- The Voice crowned its season 16 winner, Maelyn Jarmon, in a performance-packed finale in May.
- The 26-year-old singer on Team John Legend is deaf in one ear, and opened up about the difficulties it presented during the show.
With her angelic, pitch-perfect voice and soulful stage presence, it’s hard to believe The Voice season 16 winner, Maelyn Jarmon, ever had any difficulty performing. But the 26-year-old says there were points she "couldn't hear anything" during her time on the show.
After having tubes inserted into her ears for chronic ear infections as a child, Maelyn's eardrums were damaged, leaving her with only 80% hearing in her left. “I grew up with very supportive parents and I was very lucky. It was never considered a disability so I always viewed it as I have this, and how do I work around it or use it to my advantage,” Maelyn tells Ikaroo.info and other media outlets following the results show.
She applied that same strategy when she set foot on the Voice stage, and found a way to use the challenges of the competition to help further her success. “Sometimes when I can’t hear myself, I go off of feeling. There were times when I couldn’t hear anything because I haven’t used in-ears before and that was really difficult for me,” she explains.
Not only did the in-ear monitors (the devices you often see singers yank out of their ears mid-performance) take some getting used to, the live audience presented another problem for the Texas native. “Having the crowd be so loud, I went based off feeling and finding my pitch based off that. In the end, I think it ended up being an advantage at times,” Maelyn says.
Her positivity paid off in spades, earning her the top prize over runners-up Gyth Rigdon, Dexter Roberts and Andrew Sevener. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the mindset and accepting it and embracing it,” Maelyn says.