Summit’s Katie 3rd in “Voice”
Sad fans see a bright future for singer
By Steve Metsch
In one moment, pure elation morphed into utter despair at a watch party cheering Summit’s own Katie Kadan in the finals of “The Voice.”
When host Carson Daly made the nation wait what seemed an eternity to find out who had won, folks at Fergie & Foz, 7245 Archer Ave., chanted “Katie, Katie” on Dec. 17.
Then Daly – using the pregnant pause popular in such programs – said, “the finalist in third place is … Katie Kadan.”
On TV, Katie was smiling as she hugged the two remaining finalists, Jake Hoot and Ricky Duran, and was heard saying, “Oh, my, gosh, I love you guys.”
Kadan, 38, then walked down four steps and hugged her coach, singer John Legend, as the audience cheered.
There were no smiles seen at Fergie & Foz after the announcement. Formerly happy faces fell fast. Boos replaced cheers. The collective groan may have been heard outside.
“Shocked. I think they made a wrong choice. But, you know what, the world now knows Katie and everything she has to offer,” said Krissie Pavloski-Rio, of Elmhurst, as she dabbed her teary eyes.
Pavloski-Rio grew up in Summit, works in Summit and was cheering the pride of Summit whom she had attended church with.
“We know what a beautiful person she is. Anyone who gets to know Katie is blessed,” Pavloski Rio added. “She was born to be a star.”
The reaction of Stacey Panagas sums it up for fans of Katie Kadan, who finished third in “The Voice” on NBC. Photo by Steve Metsch.
Another longtime friend, Stacey Panagas, of Westmont, stood up and watched in disbelief.
“I’m speechless. I think we’re all in shock. We thought first, second, definitely not third … But the future is definitely bright,” Panagas said.
“I just can’t believe it,” she added.
During the three-hour program – yes, NBC knows how to get a bang for its bucks – the mood in the tavern was euphoric.
People who munched on Pizza Hut pizza, Talericao Martin doughnuts and Portillo’s chocolate cake, were treating Katie’s chance the way a Chicago sports fan considers the playoffs. There was no way their team – or Katie – could lose.
Cari Strepka, of Orland Hills, who has known Katie and her family for 20 some years, expected victory: “She’s the most talented, and the best performer and the best singer, all in one. And she has a great personality.”
“If you go to a party – I’ve actually watched this – people will follow her every time she goes to a different room. I’ve been left in a room by myself. These people follow her. She’s a magnet,” Strepka added.
Katei’s mother, Cathy Kadan, a staple at other watch parties, was absent. She was in Los Angeles with husband Omar, their other children and relatives – 33 people in all – to attend the live finale.
One relative who stayed home was Katie’s aunt, Leslie Bleth. The Schererville, Ind., resident stayed to watching her grandchildren so daughter Rachael Holevinsky could be in L.A., but still managed to hit the watch party.
“I’m feeling joyous and happy because I think she’s going to win,” Bleth said. “The glory of God is overwhelming that He’s brought her to this place.”
Katie has been singing since she was a child at Assembly of God Church in Worth. Katie’s former pastor there, Darcy Kolschefski, said the Kadan family “was a huge part of our church … Katie was always involved.”
“Katie was quiet. I didn’t hear her talk as much as I heard her sing,” Kolschefski said.
“She’s absolutely a winner. Katie is going to go on, with or without ‘The Voice.’ Her career has been launched to a whole new level,” he added. “My fear is we are going to see less of her in the Chicago area.”
Katie Mania extended to Amelia, a 10-month girl whose mother decided to dress her as Katie Kadan, the Summit woman who finished third on “The Voice.” Photo by Steve Metsch.
In an interview on www.nbcchicago.com, Katie said, “I’m no longer the best kept secret in Chicago. This is just the start of great things.”
She called the competition “the ride of my life.”
She said Legend told her “I feel like you were cheated.” She told Legend to not worry about her. Katie then joked that she planned to “sleep for two days” after the exhausting ordeal.
Asked to address her hometown fans, she said: “I feel so loved. Thank you so much for supporting me, for loving me. And, don’t forget I’m coming back to Chicago, so you’d better be out there at my shows or I’m going to be a little ticked.”
Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez has said several times he’s interested in a Katie Kadan Day in the village, perhaps asking her to perform a concert at the Summit Park District.
Like others, the mayor felt disappointed. “Shocking,” he said. “But this put her on the map.”
Chicago resident Paul Lauer, talking on his cell phone, was overheard saying “she got shafted.”
“Totally,” he said. “She’s got such a beautiful voice … She excelled in different genres … For me, it should be about the voice. She had the most range of anybody on the show. Did you hear one bad song from her?”
“It is what it is. It’s all about the voting. There was a lot of Down South voting,” Lauer said, adding that county music is more popular in the South, and that the winner, Jake Hoot, is a country singer.
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