What did I learn from The Voice this week? With season two now officially behind us, here are final thoughts from stage 17 on the finals, the most memorable moments, and the end of a journey.

As the song says, breaking up is hard to do. That’s how I feel about the end of The Voice. Never mind the results (although congratulations Jermaine Paul), but I find myself focused more on the fact that I’ll no longer be seeing these people each week. After six weeks of live shows (and months before that of interviews and tweets and blogs), I got used to having a whole lot of new friends around.

But the beauty of this is that I still have those friends. (In fact, this column is late because I spent last night out with about 15 of them.) Just because they’re not physically present doesn’t mean they’re not in my life.

And that’s how I’d encourage fans to look at it, too. The show is over, but the artists are still out there, and still making music. If you really enjoyed what you heard, it’s up to you to continue to support them from this point on.

It’s also a time to celebrate all that we’ve just gone through. So, to that end, here’s a list of my most memorable moments (on camera and off) from season two of The Voice.

1. Justin Hopkins and Tony Vincent sing Journey’s “Faithfully.” Justin Hopkins? Awesome. Tony Vincent? Epic. The two of them together? A couple of minutes I will never forget. This absolutely perfect battle was the combination of so many winning factors: two strong competitors, both of them having a real emotional connection to the material they were performing, and both of them having an obvious respect for each other as both artists and individuals. It’s a shame that they had to compete against one another, but at least we got that one moment of unity that still makes me cry (and sing along) every time I watch it.

2. Anything involving Chris Mann. I was lucky enough to be in the audience for Chris’s blind audition, and when it was over my jaw was literally hanging open. I turned to my friend and said, “What was that?” When he and his coach Christina Aguilera performed “The Prayer” together during the final performance show, I had the exact same reaction. Chris impressed me constantly from beginning to end, and he also ended up being one of my favorite people to spend time with off-camera. I’m looking forward to whatever he does next so I can be awestruck again.

3. Re-meeting Adam Levine. There is a certain mind-blowing which occurred when I realized that not only did my hero remember who I was, but also that he made a point of coming over to me and giving me a hug. I’m going to be sappy for a second, but I hold dear every moment I get to spend with him, however brief (see: the high-five from week four, coming away with his drumstick from the Team Adam group performance). I’m always going to be grateful I had the chance to meet the man who changed my life…let alone that we keep running into each other.

4. Getting pwned (and hugged) by Blake Shelton. As I mentioned in my feature article, Blake and I have a little friendly banter going over my being Team Adam’s cheerleader, which is a whole lot of fun. But I also got the chance this season to have a serious discussion with him about this whole process – and at the end of it, to hear him say he appreciated my support was one of those moments where I thought, “Wow, I’m really making an impact with my life.”

5. Jamar Rogers sings Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life.” To go back to #1 on the list, you can tell when an artist is singing a song that they personally can identify with; there’s a certain spark in the music that comes with that connection. That was the case when Jamar, who had been through so much, took on the Bon Jovi hit and turned it on its head. I felt like I was watching him leave his soul on that stage. It was a moment of vulnerability that I think we all shared with him. (See my interview with Jamar.)

6. Pip and Nathan Parrett sing Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good.” Speaking of battle round pairings that should be future supergroups, the Team Adam pairing of former roommates Pip and Nathan was my second-favorite. These two just sound ridiculously good together, and their existing camaraderie was obvious in how they shared the stage. This was fantastic-sounding fun and I’m not above bribing them to record together in the future.

7. Every UStream chat, ever. A number of the season two artists took to Ustream during the season to chat with fans, and it was great. For one, it was nice that they took the initiative to interact with their audience like that. For two, it was refreshing to see them outside of the show, and able to talk about anything they wanted. And lastly, I’ll never forget that time Pip and Karla Davis prank-called Raelynn, pretending to be super-fan Timmy and his mom.

8. Tony Lucca sings Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time.” And with a little guidance from evil genius Levine, he began a tradition of taking the last song you’d ever expect him to perform and doing it in a way that ends up making it great. I am not a Britney fan, and yet I have caught myself singing along with Tony’s version of “Baby One More Time” more than once.

9. Every accidental meeting I had. There were a few. During live shows, I happened to be sitting near the same ramp that the artists use to enter and exit the studio…so I stood next to Justin Bieber, said hello to The Wanted, almost fell on my face high-fiving Chris, and best of all, got to chat backstage with Maroon 5 just moments before the world premiere of “Payphone.”

10. Chris Mann and Erin Willett photobombing in the Sprint Lounge. Also known as the only truly great thing to ever have happened in the Sprint Lounge.

Truth be told, though, there were a lot more than ten memorable moments this season, whether they were the personally significant for me (the hugs, the compliments, that time Juliet made me cry in a good way), the memorable performances (who predicted that Ashley de la Rosa was going to be that good? Well, she was), or the shockers (two words: Jesse Campbell).

That goes back to what I’ve said all season, and the real reason I enjoy this show so much. While the competition is fantastic, and it is important in its own way, so are the things that have nothing to do with it. The memorable performances that affect you when you hear them, or the quips that make you laugh, or in my case the little moments I’ve gotten to share with the artists and coaches alike, matter just as much.

When I look back on these couple of months, I’ll think about Jermaine Paul being named “The Voice,” but I’m also going to be grateful for just having these people in my life and all the things we did together, not to mention all the things I know we’re going to do next.

I’ll admit that when season two started, I was very nervous. I wasn’t sure it could top season one talent-wise, and off-camera I was afraid that I wouldn’t bond with these people the way I had with the likes of Beverly McClellan and Nakia. But we discovered a whole new group of fantastic singers, and I had another equally fantastic (though unique) experience with them as well.

What were some of your favorite moments from season two? What are you going to remember now that the season is over? Who do you think you’ll keep listening to?

And as with last year, thank you for coming along on this journey with me – and hopefully you’ll stay with us as we start on the next part of it.

Image courtesy of NBC

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