Despite the slow cooling off of the music competition genre this decade, The Voice continues to cycle through twice a year on NBC, with Adam Levine and Blake Shelton starring in every iteration – even as their fellow judges come and go. This season has had emotions running high, and newcomer Jennifer Hudson was left in the finale without a contestant to her name. But in the end, the winner was Chloe. So, who is Chloe Kohanski?
Before joining The Voice by invitation, Chloe was a signer songwriter in Nashville who was struggling to make it to the big time. She was originally a member of the all-women's Team Miley (who she called her inspiration), but lost out to Ashland Craft during the Playoff Rounds. Miley chose her competition to stay on the team, but then she was then saved by Coach Blake, who took her all the way to victory.
Season 13 had been mostly a race between Team Blake's Chloe Kohanski and Team Adam's Addison Agen.
The night before the finale was a bit of a crapshoot though, with three out of four contestants hitting the vote total booster Number 1 position at some point during the evening. Red Marlow hit first, but was quickly dethroned, and wound up sitting at Number 3 when the voting ended. Brooke over on Team Miley was left in fourth.
Going into the Season 13 finale, the leading judges' stats were tied, with Blake and Adam each with three wins a piece, averaging once every four cycles. This was Miley's second turn in the chair, but she had no wins, and Brooke was definitely the underdog going in this evening. As we already mentioned, first time judge J.Hud went in with no competitors in the finale fight, having lost her final contestant, Noah Mac, in the semis last week.
The real winner tonight was Coach Blake. The real stars of the show are the superstars coaches, who use this weekly platform into America's living rooms to promote their albums, and for bragging rights and the seasons go on. With Blake and Adam being tied going in, and Blake ahead going out, we should expect next season to be full of Blake rubbing it in Adam's face.
So what does this mean for our winner? Here's where things get tricky. The Voice makes great competition TV, even despite the canned nature of the early rounds, and the very careful choices made by the production ahead of time in casting the Blind Auditions with a mix of semi-professional and small time professional musicians. Adam and Blake are the heart of the production, and their bromance is what sustains the chemistry between those in the whirly chairs.
But when it comes to actually producing winners who get the sort of fame and fortune the show seems to promise, the reality is not so nice. One of the reasons Idol could produce Kelly Clarksons and Carrie Underwoods was its once-a-year schedule, which left the music side of the production time to laser focus on the winning contestants for the first few months, and market them and their first album without distraction.
But with filming for the next Voice cycle gearing up almost as the previous one ends, that doesn't leave a lot of time for whoever just took the title to get moving in the album-and-marketing department before the judges are distracted by the next shiny object, and the market has been glutted with yet another winner.
Of those judges who have won over the 12 cycles, it should be noted that Blake Sheldon has the best track record. His Big Machine label got two of his three winners, Cassadee Pope (Season 3) and Danielle Bradbery (Season 4), to chart singles post-competition. Team Adam's Jordan Smith (Season 9) managed to get some attention, though no charting, but that was more because the producer, Mark Burnett, took a personal interest.
But since ABC announced they'd be bringing back Idol, and it's track record of producing actual superstars, The Voice is stepping it up. Last season's winning coach Alicia Keys signed her winner, Chris Blue, and is taking her cycle off to actually work on his album and promote it. Vegas is also opening a The Voice residency and past winner Alisan Porter (Season 10) is already signed on, along with other alums, with a plan to add our newest Season 13 winner, Chloe Kohanski, as well. Let's hope we'll soon add her name to those who were successful.