NBC has crowned its third The Voice in just over a year - and on Tuesday evening, the winner, the runners-up and the coaches joined Big Red Chairs on the red carpet to give their final thoughts about the junior season of the hit series.
Team Blake's pop-rocker Cassadee Pope was named the winner of the competition at the end of Tuesday night's season finale, joining previous winners Javier Colon from Team Adam in Season 1 and Jermaine Paul from Team Blake in Season 2.
Her win was expected by most of America - and also by her fellow finalists, teammate Terry McDermott and Team Cee Lo's Nicholas David. "Absolutely," said Terry when asked if he had thought Cassadee would take home the title. "I think the biggest reason we had that feeling was because her songs had been reaching such a large cross-section of the public. Her continually crushing iTunes speaks volumes for itself."
"She deserves it," he continued. "The right person's won."
Added Nicholas, "I had a feeling i was going to go a long time ago - but I never looked at it like a competition. I've always just been blessed to be here."
Even Cassadee, who previously stated that she tried not to be affected by the buzz, said she felt confident in her chances. "At one point I felt like 'Okay, this could become a reality,'" she said. "I actually felt that back when 'Over You; got to number one. I was like, 'If this keeps happening I might have a shot.'"
It proved to be just one of her many charting iTunes hits that helped deliver her the title - as those iTunes downloads which were in the Top 10 singles chart at the close of each round of voting had their total number of downloads (which then translated directly into votes) multiplied by ten.
Her coach, Blake Shelton, had plenty to say about Cassadee's victory and how he would continue to support her after the show, as he has done with many of his artists throughout the history of The Voice. "She knows that this doesn't end with the finale of The Voice, [our] relationship," he told reporters. "I don't want to make one dime off of her in my life, but i do want to see her go on to be a superstar and end up in relationships in this business that are the best for her.
"If I've got to get in the way of something that she doesn't like or she doesn't agree with, then I will because I'm her friend," he continued. "I'm her friend, I'm Terry's friend, and I will be until the day I die. I just want to see them do whatever it is they dream of doing because they're good people and they deserve it."
His fellow coaches Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera - who celebrated her birthday on Tuesday - also weighed in on Team Blake taking the title for the second straight season. "It's not about did the right person win," said Christina. "I just think that she kept improving week by week and I think we all recognized that."
Agreed Adam, "It was her moment. Cassadee excelled at the best times. We're really happy, even though it's not our team, we're happy for Cassadee.
"We chose Cassadee, too, she just didn't choose us," he quipped. "We all chose the winner, damn it."
The coaches closed the season with one final performance reflecting on their three seasons together. As previously revealed in September, Christina and Cee Lo will not be part of The Voice Season 4. They will be replaced by Shakira and Usher respectively.
However, both Christina and Cee Lo are on record as saying they want to return for Season 5, as the series has been renewed through that fifth cycle, which is expected air in the fall of 2013.
What's next for each of the three finalists? "I'm going to release something quick," said Cassadee, who asked her fans to support the new music she'll put out.. "I have to, and it's going to be great." You can keep up with her on Twitter at @CassadeePope.
"I'm going home," said Minnesota native Nicholas, who has family time and Christmas shopping on his to-do list, as "I haven't really had time to do anything except the show." He can be found on Twitter at @thefeelin.
"I've always been motivated by new music and being part of it and creating it," said Terry, who added that he has "an idea and direction" for what he wants to do next. His Twitter handle is @TerryMacMusic.
All three artists reflected on the many accomplishments they'd achieved through being part of The Voice's third season. "There's so many, from the chair turning to meeting all the people," said Nicholas. "Meeting Cee Lo, to sing with Cee Lo, meeting Bill Withers, to sing with Smokey Robinson. it's a freaking adventure of a lifetime and that's the truth."
"I've been lucky enough to meet some wonderful people along this ride and really form relationships with some great people," concurred Terry. "It's made it such a pleasurable journey. there's been nothing negative about this experience."
Cassadee was able to perform with her musical idol, Avril Lavigne, and remarked that "I met her and she just blew my mind with how nice she was and how thankful she was to have me there."
Still, she added, she's ready to see what the music world has in store for her next. "I'm absolutely happy to move onto the next chapter," she added.
The Voice returns in just over three months - Season 4 premieres on March 25, 2013.
For more from Brittany Frederick on The Voice, visit Big Red Chairs and follow me on Twitter (@bigredchairs).
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.