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Voices Of The Past: Check Out Vintage Music By ‘The Voice’ Finalists

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

It's already been well-established that most of the contestants on "The Voice" came to the show as seasoned pros, with plenty of experience in film, on other reality shows, or on major record labels (that had long since dropped them). This raised more than a few eyebrows among skeptical viewers--especially when some contestants' professional pasts were conveniently not mentioned on the show--but to be fair, "The Voice" never claimed that its singers were total newbies. That's a Cinderella myth that still seems to be at the heart of talent shows like "American Idol" and "America's Got Talent," even if it's kind of a fallacy these days.

And, to be fair, none of these contestants ever really "made it." Sure, they came close, but nothing ever fully came together for them, despite their obvious talent and some golden opportunities. So, having exhausted other avenues of stardom-seeking, they finally turned to NBC. And now, finally, they are household names. Hey, that's the power of television for you.  

Here's what "The Voice's" final four were up to before they made Adam, Cee Lo, Blake, and Xtina's chairs spin around. Judging from their past work, which one do you think has the best shot at post-"Voice" success?

JAVIER COLON

As his mentor Adam Levine put it, this is not Javier's first time at the rodeo. He sang with the Derek Trucks Band in the early 2000s, and was signed to Capitol Records after that; the first single off his 2003 self-titled debut album for Capitol, "Crazy," was a minor chart success, reaching number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 42 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. (Javier also got to number 91 on the Billboard albums chart.) Javier's second album, Left Of Center, was less successful, although it featured a guest spot by fellow neo-soulman Anthony Hamilton and garnered positive reviews. While the now-31-year-old's Capitol deal was mentioned on his "Voice" webpage on the NBC site, it was not brought up on the show until last week, long after viewers had figured out how to use YouTube and Wikipedia to learn all this themselves. But no one seemed to mind. If anything, it just stirred up outrage that Javier was not more successful back in the day.

DIA FRAMPTON

Dia's stagefright has been a big story arc on "The Voice," which is odd since she was on the Warped Tour in the Warner Bros. Records duo Meg & Dia not too long ago. Maybe she's just uncomfortable having to go onstage without her sister Meg beside her. Over the past six years, Meg & Dia released four albums--two on Warner, before getting dropped in 2010--as well as a handful of EPs, and they toured with emo bands like Angels & Airwaves and Cute Is What We Aim For. (They even came into the Yahoo! studio to sing backup for the Rocket Summer once.) Dia has not mentioned any of this on the show, strangely--all that's ever been revealed on-air about her pre-"Voice" existence is that she authors children's books--but regardless, she has proven that she is a star even without Meg's accompaniment.

VICCI MARTINEZ

Vicci never had a major record deal, but she's been making music since she was 14 years old. She once competed on "Star Search," and got through on "American Idol" but decided not to continue on that show, interestingly. (Check out a fascinating article on Vicci's teen past, by an industry veteran who booked Vicci for a Seattle music conference 11 years ago.) She's put out EIGHT independent albums, and even gigged with superstars like Annie Lennox and Avril Lavigne. The Vicci performance below, from 10 years ago (when she was about 15), proves she's been waiting for her big break for a long time, and she deserves it.

BEVERLY MCCLELLAN

Like Vicci, Bev has been recording and releasing music on her own for many years; she started playing piano at age 4 and gigging professionally at age 24. (She's 42 now.) She's released multiple albums, including one earlier this year, all with a homespun Etheridgian vibe. Check out a track from her 2003 album Talk Of The Town below.

So which of the "Voice" finalists do you think most deserves a shot (even if it's a second shot) at stardom? Let your own voice be heard on the message board here!

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