This one is gonna be rough.
As a blogger and fan of talent competitions, I have the utmost respect for artists who are willing to put their work out on the line to be judged by millions. Win or lose, they put themselves out there with a mindset that says “take me or leave me, this is who I am and what I like to do.” Along the way we may meet the occasional joker on competition singing shows, but it’s the brilliance of a true artist like the late Christina Grimmie, who was shot and killed by a gunman Friday night while signing autographs for fans, that takes takes my breath away.
My heart is absolutely broken. I miss you Christina pic.twitter.com/KWGwZZlj4t
— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) June 11, 2016
Most of the artists that we grow to love during their short time in the spotlight aren’t going to become the next big superstars, and some aren’t even going to still be pursuing music in 5 years. Dreams don’t always come true and people don’t usually live happily ever after. In fact, they get hurt, have the world yanked from their grasp, promises broken while living their dreams in the spotlight.
I have come to accept that many of my singing show favorites will have a short time in the spotlight, but there are those rare performers who come along and bring me back to my early years as a fan, when I thought the sky was the limit for my favorites.
I’m stunned and disgusted and heartbroken that we lost that sweet little girl… Keeping @TheRealGrimmie family in my heart and mind.
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) June 11, 2016
The first show I ever recapped here at Mjsbigblog was the season 6 premiere of The Voice in 2014. The show kicked off with a plucky young lady named Christina Grimmie. At the time I joked that she had to be a ringer based on her already massive following from her years posting Youtube covers. Nevertheless, Christina struck me as one of those singers who obviously had that something special about them.
As she crushed her Blind Audition (a performance of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”) which deservedly earned herself a 4 chair turn, it was easy to assume she was already finale bound. And indeed, she made it through every round until the final. Even though I, and many others, argued for her victory, she ended up losing in favor of an equally deserving Josh Kaufman.
There was a true genius that surrounded Christina, and her excitement was palpable and infectious. From a personal standpoint, Christina was a bridge that connected the gap between two different things I love in life: singers and video games. Under a different alias, Christina was known for her love of games like Zelda and Super Smash Bros. That she showed her love both so openly was part of her unique charm. Hell, we even shared Smash Bros mains! There was no way a person could possibly dislike someone so likable.
(^ I always loved that little shimmy she did before this Battle Round performance of “Counting Stars” with fellow Team Adam Levine member, Sam Behymer. It sums up the kind of person she was in the face of a difficult challenge)
“i bought this cake to celebrate our friendship,” she said. “so you have to share it with me.” i keep thinking i should turn my phone off for a while. stay away from the internet, stay away from all the sadness and horror in the world. but then there are photos like this, memories of her as she was and will forever be in my heart: a bright star, full of love and laughter, making the world a better place just by living in it. please love each other. please celebrate your friendships with chocolate cake, please make each other laugh, please shine bright in a dark and scary world. choose hope. choose love.
Christina returned to The Voice in 2014 to perform her new single, “With Love,” and it’s one of my favorites. Fame never changed her. She changed fame by being an example of how to handle the struggles of celebrity. She handled it incredibly.
Even when she had a stint, hosting behind the scenes videos as the American Idol season 11 contestants toured the country, there was an air around her that always pulled focus. Although I never met her, she seems like the kind of person who reads like an open book and just wants to spread the love for things she enjoys doing. In the end, the legacy that Christina leaves behind is that of acceptance and love. Only love can light up the darkness left by cruelty.
In closing, I just want to end with my favorite performance of Christina’s, which was the last one she sang as part of The Voice competition. I still go back to it every now and then just to marvel at the things she could do with her voice.
Thanks for sharing your talents, Christina. May you forever rest in peace. I hope somewhere up there you are playing the most epic game of Smash Bros with Satoru Iwata, and singing the most beautiful solos to the greats with whom you now share company. I’m jealous that they have you all to themselves.