The Voice Contestants Who Are Unrecognizable Now

For nearly two decades, The Voice has kept fans tuning in to see which contestants can turn the judges' chairs around. The series has quickly become the No. 1 alternative show on television (via Broadway World), and there's a reason for that: this successful singing competition has something specific that sets it apart. "You don't have to worry about what someone looks like," judge Blake Shelton explained in the original promo. It's all about what they sound like.

However, while the primetime television show hopes to feature contestants that are solely recognizable by their singing voices, many of these vocalists have become hard to recognize by face. From singing every night in NBC's spotlight to making a life with music work when they arrive back home, many contestants have created an entirely new look for themselves. As celebrity coach Adam Levine so eloquently explained, "Remember the '70s? There were some sketchy-looking people that had gorgeous voices."  

Here are just a few contestants from The Voice that are unrecognizable now.

Cassadee Pope from The Voice has become a country star

Cassadee Pope's country music career has come a long way since her wildly successful blind audition during Season 3 of The Voice. However, even after becoming the first woman to win, Pope found it challenging to obtain a successful music career in the country capital of the world. Though she fit in Nashville just fine, "I also felt a challenge to prove myself as an artist and not just a winner of a singing competition," she told People. (By the way, here's how much Cassadee Pope is really worth.)

After a whirlwind of television appearances, touring, and ending her engagement to Rian Dawson, Pope needed to take time to reflect. "There were a lot of times when I felt in my gut something was right or something was wrong and I wasn't able to really do anything about it," she explained to Country Living.

When stay-at-home orders were issued in 2020, that gave Pope — who's unrecognizable now — time to write original material. She even enlisted her boyfriend, Nashville star Sam Palladio, to sing on her new album. "To be able to have that freedom now is really empowering," she admitted.

The Voice's Tessanne Chin went back to jam in Jamaica

While working as a background singer for Jamaica's iconic Jimmy Cliff, Tessanne Chin was set on creating a successful solo career for herself in the states (via NBC). She signed up to compete on Season 5 of The Voice, and impressed all the celebrity judges from the start. It's no surprise, then, that Chin was later crowned the winner of the singing competition. "I never expected quite how much my life would change," she admitted on Instagram.

After a successful press tour and traveling for weeks at a time all across the country, the reggae rock star decided she'd been away from her family for too long. To that end, Chin headed back to Jamaica, got married, and announced she was expecting her first child in January of 2020. And while she's unrecognizable now, Chin hasn't given up on singing, even when she was super pregnant. "I'm beyond happy I get to share these moments with #Babygirl even though I wonder if she's thinking 'Hey !!! What's going on up there !?!?! Too loud !!!'" she joked.

Addison Agen is still singing after appearing on The Voice

Even though Addison Agen was only 16 years old when she first appeared on The Voice, she had already released her own music. As the daughter of a music therapist and record shop owner, you could say that a career in music was inevitable. In fact, her mom was the one who surprised her with an audition for the show; she also bought her the plane ticket to California, and got her to an open call for Season 13. 

Still, it seemed to be a surprise for everybody that Agen made it to the final round of the entire show. "I told everybody that I was at a summer camp," Agen told College Media Network.

Though she ended the season as the runner-up, Agen has continued to sing, and she's unrecognizable now. She's released a few albums, and even toured alongside Kevin Bacon's band in 2019, as she once noted on her website, which is no longer available. "The Voice happened and that made me realize music isn't something that has to just be a hobby," she shared. It was a dream she had that ended up being not so far out of reach!

The Voice's Meghan Linsey made all her dreams come true

Country-slash-pop singer Meghan Linsey never had plans to audition for The Voice. In fact, she was standing in line at Panera Bread when a producer called who had seen her singing on YouTube; within days, she was in Los Angeles at her blind audition. After that, she quickly advanced to the final round, ultimately finding herself as the runner-up on Season 8. 

After that, Linsey jumped on a press tour, did multiple radio shows, and even toured with Reba McEntire. She was truly living out her singing dream — even though it all happened so fast. "I had all these things written down that I wanted to do, and I did them," Linsey told Entertainment Tonight. No wonder she's unrecognizable now.

After ending The Voice on such a high note, what could possibly be next for her? "We're actually working on a new project now that's more in the country vein," she revealed back in 2019. In March 2021, she and fiancé Tyler Cain released "Nowhere With You."

Juliet Simms from The Voice continues to sing rock 'n' roll on the road

Celebrity coach Cee Lo Green had his eyes on Juliet Simms ever since she first stepped on stage at The Voice during Season 2. "I told her from the beginning, I'm dedicated to building her career," he revealed in a statement. So it's no surprise that when she ended the competition in second place, he signed her himself.

This feisty female rocker didn't let him down either. Before she even left The Voice, Simms broke two Billboard download records with songs she sang on the show (via 360). She later went on to release three solo albums and go on tour, something she'd done long before the popular singing competition came into her life. In fact, she began touring when she was just a teen (via Wood News). 

However, one thing that's lacking for Simms — who's unrecognizable now — while playing rock 'n' roll is other ladies that she can relate to. "Why aren't there more girls?" she wondered in a chat with Consequence of Sound. "I feel like the rock world, it's a man's world, and there needs to be more women."

In 2021, Simms rebranded herself as Lilith Czar and released the album "Created From Filth and Dust," as noted by Paper.

Caroline Pennell maintained good grades when she competed on The Voice

Caroline Pennell was only in high school while she competed on Season 5 of The Voice, but her performances earned her a spot in the top eight before being eliminated. "I have so many good memories from this show," she told TV Line, like performing with the season winner, Tessanne Chin. "All I can do is cheer really loud from home."

However, singing music — between studying for math tests — is something Pennell has always done (via Parade). Before trying out for The Voice, she released an EP that ended up in the top 40 on iTunes — pretty impressive! And now that she's home, she's still working on music, though she's unrecognizable now.

Since Pennell's time on the show, she went to college, but ended up dropping out to chase her musical dream — and to obsess over a new television show. "The British TV show The Great British Bake Off," she told VENTS Magazine. "I just found all the seasons online, so if you need me, I will be watching that religiously."

Casi Joy is spreading joy in other ways after appearing on The Voice

Country singer Casi Joy was primed for success after a four chair turn during Season 12 of The Voice. Rolling Stone even honored her on their list of the top ten blind auditions of all time. However, it was during the live playoffs that Joy ended up being eliminated.

Though Joy — who's unrecognizable now — didn't win The Voice, she won another major title: she became a Mrs. In fact, she sang her vows at their wedding. "I get very nervous talking to people or public speaking, so this was my way to really show how I feel the best way I communicate: through song," she told My Wedding Songs. Joy even released a wedding song called "I Do," and began touring the country alongside her husband.  

When the stay-at-home orders hit in 2020, it took a financial toll on her small family. So Joy began spreading smiles — at least, we can only assume under all those masks — by selling custom merchandise she makes at home. "With the loss of so many more gigs, your orders are keeping us afloat," she posted on Instagram.  But selling merch didn't keep Joy from making music. In June 2021, she released a new song, "Namaste."

The Voice's India Carney has toured internationally

India Carney will never stop educating herself about music. After making to in the final five, this Season 8 alum of The Voice graduated with a degree in music from UCLA. She even decided to teach other aspiring singers what it takes to succeed as a private vocal instructor (via her website).

Carney has since performed alongside artists like Rita Ora — who's undergone a stunning transformation — and Meghan Trainor. After that, she secured a solid gig as a background singer for Katy Perry. In fact, her very first time touring was internationally for this pop star. "I was backstage singing behind one of, like, the biggest artists ever," she explained to Eric Whiteacre's Virtual Choir. "So I got a glimpse into what her life looks like and what the demands are of a pop star." After that, it's no wonder she's unrecognizable now.

However, Carney's never let go of her big dream of becoming a solo singer. "Finally able to say I'm actually putting music out soon," she wrote on Instagram in July 2020. "Stay looney tooned!" In 2021, she released the single "Human," written in response to the racial injustice seen in 2020 (via American Songwriter).

After competing on The Voice, Joanna Serenko just needed some free time

Joanna Serenko put getting a college degree on hold for a chance at winning The Voice (via NBC). "The Voice and American Idol [are shows] every singer tries out for once in their lifetime, to see if they can make it," she explained to St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Serenko surprised herself with a four chair turn at her blind audition, and spent time on Nick Jonas, John Legend — who snagged a coaching gig on The Voice in 2018 — and Blake Shelton's teams as they fought for her throughout Season 18.

When production came to a halt due to stay-at-home orders, producers sent Serenko equipment to record her final episodes in her parents' basement. Though not performing center stage was disappointing, it set her up for success, even after being eliminated from the top nine finalists.

The Voice was a fast-paced phenomenon. So these days, Serenko is just happy to be able to take a break, and she's unrecognizable now. "Now I can release music and post videos again instead of solely working on one thing," she said. "I'm happy."

Kat Robichaud from The Voice stars in her own show now

The quirky Kat Robichaud was doing something much different than making music before she auditioned for Season 5 of The Voice. She had a degree in graphic design, and was performing covers of songs at weddings for some side cash (via SF Weekly). "I definitely did not fit in on [The Voice], but they loved me and tried to keep me going," she told SF Sonic.  

When Robichaud was eliminated after making it in the top ten finalists, she did something even more different than before, which rendered her unrecognizable now: she used the national spotlight to start her own show in San Francisco called the Misfit Cabaret. Every performance gives the audience something new to see, from drag queens to aerialists to puppeteers and everything in between. 

After a successful five-year run, the Misfits Cabaret has spread to Seattle and Los Angeles (via TV Brittany F). And just like Robichaud's wedding singer gigs, she didn't study the field professionally. "I'm not trained in the slightest," she admitted. "Most of what I've learned is from sitting in front of a TV and watching the same musicals over and over and over."

Lexi Luca left show business after appearing on The Voice

According to Idol Chatter & Voice Views, Lexi Luca had auditioned for both X Factor and American Idol before securing a spot on Season 6 of The Voice. "Being 17 and being able to say that I'm on The Voice is crazy," she told ScreenSlam after joining Blake Shelton's team. "It's a dream come true."

Luca had hoped to follow in her hometown hero Cassadee Pope's footsteps, who won the show a few seasons before her. However, Luca was eliminated during the first battle round before heading back to sunny Florida.

From there, singing seemed to take a backseat to being a teen. Luca went on to enroll at Florida Atlantic University, and graduated with her sorority sisters by her side — and she's unrecognizable now. She's also kept out of the spotlight since competing, posting pool selfies instead of videos of her serious singing skills. For now, she just sticks to calling herself "that girl from @nbcthevoice."

The Voice's Vanessa Ferguson waited long enough for her wedding

Simply being asked to audition for Season 12 of The Voice was a huge honor for Vanessa Ferguson (via Greensboro News & Record). Then when she turned the chairs of three judges at her blind audition, it was more than she could have dreamed. Ferguson's singing voice took her to the semi-finals that season, but while the newly engaged lady should have been excited, she'd been waiting to plan her wedding the entire time. "I was relieved when my time there was over so I could go home," she admitted to Greensboro News & Record.

At long last, it was finally time for Ferguson to marry the man of her dreams. "I love travel and seeing the world but I don't like being gone from home for long periods," she continued. "My loved ones come first; career is second." So while her wedding was fabulous as she rocked a red gown down the aisle, singing was not a side thought. She, of course, sang on her special day.

Now that she has tied the knot, Ferguson is unrecognizable. She also plans to release new music when she has time.

Jackie Foster from The Voice is now singing solo

Jackie Foster was preparing for a career in music when television came along and helped it take off. "It was just one of those days when my whole life completely flipped upside down," she explained to Talent Recap. When she was a student studying at Berklee College of Music, she got a call to come audition for The Voice – and was so good that the celebrity judges fought over her quite a bit; Foster was the first singer to be stolen six times by different celebrity coaches, as well as saved from an elimination. She ended up finishing Season 14 in the semi-finals, then headed back to her hometown of San Diego to continue singing with her beloved band.

However, within months of returning home, her band disbanded, leaving Foster feeling lost (via Berklee College of Music). So she dug into her newfound confidence from The Voice, and began to release some solo songs, and she's unrecognizable now. In 2019, Foster even found herself performing at Lollapalooza. "This is something that I have dreamed of doing," she gushed in a chat with the Recording Academy.

The Voice's Amber Carrington went from singing to substitute teaching

The Voice contestant Amber Carrington was Team Adam Levine all the way. He was the only judge that turned his chair around for her during her blind audition, but he was all she needed to advance on Season 4 of the show.

Singing was something Carrington had grown up doing alongside both her father and grandfather (via the Grand Ole Opry). So when she was eliminated from The Voice during the semi-finals, it was time to reassess what to do next in her life. "I'm not really sure where I'm going," she admitted in an interview with Access Hollywood. "But I'm excited for it, whatever it is."

Surprisingly, this successful singer ended up picking up substitute teaching, and she's unrecognizable now. In addition to that, she also offers herself up as a coach to help others lose weight — between gigs singing all around Nashville, of course. Finally, Carrington married her best friend at the end of 2019. Congrats, Amber!