The Voice, one of America’s most popular reality TV shows, enters its 16th season Monday. And just in time for the premiere, we dug into every song ever sung by a Chicago-area contestant.
From Marvin Gaye to Imagine Dragons, most of the 27 locals stuck with chart-topping pop and R&B — with a few exceptions. Looking at their song selections, a few things stand out: The Billboard Hot 100 remains hot, the ’90s are not, and the Chicago area has more than one (or two) “Beliebers.”
No Chicago-area contestant has over won. (Season 9’s Jeffery Austin made it the farthest — fourth place.) Could this season give us a winning Chicagoan? While you wait to find out, impress your friends with these Chicago bits of The Voice trivia.
What’s everybody singing?
Chicago-area contestants performed 90 times — but only four songs were ever picked twice. Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Imagine Dragon’s “Believer,” The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” and Miami Sound Machine’s “Conga” were each sung by two different local contestants.
Who coached ‘em?
Blake Shelton, who’s been a coach every season, has helped the most Chicagoans (maybe he has a thing for our fine city.) Know who coached just one? Chicago native Jennifer Hudson, but she was only on the show in seasons 3, 13 and 15.
Adele and ‘Bieber fever’
Chicago contestants gravitated towards singing the songs of popular artists. Singers like Justin Bieber and Adele understandably topped the list. But some choices are less expected: Multiple Chicago-area contestants chose songs by British singer Labrinth.
We thought the ’90s were fun …
But apparently, ’90s songs don’t make good choices on The Voice. Only three Chicago-area contestants sang something released in that decade — maybe grunge just doesn’t showcase your vocal range the way a good Ariana Grande ballad does. About half of Chicago contestants’ song choices were contemporary, released somewhere after 2000. Next most popular: the ’70s and ’80s (especially disco, pop and songs that make you move).
Know these songs?
The vast majority of songs that Chicago-area contestants sang on The Voice have been on the Billboard Hot 100. Makes sense: If you want to capture fans, sing songs they love. But a few contestants made some riskier choices by pulling out songs that never charted, like Bishop Briggs’ “River” and Amos Lee’s “Sweet Pea” (featured on an AT&T commercial!). Plus, one instance of “O Holy Night.”
Happy Voice watching!
Thanks to NBC for providing the data.