Josh Kaufman was crowned the winner of season 6 of "The Voice" Tuesday night, claiming the show's title on the strength of electrifying performances of rough-hewn modern soul — plus one well-earned second chance courtesy of his coach Usher.
The scruffy family man's victory marked the first-ever "Voice" win by Team Usher — or by any coach other than multiple-time champs Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.
It also served as a painful reminder to one-time coach Adam Levine of what a mistake he'd made when he let Josh go from his team back in the battle rounds earlier in the season, giving Usher the chance to pounce.
“Man it feels good to have a new coach win, right?” Usher said. “I mean, I couldn’t take another season (of Blake or Adam winning). It does feel good!”
"It was such a blur," Josh told Hoda and Kathie Lee on Monday's "Today" of the moment his name was announced. "I had no idea how it was going to go down, and Usher's reaction was so amazing."
Josh was boosted to the top by a consistent string of creative, emotionally charged takes on hits by singers ranging from George Michael to Adele, with a disarming, blistering soulfulness that belied his unassuming mien.
That win left Team Blake's velvet-voiced Texan teen Jake Worthington the runner-up, after he proved not just his emotional resonance but his underdog staying power with nuanced takes on country and pop ballads.
His second-place finish was still a strong redemption for the sleeper fan favorite, after he'd failed to turn a single coach's chair when he auditioned a season earlier.
Pint-sized Team Adam pop dynamo Christina Grimmie was the third-place finalist, after she wrecked Miley's "Wrecking Ball" and crooned Elvis' "Fools Rush In" Monday, having cruised into the Top 3 on the strength of a whole host of brave takes on hip-hop hits.
The fates of the show's top three contestants were announced following a finale filled, per "Voice" custom, with pop stars and departed contestants alike, some of whom returned to join the top three on the stage for "bring back" performances.
Josh chose to reunite on stage with one-time Team Usher teammates T.J. Wilkins, Stevie Jo and Sisaundra Lewis with “Am I Wrong” by Envy.
Jake rounded up his country crew — Kristen Merlin, Audra McLaughlin, Morgan Wallen and Ryan Whyte Maloney, plus stray rocker Kat Perkins — to sing Kenny Chesney's "Summertime," and Christina called on her best "Voice" friends — Tess Boyer, Jake Barker and Bria Kelly — to join her on Lorde's "Team."
Some of the men of season six — including Morgan, Stevie Jo and Jake Barker, joined by Delvin Choice and Patrick Morgan — also took the stage together to sing “She’s Gone” by Hall and Oates. And a group of women including Dani Moz, Deja Hall, Melissa Jimenez and Madilyn Paige sang Rihanna’s hit “Umbrella.”
The star-studded finale also included performances by Coldplay, whose frontman Chris Martin had been a guest mentor to some of the top season 6 contestants, as well as by OneRepublic, Ed Sheeran, Justin Moore and Tim McGraw.