And the winner is ... - people

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After three months of wild costumes, controversial eliminations, sometimes great performances and a sad desire for the return of Adam Levine, season 17 of "The Voice" called him a wrap Tuesday evening.

And when the two-hour puffy finale ended on NBC, the lone singer in the spotlight was ...

Jake Hoot!

Hoot, a country singer who was coached by Kelly Clarkson, beat Ricky Duran (Team Blake Shelton) for the title. Katie Kadan (Team John Legend) finished third and Rose Short (Team Gwen Stefani) finished fourth.

It was the coaches' third victory for Clarkson, who first won season 14 with competitor Brynn Cartelli, and then won season 15 with competitor Chevel Shepherd.

The victory for Hoot, a 31-year-old resident of Cookeville, Tennessee, was not a major surprise. He had earned the distinction of most broadcast artist in the series (on Apple Music) and regularly delivered catchy and relevant performances. Clarkson, although a partisan, called him "hands down, the best singer of the final".

But Hoot had to overcome early perceptions before establishing himself as a fan favorite. During the blind auditions, he summoned only one coach - Clarkson - to turn his chair. And in the first weeks, he acquired the reputation of having a rather "shy" stage presence.

Hoot, however, became more relaxed and assertive as the season progressed, and his emotional coverage of the Eagles' "Desperado" landed in first place on the Apple Music site. His group of passionate supporters - affectionately known as "Hooters" - has become a force to be reckoned with.

His triumph continues the incredible success of country singers - and candidates from the South - on "The Voice".

This article appeared first (in English) on mercurynews.com

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