The Voice had very few surprises in its season 9 finale. The person who everyone thought would win ended up winning. In fact, the results followed our own prediction poll almost exactly, with Jeffrey coming in fourth, Barrett in third and Emily Ann second. No one is surprised that Jordan Smith won The Voice. Just because he was the expected winner doesn’t mean he was the “best” or most deserving winner, though. Should Jordan Smith have really won The Voice?
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What Kind of Music Will Jordan Make Anyway?
Considering The Voice in a vacuum, it’s pretty hard to argue Jordan’s merits. He did have one of the (if not the) best voices on the show this season. As soon as the live shows started, Jordan dominated the iTunes charts and The Voice stage. He was a star very early on and it was easy to predict even then that he would win the whole thing. However, we can’t just consider The Voice in a vacuum. The show is about spotlighting undiscovered talent, but it’s also about building careers. As good as Jordan was on The Voice, he might not be as successful outside of it.
Jordan has a fantastic voice and can do pretty much any genre. The problem is after weeks of competition, I have no idea what genre of singer Jordan considers himself to fit into. He picked everything from rock and gospel to pop and R&B, but I couldn’t identify a quintessential Jordan Smith song. With the other three finalists, it’s pretty easy to assume what their hypothetical album would sound like, but Jordan is a complete question mark.
If Emily Ann had won The Voice, I don’t think there would be any question of what her career would look like post-competition. It’s quite easy to imagine someone like Emily Ann on country radio. I don’t know if we’ll hear Jordan on the radio, let alone know which type of station would air his songs.
This is a deeply hypothetical conversation, but I still think it is important. The Voice does not have a great track record with being able to support its artists after they win. Danielle Bradbery and Cassadee Pope have had some success, but that is still grading on a very steep curve. Once The Voice is no longer supporting them on a weekly basis, the artists have a hard time making a splash on their own. Jordan, sadly, might not be any different.
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Does It Even Matter?
The odds are stacked against Jordan; even his most ardent fans must admit that fact. Yet no matter how dour things look, it might end up being irrelevant. Jordan is a talented enough singer that he could be become a superstar, the first ever superstar to come out of The Voice. Let’s face it: on pure talent level, he has to at least rank in the top five singers ever to win the show.
It may actually be a positive for Jordan that he never settled on one genre on The Voice. The world is open to him now to try whatever. He just has to get the right team of songwriters and producers. Yes, Jordan won’t have The Voice supporting him on a weekly basis anymore, but he did manage to outsell Adele, twice — once with a song that can hardly be considered a popular hit or even relevant. Not every teenager is listening and humming to Julie Andrews classic show tunes on their phone/iPod.
As mentioned in my prediction article, Jordan really seems like the perfect winner for The Voice. He is unconventional and “ordinary,” but he sounds extraordinary. Jordan is someone that no one would expect to win based solely off of his appearance, but he dominated The Voice this season. There is hope that he might be able to defy similar odds in the real world. Jordan could finally deliver on The Voice‘s promise of creating a musical superstar. Jordan would not only be the “best” contestant to win season 9 then but also one of the “best” contestants ever to compete on The Voice.
But what do you think? Does Jordan have a chance at stardom outside of The Voice? Does that really matter in determining how much he “deserved” his success on The Voice? Do you even think he was the wrong winner all together? Do you think Emily Ann, Barrett or even Jeffery would have been a better and more successful winner?
The Voice season 10 premieres Monday, February 29 at 8pm on NBC.
(Images courtesy of NBC)