Josh Kaufman may have been named the winner of "The Voice" Tuesday night, but there was another champ — his coach, R&B star Usher.
“If there was ever somebody that I thought could beat (me and Adam Levine), it would have been Usher,” Blake Shelton told reporters after the show. “When I heard that Usher was coming to the show for season four, I thought, ‘Well, it was fun for a minute,’ just knowing his history with developing artists. ... I just thought, ‘We’re never gonna win again!’ And the fact that we did was a shock to me.”
Usher is the first coach to break Shelton and Levine's five-season winning streak. Shelton earned bragging rights three times, while his best frenemey has been victorious twice.
Of course, Shelton was quick to make one thing clear: “I will go on and say that crap ain’t never gonna happen again.”
"I concur!" the Maroon 5 frontman chimed in.
While it’s unclear whether or not Usher will return to coach again after "Happy" singer Pharrell Williams stakes a spin in the big red chair next season, for now, the R&B star is savoring the sweet taste of victory.
“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!”
“That’s been the story of the show, right? Either Adam wins or Blake wins and that’s how it goes,” Kaufman said. “So you have to change that and I think change more things about the type of music and some different things that we did.”
Kaufman may have triumphed over Team Blake's Jake Worthington and Team Adam's Christina Grimmie, who finished in second and third place respectively, but it wasn’t without some controversy. Kaufman’s performance of Adele’s song “Set Fire to the Rain” was mistakenly filed under “Albums” instead of “Singles” on iTunes Monday night, making it difficult for fans to find and download the performance.
Because of this technical glitch, the show’s producers decided to not count any of the contestants’ download votes that took place during the post-show voting window. Host Carson Daly addressed the decision and issue at the beginning of the show.
“We are a very open-book show, very authentic for our fans, (and that’s) really critical,” Mark Burnett, the show’s executive producer said, adding that the show’s voting partner certified that removing the iTunes downloads did not affect the outcome. “That’s why Carson mentioned it right at the beginning of the show. (Kaufman) still clearly won. ... Every way you ever look at it, this guy is the winner of ‘The Voice.’”
While Kaufman noted that the technical glitch caused him additional stress before the finale, he feels confident that the voting was fair.
"It was a lot more stressful night and morning than I expected it to be (because of the controversy)," Kaufman said during a visit to TODAY Wednesday. "But to end up at this point and have it all work out is amazing."
Although the 38-year-old recognized Levine, his original coach, for helping him get to the winner’s circle, he said after the finale that it was working with Usher that made all the difference.
“(Levine) gets a little bit of credit. I started there, but I ended up in the right place,” Kaufman said.
“(Levine) signed, sealed and delivered him to me!” said Usher, playing on the title of the Stevie Wonder hit Kaufman sang during Monday night’s episode. The R&B star had stolen the eventual champ from the rocker during the Battle Rounds. “The win was everything that I had hoped for. Losing was not an option.”
"The Voice" returns to NBC this fall with new coaches Pharrell and Gwen Stefani.