LOS ANGELES, Calif. — MaKenzie Thomas, 20, of Wallingford, after joining team Jennifer Hudson on NBCs “The Voice,” detailed her perspective behind the microphone during the blind audition, and her path going forward.
After her performance at the audition, Thomas said the only word she could describe the whole ordeal with was “surreal.”
“The nerves weren’t as bad going up, because I knew what I was getting into this time,” she said, “but in a sense I guess you could say that they were pretty much the same because I got the opportunity to sing in front of Jennifer Hudson this time who’s been one of my musical idols for a long time.”
One of the biggest obstacles Thomas said she deals with in any of her performance is that of stage fright.
“I’ve got the worst stage fright of anybody ever,” she said. “Stage fright for me is like anxiety attack — inducing stage fright, regardless of where I’m performing and how big a crowd.”
Despite her nerves, Thomas mustered up the courage to steel herself, and proved to the judges her vocal skills.
“When I got up there and I started singing, about almost halfway through the song and nobody had turned yet, I was almost kind of ready to give up,” Thomas said, “but then Jennifer hit her button, and although I continued singing, mentally I kind of blacked out. I didn’t really remember the rest of how the performance went.”
Instead of giving up after her first blind audition on season 14, Thomas learned from the experience, and used her disappointment to encourage her improvement and tried again. Being a fan of Jessie J., believing her to be one of the most underrated artists of our generation, Thomas had a deep connection with her song “Big White Room,” which Thomas sang on her second blind audition which garnered Hudson’s attention.
“That song specifically was one of the first songs I listened to after not making the blind (audition), because I was disappointed last time, as anybody would be,” Thomas said. “It was a song I could really relate to, so I feel like singing that song this time around, it was a song that I had an emotional connection to and I feel like that really helped with my performance.”
Having been chosen to join a team with her idol, Thomas is incredibly grateful for the training and experience of working under Hudson to prepare for the next round.
“She’s just down to earth,” Thomas said, referring to Hudson, “so much more down to earth than what the media makes her out to be. She’s funny, she’s so funny, she doesn’t care about what others think about her and she’s just really encouraging of up and coming artists. She’s not afraid to be real with you, like you don’t sing something well, she’ll let you know and it’s not because she wants to hurt you; it because she wants to make you better, and it’s something that I really appreciate being someone who wants to be a performing artist.”
Thomas said the next thing to look forward to is the battle round. While she said she couldn’t go into much detail about the competition, she guarantees it will be exciting. She encourages everyone to watch and get ready for a performance.
“The Voice” airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7 central on NBC.