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Metro Detroiter Grace West may not have taken the top spot on NBC’s “The Voice,” but she ended the season seeming like a potential country music star.
At the end of Tuesday night's live results show, Gina Miles, a member of coach Niall Horan's team, was declared the winner. West came in second.
As Miles and West waited to find out who'd won, host Carson Daly said on the air that the margin of victory was the closest in the history of "The Voice." The show's winners are determined by viewer votes.
The star-studded finale doubled as a farewell to Blake Shelton, who is saying goodbye to coaching after 12 years and 23 seasons. Shelton is leaving the "The Voice" to spend more time with his family and focus on his country music career.
Although a win by Team Blake member West would have been a nice parting gift for Shelton (who has nine previous), the 19-year-old Plymouth High School graduate, who grew up in Canton, did herself and Michigan proud with her strong, assured interpretations of country music hits.
Recently, West told the Free Press via email that her time on the show “has honestly been a dream come true.”
West has been singing since childhood and won a Idol contest when she was 11. At 16, she was signed to a publishing deal with a music company in Nashville, where she moved in 2021 to pursue her career.
During the show, she won huge praise from the coaches for her renditions of timeless country tunes like Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again” and Tammy Wynette’s “Til I Can Make It On My Own” on previous episodes.
On Monday night, the first half of the two-part finale, West and the other four finalists — NOIVAS, sister trio Sorelle, D. Smooth and the ultimate winner Miles — completed two remaining sing-offs.
For the required up-tempo song, West poured energy into her version of Reba McEntire’s “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.”
Coach Kelly Clarkson praised the performance, saying: “Your whole vibe with it, it was very Reba. ... I thought it was really, really great.”
For the ballad portion, West performed a song from the country music pantheon, Patsy Cline’s “She’s Got You,” and made the bittersweet ode to lost love her own.
“Grace, you saved your best two performances for tonight,” raved coach Niall Horan.
Also during Monday’s show, West was seen in a taped segment wiping away tears as she read a letter from her grandfather, who helped spark her love for playing the guitar.
In the letter, West’s “PaPa” said it was a privilege to pass down his guitars to her and how much it has meant to see her play his Gibson acoustic on "The Voice."
“You deserve that guitar and deserve all these moments on ‘The Voice’ stage,’” he wrote.
On Tuesday, West wore her trademark hat to sing one last time. She did a duet with Shelton on "Lonely Tonight," a 2014 song featuring Ashley Monroe from Shelton's album "Bringing Back the Sunshine."
Contact Detroit Free Press pop culture critic Julie Hinds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan's Grace West comes in second as Gina Miles wins 'The Voice'