A 17-year-old from Ashburn is the latest talent to lend her vocal skills to NBC’s The Voice and come away with a coach.
Stone Bridge High School senior Mary Kate Connor sang her rendition of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ “Grace” for judges Chance the Rapper, Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan, and Blake Shelton during the show’s season 23 blind auditions Tuesday night.
During the blind auditions, the judges can only hear the contestants and have their chairs turned away from them. Once the judges, also known as coaches, swivel their chairs in support of a contestant, it’s then up to that contestant to choose a coach.
Clarkson and Shelton both turned their chairs for the Ashburn teen. Connor ended up choosing Shelton, who is in his last season with the show, as her coach for the rest of the season.
“Your voice is very soft and angelic,” Shelton said, before confusing where Connor was from (he said North Carolina instead of Virginia). “There’s a thing that happens up there, and it’s an Americana thing, and you can hear it in your approach because you do swing for the fence with that song.”
“Mary Kate’s probably not completely aware of what she’s even capable of. She has a cool Appalachian sound. And I love that. I think America’s gonna love it,” Shelton said later.
Connor said her dad served in the worship band at their church. When she was little, she would beg him to let her get on the microphone when he and his friends played in the basement.
“And I just was so bad, but it was so much fun,” Connor said.
She eventually got the part of Cosette in a production of Les Misérables and performed at the Kennedy Center. From there on out, all through high school, she “ran into musical theater hard.”
“I am so incredibly excited to go out and just be myself and not have this whole script in this whole character already planned. I just get to be me,” Connor said.
Looks like just being herself paid off.
The Voice returns this Monday as the blind auditions continue.
Featured photo courtesy NBC/YouTube
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