Massive stars, powerhouse vocalists, nail-biting competition: what could be better than that? Following the success of American Idol on ABC, NBC was ready to dip their hand in the pot and find their own major singing competition show. The network discovered The Voice of Holland, a music competition show where the singers’ voice, and not their looks, was the star. After hearing about the concept, NBC quickly bought the rights from Danish creator John de Mol. Their gamble paid off: it was was an instant hit with viewers, and remains one to this day.
Following a successful first season, the premiere episode for the second season boasted more than 37 million people tuning in to watch all the playful judges battle it out to land the best singers in the nation as mentees. Millions tune in each year to watch the iconic chairs swivel towards the stage and the victor. But as gripping as the on-air battles are, have you ever wondered what became of some of your favorite The Voice contestants, once the chairs have turned and the lights gone out?
Originally, the show premiered in the U.S. with a roster of high profile judge panel that included Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, country star Blake Shelton, pop star Christina Aguilera, and producing and vocalist extraordinaire CeeLo Green. In addition to the competitors, The Voice showcases the playful stylings of the judges as they adorably compete with one another for the top spot. The platform gave judges such as Gwen Stefani, Miley Cyrus, and Usher the space to appear “of-the-people” and they have successfully used the show to boost their profile. Each one has seen successful albums and clothing brands succeed using the show as a platform to highlight their personalities and talents. The show is as much about the contestants as it is the judges.
There’s no denying The Voice is great TV. The show has won four Emmys for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program throughout its 14 season run. Producers decided to shake up the competition this year by introducing new judge, mega popstar and reality show veteran herself, Kelly Clarkson. She is close friends with Blake Shelton, and have a brother-sister-type rivalry that plays out incredibly well on screen. Currently in its 14th season, and renewed for a 15th, there is just no stopping this show.
The show currently produces two seasons per year. To keep up with the show’s quick pace, we have your look back at the show’s most memorable contestants. Check out where they were then and what they’re up to now.
Cassadee Pope – Then
Before auditioning for The Voice in 2012, Pope had already worked a number of jobs in the music industry. She appeared in a music video for rock group Fall Out Boy and provided background vocals Las Vegas-based alternative band The Cab. All along, though, her dream was to sing country music, and so, after stunning Blake Shelton with her audition by singing Natalie Imbruglia’s hit Torn, she decided to go with him. She went on to win the third season of The Voice.
Cassadee Pope – Now
After winning the season, Pope released one album for her post-Voice record deal, the country pop Frame by Frame. The album debuted at number one on the country music charts although her sales weren’t enough to keep her on the roster and she was dropped. She signed with indie label Fusion Music in January for all future releases and is currently writing her next album. She announced her separation from long-time boyfriend, All Time Low drummer Rian Dawson, last year after a more than seven year relationship (and brief engagement).
Melanie Martinez – Then
Quirky songstress Melanie Martinez made an impression with her vibrant multi-colored hair and flashy outfits. She wowed the judges with an acoustic, even more sensual version of Britney Spears’s pop hit Toxic. She joined Team Adam and continued the competition performing smashes by Ellie Goulding and The White Stripes. She was eliminated in week five but was picked up by Atlantic Records. Her debut album Cry Baby received critical acclaim for its catchy pop hooks and personal lyrics and went on to sell more than one million units worldwide.
Melanie Martinez – Now
Martinez is one of the few artists to come from The Voice and make a second album with the same record label. She’s currently writing and recording her followup to Cry Baby. The album will be produced by her boyfriend and musician Michael Keenan. She is also prepping a tour for the album and a movie to accompany the songs. In 2017, she was accused of assaulting fellow female musician Timothy Heller, and has adamantly denied the accusation.
Javier Colon – Then
Connecticut-born Javier Colon was the first winner of The Voice. He chose Adam Levine as his mentor after auditioning with a stunning rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time. During the show he showed off his songwriting skills by performing an original song called Stitch by Stitch, co-produced with Levine. After coming in first place he released one album with Universal Republic Records, Come Through for You, but was dropped from the label after it only reached number 134 on the album charts.
Javier Colon – Now
Colon’s last album, Gravity, was released in 2016 on a smaller label, Concord Records. The album featured a more singer-songwriter sound than his previous R&B output. At the end of 2017 he released his most recent single Clear the Air with Grammy-winning saxophonist Dave Koz. He continues to tour the world with a number of funk bands for private events. He has been with his wife Meredith Colon (pictured left) for more than 20 years and the couple has two children together.
Dia Frampton – Then
Frampton began her music career posting demos on MySpace. When the platform began to decline in popularity she auditioned for The Voice. Her sweet and raspy rendition of Colbie Caillat’s romantic hit Bubbly made the judges and audience fall in love with her voice and charisma. After placing second, she released her debut album Red, which featured a roster of big name pop songwriters. Even though she came in second place on the show, Frampton got the last laugh – her album outsold winner Javier Colon’s debut.
Dia Frampton – Now
Last year, Frampton independently released her sophomore album, Bruises. The album detailed the difficult years she experienced adjusting to fame following her time on The Voice and featured more cinematic and ambient sounds. In addition to a successful solo career, she has also written for other artists such as pop group Haim, violin extraordinaire Lindsey Stirling, and veteran DJ Kaskade. She is also a part-time actress who has appeared in the crime drama series Criminal Minds and will star in the upcoming family film Maybe I’m Fine.
Jordan Smith – Then
Jordan Smith lit up the audition stage in 2015 with his pitch perfect rendition Sia’s “Chandelier.” It was smooth sailing after that and Smith made it all the way to the end without any risk of elimination. His crooner voice and charming smile won the hearts of viewers and he became one of the few cases where audiences rallied around the winner. His first album, Something Beautiful, hit the number two spot on the album charts – right behind previous judge Gwen Stefani’s latest record.
Jordan Smith – Now
Season nine winner Jordan Smith is the highest grossing artist from the series. His second album of Christmas covers reached number 11 on the album charts and he has consistently toured since his victory night. He most recently wrapped a tour and is prepping a new album in the studio as we speak. He frequently updates his more than 200,000 fans on Facebook about the recording process. In 2016 he married longtime girlfriend Kristen Denny.
Chloe Kohanski – Then
24-year-old rocker Chloe Kohanski won the most recent season of The Voice. Some of her most notable performance including the high energy cover of Blondie’s Call Me and a raspy styling of Fleetwood Mac’s heartbreaking Landslide. After she won, mentor Blake Shelton told reporters that he has high hopes for Kohanski’s career. “I truly think Chloe can go on from here and become really the first superstar,” he said. “[She can be] the first star that we’ve had come out of this show that can have some hit songs.”
Chloe Kohanski – Now
Kohanski is currently prepping her debut album. Pressure is high to deliver the first smash album from a Voice winner yet Kohanski assured fans that she will keep her rocker vibe in her sound. She recently wrote about the newfound pressure to her 50,000 Facebook fans. “I feel blessed every day, but also feel a new kind of pressure/stress,” she wrote. “Send prayers and positive thoughts if you can.” The album and lead single are due out later this year.
Alisan Porter – Then
Long before The Voice was even a kernel of an idea, Alisan Porter won another singing competition at just five years old: Star Search. A producer heard her singing at that very young age and urged her parents to submit her for the competition. She got an agent and briefly worked a child actor and even appeared in the short-lived sitcom Chicken Soup in 1989. She auditioned for the 10th season of The Voice with a knockout performance of Roy Orbison’s country hit Blue Bayou. Porter took home the crown at the end of the season.
Alisan Porter – Now
After winning her season of The Voice, Porter released an EP on an independent label. She maintains a hectic touring schedule performing a number of original songs and covers she made famous on the show. Last year she performed as part of the highly anticipated Las Vegas show The Voice: Neon Dreams. The hit show featured a number of past Voice winners including Chloe Kohanski and season two fan favorite Chris Mann. She currently writes for others artist in Los Angeles.
Meghan Linsey – Then
Meghan Linsey’s powerhouse performance of The Everly Brothers’ Love Hurts wowed the judges. Three out of the four judges (it was a no from Blake Shelton) wanted her on their teams and Linsey chose to go with R&B superstar Pharrell Williams. Before making it onto The Voice she won another talent show, the CMT Can You Duet. She won season two as part of the band Steel Magnolia which she formed with her ex-fiance Joshua Scott Jones. The country duo split up when they called it quits on their relationship and Linsey went to The Voice.
Meghan Linsey – Now
After coming in second place for the eighth season of The Voice, Linsey independently released a pop album called Bold Like a Lion. The album featured a more country pop direction than the rocky renditions she became known for on the show. This year she was out of commission for several weeks after falling ill from a poisonous spider bite. She documented a serious rash, nausea, and swelling on her Instagram account. Her doctors say she is healing well and she plans to continue touring in the coming weeks.
Tessanne Chin – Then
Chin tore the house down with a powerful performance of Pink’s beautiful song Try. Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, Chin performed as a singer for years in her home country. She moved to the U.S. to compete on The Voice and it’s a good thing she took that risk because her talent took her all the way to the top. She released her debut album, Count on my Love, in 2014 which featured a roster of hit songwriters and producers including OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder.
Tessanne Chin – Now
After releasing her major label debut album, Chin decided to move on from her post-Voice deal and was scooped up by Mary J. Blige’s label Justice League Music Group. The album only sold 7,000 copies and according to Yahoo, Republic Records refused to do any promotion for the album. She is currently writing and recording her follow up album with rap superstar T.I and hip hop producer Lil’ C. She also continues to tour her home country as frequently as she performs nationwide.
Danielle Bradbery – Then
21-year-old Danielle Bradbery always wanted to be a country star while growing up in Houston, Texas. She decided to try her luck by auditioning for the fourth season of The Voice, performing her hero Taylor Swift’s hit song Mean. She joined Team Blake and made it all the way until the end. She was signed to the same label as Swift, Big Machine Records, and released her self-titled debut album featuring the smash country single The Heart of Dixie. It was the first post-Voice single to sell more than 500,000 units.
Danielle Bradbery – Now
Bradbery’s husky voice made her a standout for success. Her follow-up album, 2017’s I Don’t Believe We’ve Met, hit number six on the country album charts. The album featured more of Bradbery’s songwriting skills than her debut. “I wasn’t a part of the writing on that first record,” she told Rolling Stone. “Afterwards, I wanted to sit down, without all the craziness, and ask myself, ‘Who is Danielle?'” She was recently nominated for Best New Female Artist at the ACM (Academy of Country Music) Awards and is currently on tour in support of her sophomore record.
Deanna Johnson – Then
Deanna Johnson’s deep voiced rendition of Kodaline’s All I Want got all four judges to turn their chairs in the eighth season of the show. Little did they realize that this was the same Johnson that tried out for the fifth season, only to be eliminated in the blind auditions. She made it all the way to the top 10 but was eliminated after underperforming Kris Kristofferson’s hit song Help Me Make It Through the Night.
Deanna Johnson – Now
Last year Johnson stepped away from singing to compete in a different sort of competition: a beauty pageant. That’s right, she competed in the Miss Georgia USA pageant and made it all the way to the finals and went on to take home the crown. For the talent portion she sang a powerful cover of Jefferson Airplane’s Somebody to Love to a standing ovation. She has said she hopes to move on to compete in the nationwide Miss USA pageant this coming year.