The Voice: The Winners

Those of you who have seen my many posts about the television show The Voice, may have wondered where my post about the show’s finale was last week. The only explanation I can give is that it is very difficult to recap a show that offers mostly nothing but performances, with only one moment for contestant eliminations. And that moment is tucked in at the very end of the show. So what we end up with is a show full of performances in all kinds of manner: the finalists perform with their coaches, and with some of the top 20 performers of the season, and with certain special guests (with Kelly Clarkson pulling double duty for Meghan Linsey and Koryn Hawthorne, while Sawyer Fredericks performed with John Fogerty and Joshua Davis doing a duet with Sheryl Crow). Also added are special guests performers, looking to expose some new music (Luke Bryan, Meghan Trainor and Ed Sheeran come to mind), and the coaches get together for one performance as well. With all of that, it can seem as though the whole point of the show gets tucked away in the back corner: to find out and announce who takes home the $100,000 and the recording contract with Republic Records. And after a whole lotta sangin’, Carson Daly finally got around to telling the world who the winner was: Sawyer Fredericks.

I can say that I figured either he or Linsey would win the thing; and Sawyer did make a deserving winner. If you watched the whole season, you could see he was one of the most consistent performers throughout. It didn’t hurt that the kid was selling iTunes downloads like crazy and had a mad horde of screaming girls who probably voted for him early and often. So now, he joins the other seven winners in the fight to avoid obscurity…a little harsh, you would say? Well, at the moment, he has a good start with his debut single “Please” set to deliver what a majority of voters want.

This post is called “The Winners” because I wanted to give a brief recap to the other seven winners of the U.S. version of the television show—a sort of “where are they now?” type of post. So, working backward from last Tuesday’s Season 8 closing…

Season 7 winner: Craig Wayne Boyd. Season 7’s winner, whose country stylings and help from coach Blake Shelton (plus a makeover suggested by rival coach Gwen Stefani) already has a number one Country single with his debut “My Baby’s Got A Smile On Her Face.” He has recently released a second single, entitled “I’m Still Here,” which is available for purchase. You can sample it here from Spotify:

Season 6 winner: Josh Kaufman. Season 6’s winner hasn’t exactly set the world on fire on the music charts, but did get an opportunity to play on Broadway, getting the lead role in a revival of Pippin. As of yet, there are no singles available from Josh. He has the distinction of being the first stolen contestant to win the competition (and also, as the only winner for Usher as coach). He also was the last winner before the finalists were given original songs to sing at the live finale.

Season 5 winner: Tessanne Chin. Tessanne was a former backup singer for reggae legend Jimmy Cliff who came on the show and took the title. She has been working hard at her music career, but at present doesn’t have a whole lot of hits to show for it. Last year saw the release of her album Count On My Love, which got as high as number 41 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Two singles were released: “Tumbling Down” and “Everything Reminds Me Of You”, but neither charted. Tessanne has released a new single, called “Fire”, that I kinda like. Whether it will hit or not remains to be seen, but it is available for purchase. You can sample it on Spotify here:

Season 4 winner: Danielle Bradbery. Ms. Bradbery held the distinction, until Fredericks’ win in season 8 as the youngest contestant to win the show. After her victory, she released her debut album which included her hit single “The Heart Of Dixie,” which has sold over 375,000 copies and charted in the Country top 20. Bradbery has made her debut on the Grand Old Opry stage and is currently writing songs for her second album that she hopes will be released sometime this year. Her biggest hit can be heard here on Spotify.

Season 3 winner: Cassadee Pope. Pope has had the greatest overall success of any of the show’s winners so far, with her debut solo album Frame By Frame going to the top of the Country album charts and peaking in the top 10 of the Billboard 200. Her debut single from that album, “Wasting All These Tears” was also a Country hit, making the top 5 on the Country chart, as well as the pop top 40. It has also sold over a million copies to date. She also has a CMT award win for Breakthrough Video of the Year for the song. After touring with Dierks Bentley and Tim McGraw throughout 2014, the world awaits new music. Until then, reminisce with her million-selling hit:

Season 2 winner: Jermaine Paul. Paul won the second season of the show, but hasn’t had much to show for the victory. At best, I can find two single releases, neither of which had done much as of this writing. He was famously nominated for a Grammy award before his time on the show, for a performance of “If This World Were Mine” with Alicia Keys on a Luther Vandross tribute album. His latest release from 2014, is a song called “Next To You” which is available for purchase. You can sample that song here:

Season 1 winner: Javier Colon. Colon won the inagural season of the show, and promptly released an album on Universal Republic Records titled Come Through For You. The album reached the top 20 of the R&B albums chart. There were two singles released: “As Long As You Love Me,” which featured Natasha Bedingfield, and “A Drop In The Ocean.” Neither single charted, however, and Colon has since parted ways with Universal Republic. Recently, Colon was in Japan touring with Dave Koz, but no news on any new music has been seen.  His debut single from that project streams from Spotify:

So there’s the recap of the The Voice’s winners. While it isn’t a thorough recap as such, I hope it does shed a little light on what each of the winning artists are doing since their victories on the show. What it really shows, though, is the big winners of the show are the coaches, who have often used the exposure on the show to climb to higher levels of fame. Even so, best wishes to Sawyer, and hopes for a fruitful career in the music business.

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