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Was the Right Singer Named the Winner of ‘The Voice?’

Fifteen-year-old singer/songwriter Brynn Cartelli (Team Kelly) has made history as the youngest contestant to win ‘The Voice,’ after a two-part finale shown on Monday and Tuesday nights. Runner-up was Britton Buchanan (Team Alicia); third place went to Topeka native Kyla Jade (Team Blake); and finishing fourth was Spensha Baker (Team Blake).

Before Monday’s performances, many were sure that Team Blake’s Kyla was a lock to take the title. She had the pipes, the charisma, the momentum. But then her original song left some unimpressed, and both Brynn’s original and her “Skyfall” cover sold better — and Britton Buchanan’s self-penned “Where You Come From” beat them all on the iTunes charts.

The winner is determined by who receives the most votes from viewers via telephone, the Internet, text and the iTunes store.


Topeka rallies behind Kyla Jade in finale, schedules her for a Block Party

Topeka native and 2002 Shawnee Heights graduate Kyla Jade may have come in third on the show, but she was first in the hearts of many Kansans. She had an entire city rallying behind her during the finale.

Kyla fittingly sang “With a Little Help From My Friends,” and she certainly had that as family, friends and fans packed into The Break Room in downtown Topeka to cheer her on.

Break Room owner Frank Schultz said it was an easy choice to host the watch party.

“I said ‘you guys, we’ve got the best place for watching TV and live events so, let’s bring it in!'” he said, “and it worked out perfectly.”

He said everyone was electrified during all three of her performances.

“Everyone had smiles and when the beat of her music started and we bumped the sound system, the whole room just cheered and they were having a great time,” said Schultz.

Needless to say, Topekans were disappointed when Jade didn’t win, but they are not giving up on her. A free community Block Party will be held on the front steps of the Topeka Performing Arts Center on May 27th, welcoming hometown hero Kyla Jade back to Topeka. Jade, a former church choir singer at River of Life church in Topeka, has been making Topeka proud as a top contestant on The Voice this season, and now she will be celebrated by the city and the community at this event. The event will be family-friendly (including dogs), and will also feature food trucks. Bringing lawn chairs is recommended.


Cartelli’s future looks bright

As the judges gushed repeatedly throughout the season, Cartelli’s voice is impressive for a 15-year-old, not to mention her poise and confidence on stage. Some are saying that Cartelli could actually be a game-changer for the singing competition, because she has a real shot at becoming the show’s first mainstream star.

For all the success of “The Voice,” still one of the country’s most-watched TV shows, the most common criticism is that it hasn’t produced an actual superstar. While some contestants have found music careers after the show, plenty have struggled. And no one has come near the level of Clarkson, who rocketed to stardom after winning the first season of “American Idol” in 2002.

Cartelli’s original song, “Walk My Way” was written by Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter and Nick Monson. Michaels, who performed with Cartelli on the finale and was a “Voice” mentor this season, is one of pop music’s most prominent rising artists. Tranter is an extremely successful songwriter for acts from Britney Spears to Selena Gomez, and Monson is known for producing Lady Gaga. Those credentials alone give the song a boost, plus the fact it is very catchy, with a chorus that will almost certainly get stuck in your head.

Brynn, from Longmeadow, Massachusetts, started out the show when she was just 14 years old. She balances her love for music with her busy school schedule and love for sports like lacrosse. Establishing herself as a growing musician in her hometown through school talent shows, Cartelli enjoyed playing at local coffee shops and smaller venues before finding success on The Voice.

As the winner, Cartelli will receive $100,000 in prize money and a record deal with Universal Music Group. First-time coach Kelly Clarkson also gets to collect the win on her first run on this show as well.

Clarkson was a brand-new coach on ‘The Voice’ this year — but that didn’t stop her from making a bold proclamation in the very first episode of the season last February, when she made a bid for Cartelli.

“I can win with you,” Clarkson said to Cartelli, after turning her chair for her at her blind audition.

Blake Shelton was the only other coach to turn his chair, but the young singer picked Clarkson to be her coach. She later said on Facebook, “thank you Lord for bringing Kelly Clarkson into my life!”

“[Kelly has been] setting me up for a future after the show so that everyone has an idea of who I am as an artist so that the fans who followed me on this journey get what they deserve from me, which is a pop/soul style of music,” Cartelli previously told reporters about what kind of coach Clarkson is, having been down this singing competition path, herself, when she won the first season of American Idol in 2002.

“She’s so encouraging and down to earth,” Cartelli said. “Kelly behind the scenes is the same way you see her on camera. She is hilarious. She’s really real and caring. I’ve always looked up to her and now that I can get advice from her, it’s incredible,” Cartelli said.

“I’m gonna be Brynn’s big sis for life. One just because I love her parents. We would totally barbeque. She’s kind of stuck with me regardless if she desires it or not,” Clarkson joked. “I love being her friend, I love being her mentor and being her cheerleader.”

The show also confirmed the return of Clarkson and fellow ‘American Idol’ alum Jennifer Hudson as coaches for Season 15, joining Shelton and Adam Levine.


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