TV singing contest "The Voice" on Tuesday night, gaining a shot at his dream of singing stardom and proving true host Carson Daly's statement that he was "no longer a backup singer."
Upon winning, Jermaine Paul collapsed into a hug from his coach, country singer Blake Shelton, and wiped away tears as he thanked his wife, children, and all of the people who voted for him, ending his speech by exclaiming "nobody but Jesus!"
Paul received embraces from his wife and family members as he sang. He takes home a recording contract with Universal Republic Records and a $100,000 cash prize.
Paul beat fellow contestants Juliet Simms of Team Cee Lo, Tony Lucca of Team Adam, and Chris Mann of Team Christina. Host Carson Daly revealed that Paul edged out second place finalist Simms by fewer than four percentage points.
Tuesday's results were determined by audience voting, which commenced at the end of Monday's performance episode. During that show, the four finalists each sang their final solos and duets with their respective coaches.
Paul's rendition of "I Believe I Can Fly" was backed by a full choir and drew on his childhood in upstate New York where he frequently sang in church choirs himself.
Runner-up Simms sang Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird."
Lucca, who placed third, performed Jay-Z's "99 Problems. The song, chosen by his coach Adam Levine, was said to be a cause of friction between coaches Levine and Christina Aguilera, which was palpable after Lucca's performance.
In her feedback, Aguilera said the song's lyrics were derogatory toward women and admonished Lucca for performing it with his wife and children in the audience.
In his performance, Lucca muffled some words and sang around lyrics that contained other words which might have seemed out of touch with the show's family audience.
Building on his classical chops, fourth place finalist Mann sang Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up," bringing Aguilera to tears. Mann also realized his dream of singing "The Prayer" by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli with Aguilera during the duet portion of the show in which contestants sang with the pros.
Bieber, who had stopped by the show earlier in the season to debut the video for his new single "Boyfriend," sang the song live this time.
Simms joined Flo Rida in a version of his popular song "Wild Ones," and all four finalists sang backup vocals for Hall & Oates as they performed their old No. 1 hit, "Rich Girl."
Contestants previously voted off the show also were invited back to perform with the four finalists.
During the season, it proved very competitive against "Idol," especially in the coveted 18-49 viewer group where the two shows are in a close race to be the most-watched program.
But "Idol" draws many millions more total viewers than "The Voice" - an average audience size of 19.2 million this season compared to 14 .8 million for "The Voice", according to figures from the two TV networks. (Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)