The Voice has a way of making your mind numb with all the waiting that happens. I’m a pretty patient person, most of the time, but waiting in suspense is enough to make you die an early death. Your mind starts to play tricks on you. Paranoia sets in. “Do they already know my fate? Maybe I think I’m better than I really am. What if I mess up?” Stay strong my friend! It’s the day of the Blind Audition.
The time was getting closer. Production had called for a meeting. This was the moment we’d find out if we made it to the Blind Audition. There were five days worth of auditions, and today we would find out which day our audition was. If you got the fifth day, you most likely wouldn’t make it to the Blind Auditions as the teams would already be filled up. Even the fourth day would be sketchy. The earlier you went the better your chances were of getting to audition, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go on the first day. The judges may play it safe and be conservative on how many people they pick the first day.
“Amanda Lee Peers. First day.” Phew, well at least I was guaranteed an audition, now hopefully I sing well enough to land a spot early in the game. Megg and Sugar got somewhere in the first couple days, but I don’t remember specifically which days they got. Everyone went back to their rooms buzzing about which day they were going. “See you guys on the other side!” I said to Megg and Sugar before turning in for the night. It was a super early morning for me so I made sure to get to bed early.
Ugh, is it seriously 5:00 AM already? My alarm went off way too soon. The big day was finally here. It was too early for nerves to set in though. Fortunately, the only thing that was required of us was dry hair. No makeup, no fancy clothing, just a blank canvas for the Hollywood artists to paint on. With bags packed, (in case I didn’t make it), and matcha in hand, I wandered down to the lobby still half-asleep to meet up with my group. We piled into the van and headed off to wardrobe and makeup.
After we were all duded up, we were taken to a concrete, cold, dark holding cell in a giant warehouse, where we were left to be tortured by our nerves and self-doubt. (I later learned they keep it so cold because of all the production equipment and lighting.) Luckily, my girlfriend Sandy and my mom had visitation rights and whisked me off for a little yard time – aka more filming. It was great to see them and they lifted my spirits with encouraging words. It was just what I needed before my big moment.
Yoga, headphones, nervous chatting – we were all now seated backstage and everyone was trying to get in their zone, myself included. The time was getting very close now. I could hear those who went before me performing, and listened intently to see if they made it. Some did and some didn’t. People I thought had it in the bag, didn’t get a single chair and those who I didn’t think had much originally got four chairs. We ain’t in Kansas anymore Todo. In the Wild West, anything goes.
The sound effect you hear when the coaches press their red button, does not actually happen during the Blind Audition. It’s all a part of the TV magic.
I closed my eyes and rehearsed the song in my head when I heard my name called. “Amanda, pretend you’re nervous. You’re pacing back and forth. You’re whole life has been leading up to this moment. Beautiful! Great job, now shake the jitters off. Look up at the ceiling. Look at the door. Jump up and down. Okay, now let’s do that again.” Are these guys for real?! I can’t work like this!
I quickly remembered I was here for a TV show – their TV show. Having no time to focus and calm myself, the nerves were really starting to build up. It suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks. “Holy shit! This is it! This moment could change my life forever!”
With a little pep talk from my vocal coach, I was whisked off to make my TV debut. I walked to the X marking where I was to start out. My knees were shaking uncontrollably as I stood there staring at those four chairs. I tried to block them out and concentrate on the audience, as if I was just performing at my own show.
The piano keys tinkled, cuing me they were going to start the song. “Oo, oo, oo, oo, oo, oo, oo, o0!” And she’s out of the gate! I wasn’t 30 seconds into the song when my childhood idol, Gwen Stefani, turned her chair around. I lost it, thinking “I’ve made it. That’s it. I’m on The Voice!” The excitement derailed my performance a bit, and while it definitely wasn’t my best performance all it takes is one chair, and that’s exactly what I got!
You can check out my performance for yourself on Youtube. After I finished my song, Gwen looked to her sides and said “Well, I guess you’re stuck with me!” I couldn’t believe that I was officially on the show. It was an amazing feeling. Gwen reemed the rest of the guys out for not turning around and said I had the whole package, which made me feel even more like a rockstar.
Prior to my Blind Audition. My coach picks were:
She congratulated me with a hug and an exclusive “Team Gwen” t-shirt. Despite what was shown on TV, I was the first girl on Gwen’s team, which I thought was also awesome.
Pharrell asked if I ever sing country. I stated that everyone tells me I should, but I don’t. He said I’d make the perfect southern rock singer. It’s not the first time I’ve heard that before and interesting coming from Pharrell Williams.
I went up to hug all of them before I exited the stage. Meeting celebrities is always an interesting event. I’ve learned they are usually larger than life or way smaller than they look on TV. Here were my conclusions: Adam is really short. Blake is a giant. Pharrell is much taller than I expected, but maybe it was his hat. Gwen is very petite, not to mention gorgeous.
I was whisked off on a golf cart and met up with Carson Daily, Sandy and my mom “backstage” – aka a completely different warehouse. They were so excited, as was I! No time for pleasantries though, within minutes I was whisked off again, this time into a van. We waited for more “yes’s” to fill up the van, and we were taken to a new, secret “yes” hotel.
Prior to the first Blind Audition, they took everyone’s cell phones so no one knew who made it and who didn’t. Mind you, this was only the first day of auditions. There were potentially 4 more days to go before teams got filled up. They didn’t want anyone spilling the beans before all was said and done.
The order of auditions you see on TV is not the actual order of the auditions. The order is edited for TV.
I was anticipating who would already be there and if I’d see Megg and Sugar again. We were greeted by our fellow contestants with congratulatory hugs. The new hotel was pretty cool and in a different part of LA than the last one. The roommate situation was still in effect. I went to pick up my room keys and new paperwork, wondering who my new roommate would be. This time I’d be rooming with spunky contestant Mia Pfirrman.
It was getting into the late evening and no Megg or Sugar yet. The final contestants of the day had begun to trickle in and finally Sugar jumps out of the van. I was excited to see her and was hoping Megg would be joining the happy reunion in the next day or two.
It was weird not having a cell phone, but it gave a sense of freedom not having to incessantly checking it every 5 minutes. I took advantage of my tech-free time to write some songs and letters to Sandy, exercised and occasionally took a dip in the hot tub.
Day 4 had come and gone and no Megg. At this point it was safe to assume she hadn’t made it, which was a bummer. We all waited patiently for the last few stragglers to join us. Finally we got word that all the teams were officially filled up! Next stop – the Battle Round!
Want to know more? Read about the call, the wait, and the nerves from first contact, click here.
-Amanda Lee Peers