The Best of The Voice Season 13

The Best of The Voice Season 13

With the end of the current season, and a new winner is announced, it is time to look back through the season, and remember some of the best performances of season 13 of The Voice.

Alright, this was the first season of The Voice that I watched from episode one until the finale in its entirety, and if it is anything like Season 13, then honestly, what have I been missing? Between the two new coaches for this season, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson (yes, you read that right), the guest appearances, and the incredible new, raw talent that is yet to be discovered, I was instantly hooked.

For seasons before, I would watch maybe an episode or two, maybe listen to a song here or there, but I never really watched a full season religiously. But this season simply blew me away. Each artist brought something that another didn't complimenting another just perfectly, I didn't know what they couldn't do. I can honestly say I have no idea how the judges do what they do, because eliminating some of these singers would have probably killed me.

Now that the season is over, and a new winner has been chosen, it's time to reflect on the season that has just passed. If you didn't watch, here is a list of the best performances. If you did watch, see if my list of favorites matched yours!

If you are unfamiliar with The Voice and its rounds, Click Here for an explanation of each round.

Below is a list of each round on The Voice, and which songs I thought were best from that episode (in no particular order), and one performance that I thought completely won that round.

*** WARNING *** Spoilers are below for Season 13 of The Voice!!!

1. The Blind Auditions

Dave Crosby, "I Will Follow You Into The Dark"

Yes, this is the man that sings with his daughter, and yes, he is AMAZING! This sounds so similar to the original, it's honestly a little scary.

Ashland Crafter, "You Are My Sunshine"

Growing up to this song, I loved seeing a new, country version of it, that definitely took my on a nostalgic ride.

Keisha Renee, "I Can't Stop Loving You"

I can't even describe how much I love Keisha’s voice. She made me fall in love with country all over again with her amazing voice.

Ignatious Carmouche, "Latch"

As the winner of The Voice on Snapchat (yeah, apparently that is a thing), he was given the chance to audition for the real show. His take on Sam Smith’s “Latch” had me the second he started, and I still listen to this.

Chloe Kohanski, "The Chain"

From the very start you could tell Chloe was going to go far, her voice was so unique to her, no wonder she got a four person turn.

Addison Agen, "Jolene"

This girl is literally only 16 years old. I'm sorry, did you hear that voice and think 16 years old? No, you didn't. Addison has such an incredible voice, it's hard to understand how she only got a two person turn.

Winner: Brooke Simpson, "Stone Cold"

Although this song is done so often on competition shows, Brooke easily takes the win for best blind audition for this season. It is obvious why she got the first four chair turn, her voice is totally her own, and it was obviously an amazing choice for her.

2. The Battle Rounds

Hannah Mrozak and Brandon Showell, “Cold Water”

Mitchell Lee and Dennis Drummond, “Mr. Jones”

Karli Webster and Addison Agen, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”

Emily Luther and Gary Carpentier,“Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”

Winner: Keisha Renee and Noah Mac, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”

I was simply taken away with the beauty of their voices together, and never wanted it to end. I hope at some point they make music together, because this was perfection.

3. The Knockouts

Karli Webster, “Blue Bayou”

Brooke Simpson, “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman”

Mitchell Lee, “I’ll Be”

Noah Mac, “Hold Back the River”

Moriah Formica, “Behind These Hazel Eyes”

Whitney Fenimore, “Calling All Angels”

Addison Agen, “Beneath Your Beautiful”

Winner: Keisha Renee, “I Hope You Dance”

Keisha is such an amazing singer, who breathes new life to country music. Her sound is unique, and she proves herself each week.

4. The Playoffs

Noah Mac, “In the Air Tonight”

Keisha Renee, “Love Can Build a Bridge”

Jon Mero, “When We Were Young”

Addison Agen, “Angel From Montgomery”

Brooke Simpson, “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World

Winner: Chloe Kohanski, “Time After Time”

A classic for every singing competition, "Time After Time" was the perfect song for Chloe. She nailed it, proving yet again how amazing she is.

5. The Lives, Week One

Brooke Simpson, “Praying”

Noah Mac, “Speed of Sound”

Winner: Addison Agen, “She Used to Be Mine”

I mean I think at this point it was obvious how amazing she was, but she nailed this incredibly beautiful song perfectly, gaining recognition from Sara Bareilles herself! I honestly hope when she's older I can see her on broadway.

6. The Lives, Week Two

Brooke Simpson, “What About Us”

Chloe Kohanski, “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

Red Marlo, “The Dance”

Winner: Noah Mac, “Electric Love”

He literally composed the entire band to how he wanted it. He proved himself not only as a singer for this song, but also an artist who is ready to release new music.

7. The Lives, Week Three

Keisha Renee, “All By Myself"

Addison Agen, “Lucky”

Winner: Brooke Simpson, “Amazing Grace”

Brooke's rendition of this classic proved just how powerful of a vocalist she was, and that she can do any time period of music, not just new music that is currently on the radio.

8. Semifinals

Addison Agen, “Both Sides, Now”

Brooke Simpson, ”Faithfully”

Chloe Kohanski and Noah Mac, “Wicked Game”

Winner: Chloe Kohanski, “I Want to Know What Love Is”

Another classic that everyone knows (or should know!), Chloe delivers yet another breathtaking rendition with her unique voice that instantly draws you in.

9. Finals

In all honesty, every single performance from this episode was simply outstanding. The Final Four took me places I never expected them to.

The songs with a * means that it is their original song.

Addison Agen, “Humble and Kind”

Addison Agen and Adam Levine, “Falling Slowly”

Chloe Kohanski, “Wish I Didn’t Love You*”

Chloe Kohanski and Blake Shelton, “You Got It”

Red Marlo, “To Make You Feel My Love”

Red Marlo, “I Pray*”

Brooke Simpson, “What is Beautiful*”

Brooke Simpson, “O Holy Night”

Winner: Addison Agen, “Tennessee Rain*”

Addison, as a reminder, is only 16 years old! The power she has over her voice is jaw-dropping, especially for her age! Her original I have been listening to on repeat for the past week, and I honestly don't plan on stopping until I get a whole album. She is only a junior in high school, so I can't wait to see where she goes from here!

Congratulations to Chloe for winning this season, she truly deserves it. I can’t wait to hear more from all the artists from this season, because I know that there is no way this is the end for any of them.

I hope you enjoyed this list, and the music here!

Cover Image Credit: NBC

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Dear Shondaland, You Made A Mistake Because April Kepner Deserves Better

"April Kepner... you're not average"

I'll admit from the first time we were introduced to April in Season 6, I didn't like her so much. I mean we hated the "Mercy Westers" in the first place, so how could we see the potential in the annoying, know-it-all resident that was trying to compete with our beloved Lexie Grey.

But then, we saw her come face-to-face with a killer and thought maybe she had potential.

We then saw her surprise everyone when she proved to be the next trauma surgeon in the making and we were intrigued.

Notice how none of these stories had anything to do with Jackson Avery. Not that we didn't love her with Jackson, but for whatever reason you've chosen to end their very popular relationship. Suddenly, you think that April is not worth further exploration but you've forgotten one simple thing. We fell in love with her before "Japril" was ever in the picture.

We love her because her story was unlike the others and she had one of the best character developments on the show. She wasn't damaged like Meredith Grey or Alex Karev who have been on their journey to become all whole and healed, but she still had to fight hard to be taken seriously. Her story has so much potential for future development, but you've decided to throw it all away for "creative reasons."

I'm sorry, but there's nothing creative about doing the exact same thing you've done to all the other characters who have left the show. We've endured the loss of many beloved characters when you chose to write off George, Henry, Mark, and Lexie. We even took it when you did the unthinkable and wrote McDreamy out of the show - killing off one half of the leading couple. (WHO DOES THAT???)

But April Kepner? Are you kidding me?

She may no longer be with Jackson, but she was so much more than half of Japril. While most of us hate that Jackson and April are over, we probably could have dealt with it if April was still on the show. Now they're done and you think there aren't any more stories to tell about her character. Why? Because she'll just get in the way of Jackson and Maggie?

How could you not see that she was way more than Jackson's love interest?

She's so much more than you imagined her to be. April is the headstrong, talented trauma surgeon no one saw coming. The farmer's daughter started off an ugly duckling who became a soldier because she needed to be one and turned into one big beautiful swan who constantly has to fight for her coworkers and family to see her as such.

She's proven to be a soldier and swan on many occasions. Just take giving birth to her daughter in a storm on a kitchen table during an emergency c-section without any numbing or pain medication as an example. If she wasn't a soldier or a swan before, how could she not be after that?

Yet, you - the ones who created her - still see her as the ugly duckling of a character because she always had to take the backseat to everyone else's story and was never allowed to really be seen.

But we see her.

She's the youngest of her sisters who still think of her as the embarrassing little Ducky no matter how much she's grown.

This swan of a resident got fired for one mistake but came back fighting to prove she belongs. Not only did April Kepner belong there, but it was her talent, her kindness, her strength that made her Chief Resident. This simply wasn't enough for Dr. Bailey or her other residents so she fought harder.

She endured the pressure but always ended up being a joke to the others. When she was fired yet again, your girl came back a little shaken. She doubted herself, but how could she not when everyone was against her.

Despite everyone telling her she couldn't, she did rise and no one saw her coming because she remained in the background. She went off to Jordan broken and came back a pretty risky trauma surgeon.

We've watched for years as she was handed promising stories that we never got to see fully develop because she was in the background. We never got to see her rise. We get the beginning and the end, but hardly ever the middle.

I thought we were finally going to have an amazing story arc in season 11 when she loses Samuel, but what did we really get? Two or three episodes of her coming to terms with the loss of her baby and then April's disappearance from the show while she's grieving off screen so that Dr. Amelia Shepherd can shine her first season on the show. Where is April's life-changing surgeries? What does April get? She's background music.

Now what?

It's season 14 and we finally get the story we've been waiting 9 years for! We get Dark April and her crisis of faith. A story arc all Christians can appreciate. Here's the chance for real character development in the foreground, but wait...

Before her story is even wrapped up, you announce that this season will be her last. So we're forced to realize that the only reason we're getting this story now is that you're writing her off.

No matter how you end it, it's not going to do her story justice. If you kill her off to end her crisis of faith story, you're not reaching the many Christians who watch the show. If you have her leaving Seattle and taking Harriet with her, you didn't know April. If you have her leaving Seattle and abandoning Harriet, you really didn't know April. So anyway you choose to end her story, you lost out on one great character.

You messed up.

Both April Kepner and Sarah Drew deserved better.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Shows Shouldn't Have To Rely On Sexist Or Racist Jokes To Be 'Funny'

Punchlines that come at the expense of female, plus-sized, LGBTQ, or other marginalized characters are too common

Recently I’ve been trying to be a more conscious consumer. I bring old plastic bags with me to dining halls, religiously carry a reusable water bottle, avoid online shopping whenever possible, and buy clothing second hand. But while I try to have my environmental bases covered, I often forget to cover my moral bases.

After reading a New Yorker article by Molly Ringwald, I started to think about my role as a consumer of art and pop culture. Molly Ringwald, an actress known for her roles in John Hughes movies such as “The Breakfast Club,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “Sixteen Candles,” examines in her article the problematic aspects of the movies she starred in and whether those iconic films are or should still be relevant today.

While the #metoo movement has already brought some of these issues to the public eye, there is still much more to unpack. As allegations rolled out against men in Hollywood for their actions, the already present calls to boycott the films and projects of perpetrators such as Woody Allen or Kevin Spacey, have grown stronger. While many have their own opinions on whether this type of action is necessary or effective, I certainly see the merit in not contributing further to the fame and wealth of the people who committed these ugly acts.

However, the line gets fuzzier when the films, series, books, etc. are not produced by people who have done something explicitly wrong, but still perpetuate that same culture of misogyny and sexual exploitation. Prompted in part by the article, I thought back on some of the pop culture I personally have grown up on, and was disappointed, though not surprised, to realize how wrong some of the movies and shows I loved are.

A classic example is “How I Met Your Mother,” a T.V. show I have seen at least twice through (with that being a conservative estimate). And while I obviously never approved of the sexist and even openly rape-y character of Barney, a serial womanizer, it didn’t really occur to me to turn off the show and choose something else. Those same problematic punchlines that come at the expense of female, plus-sized, LGBTQ, or other marginalized characters are repeated over and over in almost any sitcom I’ve ever seen, from “Friends” to “That '70s Show.” The trend isn’t just T.V. shows either, but some of my personal favorite comedies and rom-coms. I try not to think too hard about how transphobic the whole concept behind “She’s The Man” is, for example.

Acknowledging that the movies and shows I love are sexist is bad enough, but a voice inside me resists condemning them totally. That voice whispers to me that comedy is supposed to be offensive, and it’s all just joking. But that voice is absolutely wrong. I may have to remind myself that occasionally, but funny doesn’t have to be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic. Proving that are Trevor Noah, Sasheer Zamata, Kate McKinnon, and all the other talented comedians that can be genuinely funny without taking cheap shots at marginalized groups.

In her article, Molly Ringwald argues that despite their “blind spots” as she calls them, the movies she starred in are still valuable in the message of empowerment they gave to teenagers. But is the same true of sitcoms and shows with less artistic value? I don’t really know, but I think denouncing them totally probably won’t help. They are pop culture milestones that whether we agree with them or not, will remain relevant, at least for the foreseeable future.

While that may be true for older, already successful shows and movies for those still on the air or coming out now, we can make a choice. We can be conscious consumers and make a point that we demand jokes that don’t degrade others — comedy and art of a higher order. Because more and more, we see that it’s not just possible, but even funnier and more relatable.

Cover Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

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