'The Voice' winner Jermaine Paul returning to New York
Harriman resident Jermaine Paul, who won "The Voice" on Tuesday night, beating out three other competitors on the hit TV singing competition, will be back in New York on Thursday to continue his press tour. He is booked to appear on NBC's "Today" show on Friday.
The Orange County native beat out Chris Mann, Tony Lucca and Juliet Simms to win the grand prize of $100,000 and a recording contract with Universal Republic Records.
During an interview with Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” on Wednesday, Paul revealed that after he was named the winner, R&B star Alicia Keys, for whom he once served as backup singer, called to congratulate him.
As for how he feels about winning the competition, Paul said, “I feel blessed and honored to say I’m ‘The Voice’ of 2012.”
Before being named the winner, Paul performed a rousing rendition of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” along with eliminated contestants Jamar Rogers, Pip and James Massone. Later he joined fellow finalists Lucca and Mann to sing backup for Hall and Oates on their hit, “Rich Girl.”
In the final minutes of the show, Paul was named the winner over runner-up Juliet Simms. As he was joined on stage by family, friends and the contestants, he reprised his previous night’s performance of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly,” a track that has been No. 1 on iTunes’ R&B/Soul singles chart since Tuesday.
As a member of Blake Shelton’s team, Paul had consistently wowed his mentor and the rest of the celebrity judges with his performances.
After he performed the R. Kelly song on Monday night, celebrity judge Christina Aguilera told Paul, “You just sing with so much heart!” Shelton also had praise for his protege, telling him, “If I could channel what you channel when you perform? You gotta teach me that."
Paul counts Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson among his musical influences, but he has shown versatility in his song choices. Besides the aforementioned R. Kelly hit, he also has performed songs by Madonna, Phil Collins, Journey and Avril Lavigne on the show.
Follow Jermaine Paul on Twitter at JermainePaul.