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Photos courtesy of NBC
Tess Boyer sings “Wings” by Little Mix during her blind audition on "The Voice."
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Tess Boyer of Glen Carbon is on Team Usher on "The Voice."
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Tess Boyer of Glen Carbon on "The Voice" on NBC.
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Tess Boyer performs for the judges of "The Voice" during her blind audition. Judges pictured are, from left, Blake Shelton, Shakira and Adam Levine.
Trying out for a singing reality television show can be a surreal feeling, an emotion that comes over one that can never be forgotten.
The experience can forever change someone’s destiny, especially if that person is born to sing — and possibly have “The Voice.”
“It was such a crazy experience. I don’t remember any of it until I walked back through,” said Tess Boyer about the show’s blind auditions.
Boyer is the 21-year-old Glen Carbon native who recently landed a spot on NBC’s "The Voice," a reality show dedicated to finding America’s best singing voice.
The show features a competition between artists, solo or duet, and ages 15 and over. The first phase of the show is called the blind auditions, where four judges sit with their backs to performers and judge each contestant’s audition solely on that person’s voice.
If a judge turns around, the contestant automatically gets chosen, whereas if more than one turns, the singer gets to choose whose team they want to be on.
The show’s judges this year are country artist Blake Shelton, hip-hop artist Usher, Colombian singer and songwriter Shakira and pop rocker Adam Levine of Maroon 5. Usher and Shakira replace two of the judges on the original panel, Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green.
Contestants get 90 seconds to demonstrate their voice skills, Boyer said.
“I walked up onstage and I sung ‘Wings’ by Little Mix,” Boyer recalled of her blind audition. “I ended up getting through about three-quarters of the song and Usher turned around, and I was so ecstatic. He pressed his button, and I saw his face, and I just went nuts. I was thinking, ‘I’m on a team. This is perfect. This is what I wanted. I made it to the battle rounds.’”
Boyer started singing when she was 5 or 6 years old after her father, Roy, asked her to sing in front of the church he pastors in Pontoon Beach. The church was called Harvest Assembly Church at the time but was renamed Harvest Community Church in 2010.
“I guess growing up I was constantly singing,” she said. My parents “told me that when I was a baby, I was humming whenever I ate.”
After she sang an older worship song in front of the church, “everybody said afterward, ‘How does such a huge voice come out of such a little body?’”
“That was kind of my music motto growing up,” she said.
Boyer said she grew up competing in dancing competitions, pageants and performing on stage at venues like The Fox Theatre and Stages St. Louis.
“I’ve grown up on the stage my whole life.”
She has performed on stage as a Muny kid and teen at The Muny for 12 years, where she played the lead in the production “Annie, Get your Gun.” She was a dancer at her alma mater’s dance team, Edwardsville High School, where she graduated in 2010, and also works at Krupinski Dance Academy in Chesterfield, Mo., as an instructor, where this August will mark her second year.
Her dance credentials span over 16 years, including cheerleading for the St. Louis Rams pro football team.
When Boyer found out about “The Voice” holding open call auditions in St. Louis, she said her family and friends encouraged her to try out.
Boyer is an avid watcher and “huge fan” of “The Voice.”
Her family, including her father, mother, Teresa; brother, Brooks, and sister, Tori, has been her “main support system” and were with her during her blind audition.
She said her father was a musician growing up and her mother took part in pageants and dancing competitions.
“They kind of instilled within us, their children, to constantly strive to be the best that we can possibly be no matter what route we end up taking,” Boyer said.
Her brother is also a musician and her sister is a dancer.
After she was selected to become one of 12 contestants on Usher’s team, Boyer said the whole experience since “has been kind of surreal.” She gets to train and coach with Usher to prep for the show’s battle rounds.
This is where each judge pairs their respective contestants with each other and chooses the best singer of each pairing. The method to this is to slim down the number of contestants until viewers can start to vote singers off, narrowing it down to one lone contestant, or "The Voice."
She said working with Usher has been a dream come true.
“He’s such a genuine person,” Boyer said. “He’s such a good guy and he really, really has been so observational, and listens with intent and purpose, which I really love because he doesn’t fly by the seat of his pants and kind of goof off, but he truly is a dedicated coach. I really love that about him.”
To find out about Boyer’s battle-round performance, tune in to NBC’s “The Voice” at 7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, March 24 and 25.
For more information, follow her on Twitter @TessHannahMusic, Instagram @tess_boyer or on Facebook.
She said she hopes to get further than the battle rounds.
What Boyer hopes she can accomplish?
“How I can win ‘The Voice’ — that’s why I’m here,” she said. “However, if that doesn’t happen and if I end up getting knocked out next round during battles, I’m going to take the positive. I’ve learned so much about myself as an artist and as a person through this whole experience. I’m very, very proud of myself. I really feel like I really showed strength that I didn’t know that I always had in me.”