Danville teen wins 'Today' show singing contest
A Danville teen has won a national singing contest on NBC's "Today" with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.
The co-hosts announced 16-year-old Christian Cunningham as the winner of "The Voice — Kids' Edition" on the show's fourth hour Wednesday.
Viewers selected him over competitor Jillian Rae Schlessinger, a 14-year-old from Long Island, after the two competed in the competition's final round on Tuesday, singing "Fame."
"You guys were both terrific," Kotb said, adding 10,000 people voted on Tuesday.
After the co-hosts announced Cunningham as the winner, the Danville High School sophomore grinned and turned to hug Schlessinger. Gifford presented him with a trophy and a hug, and said he won a meet-and-greet with at least one — maybe all — of the four singing coaches and judges of NBC's "The Voice" reality TV singing competition.
Then the co-hosts presented the runner-up with a Wii system.
The competition, which started five weeks ago, was "Today's" version of "The Voice." It was open to youth ages 8 to 16.
Cunningham was selected from thousands of hopefuls to become one of nine contestants to compete live. Gifford and Kotb selected him to move on to the second round on April 10, and singer and actress Raven-Symone, Cunningham's singing coach and judge, chose him as one of the two finalists on May 1.
Back in Danville, schools and area businesses hung up signs congratulating the teen on his win.