The Voice Of The Future
Written and Photographed By Carrie Edelstein
While the results might not have been what Kennedy Holmes and all of her fans in St. Louis and across the country might have wanted, there’s no doubt the youngest contestant ever on NBC’s “The Voice” is still on the path to stardom. Considering her audition went viral months ago, perhaps it’s even a blessing in disguise Kennedy didn’t win the reality singing show; she’s now a free agent just like her coach, Jennifer Hudson, was when was eliminated in the final rounds of “American Idol” several years ago.
“There’s no words to describe how nice she’s been to me and how comfortable I feel around her and I feel like that’s really important when you’re working with a celebrity that you’ve been looking up to forever,” says Kennedy. “She’s been giving me great advice and great tips to be prepared to go into the music industry which I’ve been really thankful for.”
If you’re not familiar with how “The Voice” works, this season contestants auditioned to have a chance to choose from Blake Shelton, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson or Adam Levine as coaches. As the season progressed, America voted for their favorites and contestants were eliminated. The four finalists were Kennedy, Blake Shelton’s team of Kirk Jay and Chris Kroeze, and Kelly Clarkson’s Chevel Shepherd. Team Kelly won for the second season in a row. It was a surprise among the live audience and judges when the announcement was made. All four celebrity judges/coaches had praised Kennedy throughout the season. On the first night of the finale, Kennedy debuted her hit single “Love is Free,” to which Kelly Clarkson said, “You look older than you are and you are so beautiful and your voice just sounds huge!”
In the first blind audition round, Adam Levine said, “Very rarely does someone come around who kind of reignites that passion for what we do and you do that.” Jennifer Hudson told Kennedy, “You were made to be right where you are.”
“Kennedy growing up has always been really special and we knew that. I was always telling her how to conduct herself because I knew this moment would happen,” says Kennedy’s mom, Karen Holmes. “I didn’t know when or how but I knew it would happen. We’ve just always been preparing for this.”
So what happens next? Karen has been taking time off from her job at Ameren, Kennedy’s dad, Shawn, was off from his work in the food and beverage industry, and Kennedy’s brother, a sophomore at Washington University, also joined the family party. It sure seems like the family is committed to keeping Kennedy in the spotlight.
“She will come back to St. Louis. Now I don’t know for how long but she will come back,” says Karen. “She misses volleyball, she misses her classmates, she misses all of her friends. We just have to take it day by day. This has all been incredible.”
Even though many involved with “The Voice” have been singing longer than Kennedy’s been alive, this opportunity is a head start for the teenager. “I feel like win or lose it feels like I’ve won because no matter what happens I’ve been given this opportunity and being up here at such a young age has been amazing.”
Look for more coverage of the night soon in our January/February print version of Sophisticated Living.