“It’s still so weird!” exclaims Maelyn Jarmon, the Season 16 winner of “The Voice” when reacting to her recent victory. “It hasn’t hit me yet. I don’t know when it will. For now, I’m just so excited and it’s amazing that people want to talk to me.” Senior Gold Derby editor Marcus James Dixon and contributor Denton Davidson recently spoke to the Team John Legend champion, who defeated Team Blake Shelton‘s Gyth Rigdon, Dexter Roberts and Andrew Sevener to win the title during Tuesday’s season finale. Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“Before I went there I was like, ‘Any chair turn is going to be amazing,'” she says when asked why she chose originally Legend as her coach. “But I said to myself, if John turns, he’s the one I want because I’ve just respected him for so long. I really understood him because he’s a story teller and that’s very much how I approach music. He’s done so much in the music industry, obviously he’s an EGOT! I felt like we would work well together and I liked the idea that he was fresh to it.”
“Don’t try to be impressive, try to make an impression,” Maelyn advises any future “Voice” contestants. “Stick to who you are and be honest. You don’t need to do all the bells and whistles if that’s not what you love to do. What people want to hear is you being confident in yourself and doing what you do well.”
Some viewers this season were surprised to learn that the pitch-perfect vocalist is actually completely deaf in one ear. Despite that setback, Maelyn actually believes it has helped her become a better singer. “I was two years old when I lost my hearing in my right ear,” she confesses. “I was so young, but I had a lot of time to adjust to it. With music, it’s all about vibrations. I can hear even the softest music because of the vibration. I can pick up a key based on where that vibration sits instead of frequencies. I always see artists plug one ear to hear themselves and harmonize. I guess it’s kind of like always having that for me.”
Maelyn also reveals just how intense that final week was. “We had a commercial to shoot. We didn’t just have one song, we had three songs plus our A-list duet. We had to record all those songs. I did all three of my songs in one day! It was an insane day. Everybody sees what happens on television, but it’s a crazy schedule. But it gives you a taste into what this life can be like and it shows you what you’re made of! To know that I can handle it feels like a great takeaway from this whole experience.”
One of the highlights of Maelyn’s journey was when she got perform the iconic song “Angel” with one of her idols, Sarah McLachlan. “Oh my God!” she screams. “She’s been such an inspiration to me for so long. A lot of my family members that are musicians love her and I grew up listening to her. That was her most iconic song. I was a little nervous because sometimes when you meet your heroes you’re afraid they’re not going to be as nice as you want them to be. She is the nicest person and she is so cool. I was like, no freakin’ way am I singing this song with Sarah McLachlan! She’s just a dream.”
“It’s insane! It’s crazy!” Maelyn responds when Davidson lets her know her number one iTunes hit “Hallelujah” is above A-list stars like Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift. “You hope for the best coming on a show like this,” she continues. “To have recorded these songs that I have really deep connections to and to have that translate to the recordings and for other people to feel what I was feeling is everything. I’m beyond grateful. That is crazy to be not known and then two months later be topping the charts.”