From the moment Cassadee Pope first stepped onto The Voice stage, I was already rooting for her to go all the way. Her performance of “Torn” already sucked me in–I could feel how much she wanted this in her voice, in the fragility of her phrasing, her natural, friendly charisma. And knowing her background in the pop-punk band Hey Monday initially helped me to understand her a little more. My intent following of Dia Frampton since her beginning days in Meg & Dia allowed me to get an inside-scoop into the trials, ups-and-downs, successes and low spots of a touring punk-rock band; and both of their youth and desire in this industry made everything they’ve done in the past a testament to the person they are today, and where they are to go in the future. Those punk-band days at Warped Tour and the like are training grounds for breeding artists with a passion for music.
But, like all things in youth, we have to let go of something in order to let ourselves flourish into the people we are today. I was never bitter toward the end of Meg & Dia, because letting go of that past helps everyone flourish and to take advantage of everything we are and have been, into the future. The past holds one back, and to put the past to good terms–for all its been–helps us propel into our current selves. Cassadee leaving Hey Monday and pursuing her own solo career was something I came to understand through following Dia Frampton, and I couldn’t root her on anymore throughout the season.
But, aside from the past, there’s always been something very emotional about Cassadee that I’ve been so drawn to. And, what made my heart warm up so much was hearing that–upon Carson Daly asking the top 4 what really made them fall in love with music–Cassadee said that as a little girl, she heard a melody that just made her cry–and that little encounter has really transcended into the person she is today, for she can damn tell a story through a song and connect like nobody else. Blake and all of the other Voice coaches have all agreed on the fact that Cassadee has a true, genuine spirit in being able to emotionally connect with the audience and with her song. Through listening to her, we all feel her heart. And the ability to capture hearts is an ability that never goes unnoticed–our feelings of the heart are the strongest connection we have to something, which is why we’ve all fallen in love with Cassadee.
Throughout this incredible Voice journey, we’ve been able to not only experience The Voice in a different time of the year–with the momentous fresh new beginning and start of a new school year and end to an extraordinary year with the holiday season present–we’ve been able to grow with Cassadee on the show. At only 23-years-old, she’s at an age where one begins to realize who they are as an individual, and what they want to be doing with their lives; it’s an age where people grow and mold into themselves and begin to truly understand themselves and their surroundings, while, at the same time, looking towards a future of uncertainty with hopes tied on a string we hope can take us far. With Cassadee, we’ve been able to grow confidence in her just as much as she has in herself–and Blake has given her all the support and love and confidence in her voice that she needed to really get to the point she is now. Like Adam said, his ego in her not choosing him doesn’t matter when everything he wished to accomplish with her was accomplished with Blake–and we all couldn’t be more happy for her.
Comparing this season to the past 2 seasons, this season’s strength, will, and ultimate family-based, familial competitiveness went unnoticed. The camaraderie and friendships the contestants made together was infectious, as Cassadee’s relationships with finalists Terry and Nicholas was so heart-warming to see–she herself says that they never let the competition get to their heads, which is what allowed them all to stay friends; the fact they started and ended this all together, with each other, was touching and truly lets people see how The Voice really is a moving journey in one’s life (it lets people believe, have hope, and have courage in the things we feel passionate about).
Also, this season’s talent was tremendously exceptional, as the final contestants truly and genuinely were all winners. We’ve had contestants that truly own up to all of music’s genres, creating a unified atmosphere as a celebration to music, as I’ve written before in a previous post. As past Voice winners have always been questionable, as Season 1’s Javier was just the “face” of the Voice with the great story, with Dia being the fan-favorite and cheated out since, I believe, she didn’t fit the “image” and her story wasn’t ideal winner-potential, and Season 2’s was just messy as they were all unpredictable and Jermaine was just another ideal “face” and story of the Voice winner, I feel that this season was the easiest for The Voice to judge who wins, and for all of us to accept who wins. Cassadee is the 1st-girl finalist to ever “fit” the image of the Voice–Dia didn’t go into the Voice with hopes to win, only to gain recognition for her band’s latest album; Juliet may have been too “intense” and too “hard” of a gal to be an overall, cross-cultural cross-music-wise winner that can appeal to all as a Voice winner.
Cassadee grew with us on the Voice. She has this sweetness that makes her your “girl-next-door”; she has this easy-going attitude (which I think comes from the humility of punk-rock Warped Tour “tourees/roadies”, constantly being in front of the fans and music and experiencing the humility of the music industry); she has the beauty that attracts us, keeps us interested, and has people look up and keep their eyes on her; she has the youth that keeps her and her voice and music relevant to today; and she has the raw talent and voice that got progressed over the season, is able to convey stories and emotions, and truly embody everything a voice should be–from repairing a broken relationship with her father, to conveying that emotion through a song, to being able to stay relevant to her fans in pop, punk, country… She was the easy frontrunner and winner that really deserves all the success she’s given.
And, with such an overwhelming Voice finale, it truly was a celebration for all the contestants on the show. Her winning was really the cherry-on-top to a great season that really moved all of America, whoever followed the show… The best season the show has ever had, and one of the best reality shows I’ve ever followed to date… This is the greatest blessing anything or anyone could ever bestow upon Cassadee Pope. It just lies testament to the immense support and mad belief we all have in this girl, who came into the competition not knowing and unsure of how good she actually is. [I guess it’s also my youth and own lack of belief and confidence in myself and familiar feeling of wanting something so bad, that lets me relate to her in this way…] It’s Cassadee we’ve all truly fallen in love with… Not just the voice in her, her talent, her beauty, her down-to-earth attitude… It’s everything she is, stands for, and behaves. In a short interview with AccessHollywood after the finale, she recites that she was greatly humbled through meeting Kelly Clarkson; she states that one of the best things she learned from her was “just seeing her personality and how down-to-earth she is really made me feel like… you know, it’s all about how you act and the way you treat people. and if you just so happen to be talented as well that’s great, but, you know the most important part is to treat people with respect.” Cassadee’s truly a good-hearted and humble girl, which is why I, and I’m sure many, can say they’re glad she won this little thing we call The Voice…