News Column

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer Sonya Sorich column

June 19, 2013


June 19--Danielle Bradbery, a 16-year-old country singer from Texas, won the fourth season of "The Voice" Tuesday night. Michelle Chamuel placed second and The Swon Brothers placed third.

"I'm speechless," Danielle said moments after winning the title. She was so emotional that she was unable to finish her coronation performance of "Born to Fly" by Sara Evans.

Did the right singer win?

I doubt you'll find many people -- or, um, anyone -- willing to argue Danielle is a bad singer. From a technical standpoint, she was the strongest singer among the final three acts. That's impressive, since she's apparently never had a vocal lesson.

She was a front-runner since the season's early stages, and I'm impressed she sustained such a strong fanbase.

The biggest criticism of Danielle? Her stage presence needs some work. She appears robotic at times and I've often sensed a disconnect between her facial expressions and the lyrics she's singing.

While describing Danielle, an Entertainment Weekly writer notes, "Her performance style is generously described as repetitive and less generously described as nonexistent."

Then again, this is a reality TV talent contest. Contestants aren't supposed to be 100 percent prepared for the big time.

But questions about Danielle's marketability become more important amid constant reminders that "The Voice" has yet to produce a champion whose commercial success rivals what we've seen from certain "Idol" alums.

The aforementioned Entertainment Weekly piece explains, "'American Idol' has been able to launch even its dimmest stars, while 'The Voice' hasn't even launched some of its stars at all. Danielle Bradbery -- who is a sunnier, younger version of last year's 'Voice' winner Cassadee Pope -- may change that."

Do you agree? Share your reactions in the comments section.

Danielle and The Swon Brothers were on Blake Shelton's team. Michelle was on Usher's team. This is the third "Voice" winner to hail from Shelton's team.

Here's a full recap of Tuesday's finale.


All of the three acts hit the top 10 on iTunes, according to host Carson Daly.

The show kicks off with a performance by Pitbull and Christina Aguilera, who sing "Feel This Moment." Friendly reminder: Pitbull is an essential part of any well-balanced pop culture production.

It's Blake Shelton's birthday. He's 48. (Post-show note: a kind reader's email reminded me that sarcasm doesn't always translate online. I forgot to include a follow-up comment with that line. It was an onscreen joke...but it really was his birthday. He's 37.)

The Swon Brothers take the stage with eliminated "Voice" contestants Justin Rivers, Holly Tucker and Amber Carrington. They sing "Stars Tonight" by Lady Antebellum. You know, just in case you haven't heard enough country music this season. I actually enjoy this country party. Future five-person group? Stranger things have happened.

Michelle Chamuel joins One Republic to perform "Counting Stars."

Here's Florida Georgia Line featuring...Nelly. They perform "Cruise." Are you tired of this song yet? Also, does Nelly make it better or worse?

Time for another performance by eliminated contestants. Vedo, Josiah Hawley, Kris Thomas and Garrett Gardner sing "Ain't Too Proud to Beg." My favorite part? A guest appearance by Holly Tucker on sax.

Danielle Bradbery takes the stage with eliminated "Voice" contestants Amber Carrington, Caroline Glaser and Sarah Simmons. They sing Carrie Underwood's "All-American Girl." I LOVE this song and I enjoy this performance. But isn't Caroline kind of the wild card here?

Bruno Mars sings "Treasure." The disco vibe makes me wonder if they used some of the rejected stage decorations from Sasha's "Bad Girls" performance.

The Swon Brothers join Bob Seger to perform "Night Moves."

Apparently, it's been too long since you last heard "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)." Fortunately, "The Voice" can solve that problem. Sasha Allen, Judith Hill, Cathia and Karina Iglesias perform the En Vogue tune.

Danielle Bradbery and Hunter Hayes perform "I Want Crazy." cute is this?!?

Michelle Chamuel takes the stage with eliminated "Voice" contestants Cathia, Vedo and Josiah Hawley to sing Stevie Wonder's version of "We Can Work it Out."

OK, this show is dragging a bit. Twitter traffic suggests people are craving Cher...and results.

Speaking of she is! She performs her new single, "Woman's World." The vocals are intriguing, but I can't stop staring at her hair. I guess it's a mohawk? The performance inevitably attracts an important question: How old is Cher? She's 67, according to Wikipedia.

With that, it's results time!

Danielle wins, Michelle places second and The Swon Brothers place third.


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