Monday, June 24, 2013


While we are now enjoying and criticising the first few weeks of ABSCBN's new franchise The Voice of the Philippines, The Voice US and UK finally ended another season this June. 

The Voice US finale happened last June 18th while The Voice UK finale took place just this June 22nd. Let's get to know the two beautiful women who won the trending singing competition: Danielle Bradbery and Andrea Begley.

Danielle Bradbery
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The soon to be 17-year-old country singer Danielle Simone Bradbery was born and raised in Cypress, Texas together with her other 5 siblings. She had no vocal lessons, no experience in any singing competition, or performing in front of a big crowd before joining The Voice US. It was her mom who forced her to join and told her that she needs to do something with that voice. Wow, talk about beginner's luck!

Bradbery sang Taylor Swift's "Mean" during blind auditions, turning the chairs of Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Usher. She chose to be in Shelton's team.

Bradbery sang 14 songs for the whole season. She sang Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On" during battle rounds and Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take The Wheel" for the Knockout Rounds. Her version of Pam Tillis' "Maybe It Was Memphis" and Sara Evans' "Born To Fly" reached the top 3 and top 2 spot in iTunes. 

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This is coach Blake Shelton's third win, out of the competition's 4 seasons. Danielle Bradbery gave a very awesome birthday gift for his coach not just by winning but also for finally winning the reality show with a country singer. Yes, Bradbery is the first country singer and also the youngest to win The Voice!

She is now signed with Big Machines Records, together with famous country singers Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift. Because of this, she is now being tagged as the next young pop-country singer after Swift. In her interview with Rolling Stone though, she said that she wanted to be this generation's Carrie Underwood, which is one of her musical influences together with Miranda Lambert and Martina McBride.

Honestly, though I wanted Team Usher's Michelle Chamuel to win, I can't deny that this young girl from Texas' undoubtedly deserving! With her chart topping performances and charming smile (I think she's really cute), Danielle Bradbery definitely has what it takes to be the next... Taylor Swift! Sorry, I meant the next best thing in pop-country music.

TWITTER: @DBradbery 

Andrea Begley
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Precisely why I didn't compare the two winners is because they tell a totally different story.

The 26-years-old civil servant was born and raised in County Tyrone, until she moved in Belfast. She's taking up a Masters Degree in Law and unlike Danielle, performing isn't really a new thing for her. She has been joining singing contests before, luckily winning some of them. Andrea's into song writing, plays the piano & guitar, and has been gigging around Belfast all for the love of music. Not to mention that she also happens to be the niece of Irish country legend Philomena Begley.

TV bosses also kept it a secret that Andrea has fans already prior to The Voice because she starred on a TV show titled "The Hit". This isn't a new thing though as Kavana and Cleo of Cleopatra also took their chance for a second shot. 

Andrea chose Sarah McLachlan's Angel as her blind auditions piece, impressing The Script's Danny O'Donoghue and Tom Jones. Some were surprised that as compared to the legendary artist, Andrea chose the band vocalist. What is interesting with this blind audition though is that it is not only the coaches who are "blind" from the competition, but even Andrea herself. Andrea is now living with a 10% residual vision due to glaucoma. She started losing vision when she was 6 years old, but that didn't stop her in any way.

She performed "People Help The People" for the Battle Performance with Alice Barlow and "Songbird" at the Knockout rounds. She sang The Lumineers' "Ho Hey" for the Quarter Finals and also performed one of my favorites "Hall of Fame" in the finale. Among her other musical influences are KT Tunstal, Adele and Cara Dillon.

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Her coach Danny O'Donoghue had a hard time during semi-finals when BBC asked him to decide who to bring home between Karl Michael or Andrea. He refused stating that there's a format to follow. Danny considered Andrea as an inspiration and that he learned more from her than the other way around.

Her win created some debate and issues as well, like quoting the result as "unexplainable" and even tweeting: 

Some also believed that sympathy or pity made her win the competition, and that Leah McFall deserves it more. I hate to agree with it somehow, but it just makes me wonder if she would still win if she isn't visually impaired.

Well Andrea Begley is set to sign for record label giant Universal, so I guess she still got what she wants anyway. Let us just be inspired that despite society's judgment, she was still determined to follow her passion in music, and even end up being hailed as winner!  

TWITTER: @ABegleymusic 

Congratulations to the new found voices of US and UK! I wonder if our Philippine version of the show would produce a female winner too? I guess we'll have to find that out on my future posts.

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