Billy Gilman is runner-up of NBC’s ‘The Voice’
Rhode Island’s own Billy Gilman is the runner-up of NBC’s “The Voice.”
The 28-year-old from Westerly was announced the second place winner Tuesday night on live television.
“I never thought I would be here,” Gilman said, directing his comments to his coach, Adam Levine, who is also the singer of Maroon 5. “It’s been an amazing experience and it’s been a real struggle all these years and you finally found my voice and gave me my voice back in a way that I never thought possible.”
NBC 10's Emily Volz, as well as Photographer Ryan Pickering, traveled to Los Angeles for the finale.
Gilman greeted them with smiles and posed for photos with them on the red carpet ahead of the show.
"So proud of Billy Gilman," Volz tweeted. "Always a winner in my heart."
Pickering shared similar sentiments.
"Billy (is) still a winner to all of us Rhode Islanders!" he said. "It's been a pleasure spending time out here covering his journey."
Meanwhile, the hometown crowd that gathered at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence to cheer Gilman on said they remember him when he was a child star.
“When he was young and he was doing country, we followed him then,” Donna Potter Allard of North Smithfield said. “And then we were wondering where he was and when we saw him on The Voice, all three of us were like, ‘Oh my god, he's on The Voice.’ (We) knew he was going to make it to the finals, so we bought our tickets right away.”
Others are too young to remember Gilman in his younger years, but they like what they've heard during his comeback on The Voice.
“He has a really good voice,” Lilly Demaio-Palm of West Warwick said.
And some are just catching up now.
“I haven't really watched The Voice before, but when I heard someone from Rhode Island actually made it to the finals, I got interested in it,” Samantha Saldua of Pawtucket said.
And for a few, from Gilman’s family, it's a chance to see the relative they describe as down to earth, reach for the stars.
“It's definitely really cool,” Courtney Irvin, who said she is Gilman’s cousin, told NBC 10. “His whole life he's wanted to sing. Even have videos, I have him singing. So, it's really cool to be able to see him on TV and everyone in the whole entire world can see him.”
Country soul crooner Sundance Head won first place. In addition to bragging rights, Head also earned a recording contract.