Jonny Gray edges ‘Big Sexy’ Shawn Smith on ‘The Voice,’ but everybody should be proud

Military veterans Jonny Gray and Shawn Smith sang against each other as CeeLo Green team members on NBC show 'The Voice.'

Jonny Gray and Shawn Smith, gallant Battle Round competitors on “The Voice.”

The Air Force guy beat the sergeant from Utica last night on “The Voice.”

When coach CeeLo Green finished his judgment of the performance of Tom Petty’s classic rock song “Refugee,” he picked Jonny Gray of Arizona over Shawn Smith of Central New York.

It was a fair and memorable fight.

Green picked a good and appropriate song for both singers in the last night of the Battle Round, a hearty and hardy piece that nodded to their voices and their military backgrounds. Green and mentor Miguel coached the heck out of both of them, providing wise pointers on delivery and appearance.

The three other coaches complimented both singers afterward. They marveled how the pair left nothing on the stage during the song. Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera said they preferred rocker Gray’s smoother performance. Blake Shelton said he liked country-tinged Smith’s gritty performance more.

Green said he could “hear the soldier in the song” from both of them.

Gray was the winner. Nobody quibbled. There were no steals to be had to save Smith because by this point, the other three coaches had used the only two permitted.

Smith, the 32-year-old who goes by the name “Big Sexy,” walked off the NBC singing competition after his second performance with class and grace. He thanked Green for all of his advice and guidance.

Gray said he and Smith would remain lifelong friends.

And there, in a one-song nutshell, was proof of why “The Voice,” in its fifth season, continues to be such an agreeable singing contest.

The friendly format works. The only catty stuff is between the judges, and it carries a joshing tone. People really try to help each other.

Smith deserves to walk around Central New York with his head held high.

The singer for local band Showtime and duo Poor Tim did very well indeed with his 15 minutes of national fame. Now we shall see how that may play out in his life.

His Facebook page is full of compliments. Most of those of his maxed-out list of 5,000 friends who’ve posted comments during the last two weeks appeared to love the fact that the guy who drove onto an explosive and lost 80 percent of his hearing while serving his country got to tell that story to the world.

Once in a while, though, somebody just had to be sour. I recall seeing one cat who took the time to bash all of the newcomers to Smith’s social network universe, pointing fingers and figuratively beating his chest for being there since the start.

Really, congratulations are in order to all who’ve been tied in to Smith’s talent and winning ways while he’s performed in Utica.

However …

The Smith fan club just got way bigger. Embrace it. Don’t be petty about who now proclaims admiration for the guy who got to sing Petty on national TV.

Expanding the web of support is nothing to be jealous about. In fact, it’s one of the goals.

3 thoughts on “Jonny Gray edges ‘Big Sexy’ Shawn Smith on ‘The Voice,’ but everybody should be proud

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