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GA Southern graduate Bryce Leatherwood wins The Voice

Georgia Southern graduate Bryce Leatherwood was crowned the winner of the musical talent show The Voice Tuesday evening in Los Angeles.

The 22nd season of the Voice saw Leatherwood selected by country music star Blake Shelton in the blind auditions and he quickly became a fan favorite. Leatherwood became the ninth winner selected by Shelton as their coach.

Leatherwood was joined in the finals by team Blake Shelton teammates Brayden Lape and Bodie. Other finalists included Morgan Myles of team Camila and Omar Jose Cardona from team Legend. Braden Lape was named as the fifth-place finalist followed by Omar Jose Cardona in fourth. With the three finalists huddled together host Carson Daly revealed that Leatherwood was the Fall 2022 winner.

On Monday, Leatherwood sang his final two songs of the competition: "Don't Close Your Eyes" by Keith Whitley and "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" by Travis Tritt, which was originally done by Elvis Presley.

After his performances, The Voice judge John Legend told Leatherwood: “Bryce, your voice is so pure and warm. You just execute everything with precision and confidence and ease.”

Leatherwood graduated in May with a business degree from Georgia Southern. He spent much of his college days performing as a solo artist, but formed the Bryce Leatherwood band just over a year ago. Leatherwood and his band played locally at bars like Southern Social and The Blue Room as well as in Macon and other spots throughout the southeast.

Leatherwood celebrated with Shelton after the announcement as the confetti fell capping off a surreal experience over the past few months.

“I am pinching myself every day out here as it is just tough to believe how far I’ve come so fast,” Leatherwood said. “It has been a once in a lifetime experience and it is just a complete whirlwind and the greatest experience of my life.” 

Leatherwood will now make appearances as The Voice champion and has said he intends to pursue his dream with a possible move to Nashville, but is hoping to be back in Georgia sometime soon.

“I love being busy with the music and the potential lifestyle that could come with success,” Leatherwood said. “But I miss the south. I miss Georgia, I miss living in Statesboro along with my friends and my roots.” 

And after the show, Leatherwood was interviewed by Entertainment Tonight and said about heading home: “I just want to curl up beside a camp fire outside, enjoy the cold weather, light a good cigar and drink a nice whiskey. And just take a deep breath and realize, man, you know, I came here, I saw, I conquered and I got to make (Blake Shelton) proud and  got to make my family proud. God bless this experience, man.”

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