After looking back at Season 1 last week, it’s time to take a look back at Season 2 of The Voice – because Season 3 is only one week away! The new season starts next Monday, September 10, at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC. But weren’t we just here a few months ago? Yes, we totally were.
Aired: February 5, 2012 – May 8, 2012
Winner: Jermaine Paul (Team Blake)
Finalists: (in order of finish) Jermaine Paul (Team Blake), Juliet Simms (Team Cee Lo), Tony Lucca (Team Adam), Chris Mann (Team Christina)
Highlights of the Season: With the post-Super Bowl debut, The Voice touted itself as bigger and better, and became more of a spectacle than it had been during Season 1. We had more artists. More four-chair turnarounds during the blind auditions. More blind auditions! In general, “more is better” seemed to be the philosophy.
Yet as the show brought more artists, it also proved to be anyone’s game. No one dominated Season 2 the way that Javier Colon had dominated Season 1. In battle rounds, hearts broke as the coaches had to choose between Tony Vincent and Justin Hopkins, or Jesse Campbell and Anthony Evans, sending great singers home early. Live rounds brought show-stopping performances, whether it was Team Cee Lo’s Jamar Rogers wrenching every bit of soul out of Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life,” or Team Adam’s Tony Lucca reinventing himself with Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time,” or Team Christina’s Chris Mann daring to bring opera to a mainstream audience. Oh, and we got to hear Maroon 5 premiere their new single “Payphone,” making the second season in a row they brought a smash hit to the Voice stage first.
For the first time, the show also saw itself infused with a little drama. In season one, the biggest surprise was Jeff Jenkins being sent home and Casey Weston being saved. In season two, we had instant eliminations thrown in after Adam Levine questioned the artists’ dedication, the shocking elimination of Team Christina’s Jesse Campbell, Team Cee Lo’s Erin Martin expressing her regrets upon her departure, and an obvious tension between Christina Aguilera and Adam that some people thought cost Tony the Season 2 title.
Changes This Season:
- Team sizes were expanded from eight artists to twelve artists.
- Following battle rounds, instead of making the duets themselves available for download, NBC opted instead to release the winner’s version of the duet song.
- Instant eliminations were added during live shows.
- Finalists did not get to perform with a guest artist during this season’s finale; instead, teams served as background vocalists for guest artists throughout the season, such as Team Christina with Jessie J on “Domino” and Team Adam with Gym Class Heroes and Neon Hitch on “Ass Back Home.”
- This was the first season to reveal the exact placement of the four finalists; previously, season one had simply named the winner and runner-up, and not specifically who placed third or fourth.
- Christina Milian replaced Alison Haislip as Social Media Correspondent.
- The show picked up its first Emmy nominations for this season.
- Season 2’s Top 8 did not tour, as The Voice Live on Tour was cancelled for Season 2, allegedly due to low ticket sales.
Where Are They Now?
- Since NBC/Universal Republic didn’t put together a tour, Team Cee Lo’s Justin Hopkins and Team Adam’s Pip took it upon themselves to arrange a one-night-only gathering of at least half of Season 2’s artists not long after the season ended. “The After Party” was a fantastic evening and a wonderful opportunity for fans to hear the artists perform their own original material. Kudos to those two gentlemen for all their hard work and thanks to everyone who turned out!
- Winner Jermaine Paul was signed to Universal Republic Records and released his first single, a cover of “Butterfly Kisses”, earlier this year. He is working on his upcoming album, and also has plans to open a music school, because he’s awesome like that. Here’s my post-victory interview with Jermaine.
- Runner-up Juliet Simms is also hard at work recording and touring. Along with her cohorts Tony Lucca, Chris Mann and Season 1’s Dia Frampton, she recently performed at The Grove Los Angeles.
- Third-place finisher Tony Lucca is hard at work on the road, as his “Chapter Two” tour is in full swing. He’ll be appearing with a number of his old Voice pals along the way, including Justin Hopkins, Jordis Unga and Chris Cauley. You can read two of my follow-up interviews with Tony from May 2012 and July 2012.
- Fourth-place finisher Chris Mann was also signed to Universal Republic through their imprint Faircraft, and has not one but two albums headed your way this October – a regular one and a Christmas one. Circle October 30 on your calendar, folks! (And stay tuned, as I’m still trying to get a follow-up interview with Chris once he stops being everywhere.)
- Team Blake’s Raelynn also landed a record deal.
- A number of Season 2 artists took to crowd-funding to raise capital for upcoming projects, including Tony Vincent, Lindsey Pavao, Pip, Charlotte Sometimes, Lee Koch, Angie Johnson, Jordis Unga, Nathan Parrett and Jesse Campbell.
- Team Cee Lo’s Tony Vincent released the EP In My Head, performed an amazing show at New York’s Rockwood Music Hall, and has plenty of plans for his future. Check out my interview with Tony here.
- Team Adam’s Pip is working on recording his new release, No Formalities, and is YouTube documenting the whole process. Check out episode one here and keep your eyes open for more.
- Here’s my chat with Chris Cauley from Team Adam.
- Team Blake’s Erin Willett is recording her EP. Here’s our catch-up chat.
- Team Cee Lo semi-finalist Jamar Rogers released the single “Where Would I Be Without You” and set off on tour with another Cee Lo student, Season 1’s Vicci Martinez. He was also kind enough to let me interview him not once, but twice. Here’s our exit interview and here’s our catch-up chat from his tour stop in San Diego.
- Here’s my follow-up interview with Katrina Parker from Team Adam, who is busy writing and recording as we speak, and has released a few tracks via her mailing list (so get yourself over there if you haven’t already!)
- Here’s my chat with Nicolle Galyon from Team Adam, who’s been collaborating with the likes of Raelynn and Tony Lucca.
- Team Adam’s Karla Davis released the album 360, which you can get by clicking here, and you can also read my review.
- Team Adam’s Kim Yarbrough hit the stage in Let The Church Roll On in Los Angeles, appeared in an episode of Nickelodeon’s Hollywood Heights, and has an appearance in the upcoming CBS series Vegas. Check out my follow-up interview with Kim.
- Team Adam’s Nathan Parrett also hit the stage in Spring Awakening and continues to put out fantastic cover tunes via YouTube. Go here to check those out.
- Speaking of covers, Team Cee Lo’s Shields Brothers are still punching America in the face on a regular basis with those. Here is their version of “Born In The USA.” Here is the awesome lyric video to their first single, too.
- And Team Christina’s Moses Stone has new music on the way very soon. Here’s my follow-up chat with Moses.
Next week, we start all over again! The Voice returns Monday, September 10 at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC.