season 13 came to a close and once again Team Blake has served up a winner with Chloe Kohanski. Chloe's win was expected and deserved but it is slightly disappointing about who ended up being her runner-up. Whether Addison Agen was better than Chloe is purely subjective. Yet the 16-year-old singer from Team Adam was one of the most inspiring and interesting singers in season 13. Addison might not have won The Voice
but she does take home the crown for the most unique singer in the competition.
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The thing that made Addison so special, besides her voice, was the way her journey developed on the show. In her audition song Addison went with a country classic, "Jolene." While the song did show off the wonderful raspiness of her voice, Addison wasn't supremely confident. There were some vocal stumbles and it's not surprising that she only got two chairs to turn around with her first coach Miley and her eventual coach Adam.
Addison lacked confidence in her Blind Audition, but she had the most important element of her Voice journey. Addison, from the very beginning, knew how to make a song her own. "Jolene" has a very distinctive sound and it has been covered by many Voice artists. For the most part, the contestants have tried to stay true to the Dolly Parton original. Addison didn't, at all. She slowed things down, made everything much more soulful and in the end "Jolene" didn't even sound like a country song, which is a good thing as Addison was never a country singer.
It was often hard to remember that Addison was so incredibly young. (Or at least it would've been if The Voice host Carson Daly hadn't shouted she was 16 after her every performance.) Despite her age, Addison's voice was far beyond her years as was her identity as an artist. Usually on The Voice it will take contestants several rounds to fully nail down their identity, if they ever quite get it right. Addison knew who she was from the start and time just let her enhance her musical vision for herself.
Addison got consistently better and better during the season. She especially blossomed when she moved from Team Miley to Team Adam. Miley isn't a bad coach but she has tendency to over-manage and mentor. Adam has a much more laid back approach. He's still invested but he lets the artists take the reigns if they can and that allowed Addison to soar.
This was particularly evident in her Top 10 performance where she took on Britney Spears' "Lucky." Like her "Jolene" audition, Addison's version of the song sounded almost nothing like the original. Unlike her audition, the nerves and confidence problems were gone. Addison was completely in control and commanded everyone's attention. Addison doesn't have the loudest voice but she drew more interest with her quiet raspy whispers than others did with their show-stopping belting. 12 Best Musical Moments Worth Revisiting from 2017>>>
Perhaps the best example of why Addison was singularly outstanding came at the very end of the season. Addison opened the first part of the finale, which historically is never a good spot to be in the live shows. It's easy to get forgotten when you go first. Addison didn't suffer that fate, being supremely memorable for her performance and, interestingly, for a big mistake.
At the very end of the song, Addison lost the thread. She became overwrought with emotion and no words came out at all. It would be a death knell for most artists but it really just proved how pure and emotional the performance was for Addison. Addison losing it at the end wasn't a sign of lack of confidence or her not being "ready." It was an example of her being able to completely and fully connect to the emotions of the song.
Throughout The Voice, Addison always managed to get to the deeper emotional meaning of her songs. Addison understood, better than anyone in season 13, that music should be emotional. It's not necessarily about having the best voice, although Addison has a great one. It's about using that voice to convey an emotion, whether it be happiness, sadness, gratitude or beyond, making the audience truly feel it.
Addison might not have had the best voice the show has ever seen. She might not have even been the best vocalist of season 13. Yet Addison still managed to leave an undeniable mark on the audience, one that was all her own, by the way she connected to her songs and translated that with her voice.
But what do you think? How did you feel about Addison in season 13? Do you think she was one of the most special artists this season? Do you wish she would've won? Who was your personal favorite artist in season 13?
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)