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Auditions for ‘The Voice’ Held in Chicago

Glen Lewerenz

Auditions for The Voice were held in Chicago over the weekend and I went. So, how did it go, did I get through, what is the process like and did I meet the coaches?

I left my house in Clearwater shortly after 3 on Friday headed for Chicago. I brought along the music I was singing and practiced in the car. A lot. I wasn’t really nervous, it was more the anticipation of it all. I was hoping I was going to get passed through to the next round, but I went into it just telling myself I was just going to have fun.

I got up Saturday morning thinking, “This is it! No turning back now!” I got ready and headed over to McCormick Place where the auditions were held. I got dropped off at the wrong door and ended up having to hoof it all the way across the building! I was so scared I was going to be late and not end up getting in, but I made it on time. If you’ve never been to McCormick Place, it’s HUGE. At 2.6 million square feet, it’s the largest convention center in the country, so it was only appropriate that they held it there. It was probably the only place big enough to hold the thousands that turned out. Yes, there were six thousand people there. You’ve probably heard some jokes about standing in a line a mile long? This line WAS a mile long. Just when I thought I found the end of the line, I turned a corner and there were more people. The line literally snaked through 3/4 of the complex.

After almost three hours of waiting to get up to the front of the line, we checked in with a team of producers and were given a wristband. After that, we were herded into another holding room. They were trying so hard to keep us entertained. They were asking us where we were from and what songs some of us were singing and that was fun. The best moment came when one of the producers asked if anyone was singing Adele for their audition. There were a few claps and the producers admitted that those were attempting it were very brave. They then asked if anyone knew Rolling in the Deep and that got people going. They asked us if we had done any vocal warm ups and we all had then they said we should sing a few bars of the song and someone was brave enough to attempt to get us started. Pretty soon, the whole room had erupted into song. It was like being in a musical.

So after sitting in this room for a while, the producers started counting us off in groups of ten and sending us out of the room. It was then that it got really quiet. Everyone knew they were singing for their lives after this point. We were ushered by another producer to a door. We were all shuffling around and “in the zone” and after about 15 minutes or so of waiting, the door finally opened and we were swept into another large room. There were ten chairs in a row and we filed in and sat down in front of the casting director. It was quite intimidating. It was just one woman with piles of papers and a laptop. I was expecting her to be harsh, but she was really friendly and that made me relax a bit.

She explained that we were going to stand up one by one and say our names, where we are from and what song we were going to sing. Then she asked us to sing a verse and one chorus of the song. If she liked what she heard, you were going to be asked to sing another different song and if she liked that, then you were going to be given a red piece of paper with instructions for the call back auditions. She told us that if we looked at her and she was looking down, it’s not that she wasn’t paying attention. She was just trying to listen harder to what you were singing. That was a relief to hear because if you’re performing and someone isn’t looking, it kind of makes you wonder. It also made me wonder when she wasn’t looking at me exactly what she was thinking.

I went third in the group and I attempted Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog. I did the first verse and the chorus and sat down. I was absolutely shaking. The rest of the contestants sang and there were some very very talented people in my group. I was hoping I’d get passed through, but after hearing a few of the others, I thought, “Yeah. No way. She’s going, she’s going and he’s going and I’m just going home.” But, alas, she told us that though the talent level was very high, no one in our group was going on to the next round. I was a tad disappointed that I didn’t get put through, but there were six thousand people that tried out and only 200 were going through to call backs.

In all, it was a wonderful and amazing experience. I’m so glad I tried it and don’t regret a minute of it.

Click HERE for a gallery and catch The Voice Monday night’s on NBC at 7pm Central.

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