“The Voice” season 22 winner Bryce Leatherwood is opening up about the experience of being crowned the champion of the show.
In an interview with TV Line, Leatherwood shared his thoughts about the crowd chanting “bodie” and responded to the fact that country music singers often do better on “The Voice” than singers from other genres.
“I wouldn’t say it’s unfair, I would just say it’s impactful,” Leatherwood told the outlet. “And I’m not saying other genres aren’t. I just think if you look at who watches the show and who the true roots of its fan base are, a lot of it is country – people who are retired, sitting on their couch, watching every Monday and Tuesday night because they love ‘The Voice.‘”
He added, “And a lot of those people are country fans… I’m just blessed that I know who I am and people seem to love who I am. I think that’s what won me the show, because let’s be honest, if we’re going off pure vocal talent, I don’t bat an eye to Morgan [Myles] and I don’t bat an eye to bodie.”
He added that he does believe he was one of the best singers in the country genre on the show.
“But it’s not just about the voice, it’s about who you are as an artist, who you are as a person, and who America wants to fall in love with,” Leatherwood told the outlet.
Fans had mixed reactions to Leatherwood’s win.
The ‘Bodie’ Chants Did Not Bother Leatherwood
Also in the interview with TV Line, Leatherwood responded to the crowd chanting “Bodie” before the winner was announced.
Bodie was eventually revealed to be the runner-up of the season after being a fan-favorite since the Blind Auditions when he made the unexpected choice to have Blake Shelton as his coach. After the season finale aired, Bodie tweeted a video to thank his fans.
“I am so, so excited. First of all for Bryce, congratulations. Second of all, second place ain’t so bad,” he said in the video. He also shared that he’ll be making music and releasing it soon.
Still, the crowd seemed to want Bodie to be crowned the champion, as he got a ton of support in person at the show.
“We’re all just artists trying to do our best,” Leatherwood told TV Line. “The only competition you have is within yourself. I think Tiger Woods said that one time. You can’t focus on other competitors, because the only true competitor is yourself. The only thing I could do before then and in that moment was rely on the hard work that I had done.”
He added, “Either way [the vote went], I was proud of myself, and I think everybody was proud of themselves for how much they’ve accomplished on the show.”
Leatherwood Thanked His Family
A week after winning the competition, Leatherwood took to Instagram to send a thank you to his family.
“So thankful for my family… without them I wouldn’t have the motivation that always pushes me further,” he wrote alongside a photo of him and his family alongside Blake Shelton.
“The Voice” is set to return in the spring of 2023 with Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan, and Chance the Rapper as coaches.