LOS ANGELES (Christian Examiner)—NBC's The Voice crowned Jordan Smith, a pastor's son and worship leader, as the champion of its ninth season. He capped off the season on Monday night's finale with a performance of "Mary, Did You Know?" that claimed his second top spot on iTunes this season.
It means a ton. Slowly throughout the show, it just proved that those things don't matter ... It's really special to hear at the end of a show like this, to be celebrated because of those differences.
Already the best-selling singer ever to come from The Voice, according to People.com, the 21-year-old ended Adele's five-month reign at the top of iTunes last week by singing Queen's "Somebody to Love."
"I'm going to go and I'm going to sleep for probably like three days once this is all over," said Smith, a junior music major at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., during a press conference this week. "Just not get out of bed."
After some rest, Smith now vows to work hard to make a place for himself in the music industry. One day, he says, he hopes to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.
Smith says the show hasn't just given him fame but also has helped him overcome a lack of confidence, particularly helping him to embrace his high-pitched voice.
"It means a ton," Smith said of winning, according to People.com. "Slowly throughout the show, it just proved that those things don't matter ... It's really special to hear at the end of a show like this, to be celebrated because of those differences."
During an interview this week for CBN News, Ron Brendel, Smith's voice teacher at Lee University, says Smith is the same person in real life that people have seen on The Voice. Brendel calls him "one of the kindest, gentlest people I know [with a] ready smile and a healthy laugh."
Brendel adds that Smith has "a very strong Christian commitment."
Smith is the second Lee University student this year to have strong showing in a major television singing contest. Clark Beckham, also a student of the 5,000-student Christian university, was the runner up on American Idol earlier this year.
According to timesfreepress.com, Lee University is the first university in the nation to have students in the championship rounds of both American Idol and The Voice—and they both did it in the same year. The school, which has about 5,000 students, has had a number of other TV talent show contestants over the years, including a sixth place finish for a student on American Idol in 2007. Two other Lee-trained vocalists have made it to the Hollywood round of American Idol.