Unless you followed the entire season of “The Voice,” you wouldn’t know it, but Miley Cyrus technically has more than one artist in next week’s finale. Yes, Brooke Simpson, is the only finalist currently on Team Miley, but both Addison Agen and Chloe Kohanski began their journeys as a member of Miley’s “all female” team before being let go in the Battles and Knockouts, respectively, and stolen by other coaches. Brooke, however, has been on Miley’s team since the Season 13 premiere when her epic blind audition of “Stone Cold” convinced all four coaches to turn their chairs for her. With that first performance, Brooke established herself as a powerhouse vocalist with a voice strong enough to take on pop music’s biggest ballads with ease and grace.
After her stellar blind audition, Brooke, I’ll admit, coasted through the next two rounds with good (not great) performances of “You’re a Big Girl Now” in the Battles and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” in the Knockouts. Pitted against artists with less strong voices, Brooke won both those head-to-heads easily before her first true test, the Playoffs, where she performed first for Team Miley and set the bar too high to reach with a stunning rendition of “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” At the time, Team Miley was one of the strongest in the competition and with Miley having to cut three of her artists, Brooke delivered on the promise she made with her blind audition and showed that her power mixed with control and charisma made her an unstoppable force in the competition.
In the live shows, Brooke steered away from the older songs she’d chosen for her last few performances to instead position herself as a pop artist like other current stars, taking on first Kesha‘s “Praying” and following it up with Pink‘s “What About Us.” Not only did the two songs establish her among her contemporaries, but they were also deeply personal picks that spoke to who Brooke is as a woman. She is the voice of a generation of Native Americans and women that have felt silenced as minorities within the public sphere and her ability to convey a message through music has been a great value to the competition.
With her last two performances, Brooke doubled down on the personal message of her song choices and they both took her to new heights, vaulting her from a middle-of-the-pack contestant to a dark horse contender to win the whole thing. In the Top 10 Brooke became the highest charting artist of the week when “Amazing Grace” reached #2 on the iTunes chart and this week her solo of “Faithfully” topped out at #6. If Brooke can string together a set of performances in the finale that speak to her core audience, show off her insanely powerful vocal ability and connect to her personal story then the other artists better watch out–Brooke Simpson has what it takes to win!
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