That time I tried out for “The Voice”

…well, it was Friday, as a matter of fact. I’ll go ahead and ruin any suspense by letting you know that I wasn’t chosen. You are therefore free, America, from having to read any further. Unless you have other questions, like maybe, “What the hell were you thinking?” to which I would respond, “Wow, America, you’re getting pretty mouthy.” Then, of course, we’d laugh, and I’d go put on that leotard outfit you’re so fond of, and you’d smile warmly and in that sweet way that only a metaphorical representation of an entire nation can you’d whisper, “But, seriously, what the hell?”

Honestly, I wasn’t really thinking much. Someone on Facebook I don’t even know mentioned the auditions were about to happen, and for some reason I thought, well, why not? I’ve never seen The Voice or American Idol or America’s Happy-Fun Talent Show Good Time Factory but I know enough about them from cultural osmosis to know what they’re about. I figured I could sing well enough to not make a fool of myself; I’ll go, wait in some lines for five hours, sing a song a capella in an extremely awkward set up, get turned down, and come home with the ability to say, “Hey, I did that once,” and maybe even some funny stories.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any funny stories. Really, the only remotely funny thing is that I managed to trick Juliana Finch into going with me, which is a cogent reminder that I must learn to use my powers for good and not evil. In the end, all I can really say is that the people at The Voice were almost uniformly nice, I only had to wait in various lines for three hours, and the group of ten people I eventually auditioned with all sang quite well. I sang Squeeze’s “Tempted” and I sang it as well as I ever have. No one in my group was chosen, no one in Juliana’s group was chosen.

I want to think that one lasting result of my experience in Peru (and yes, I swear, I will be getting back to that soon) is that I will continue to take opportunities wherever they happen to appear, for no reason other than that they exist. I didn’t go ironically and while I was there I knew I was no different than any of the other thousands who went. I had a good time hanging out with Juliana (’til we were separated in some of the many lines), I talked to strangers, and felt badly for people when they didn’t get chosen. I sang my song and I nailed it and I knew going in that would probably not be enough to be chosen, and that’d be fine. I went because, well, why the hell not?


  1. I’m glad you felt good about your experience! They are really nice folks, it’s something I appreciate about them. The audition process can really take a toll on some folks, glad to hear that you had a positive, mellow experience. I want to hear the rest of the Peru story!!!!! xoxo ~becca

  2. Lauren & Kristyn: Thanks!

    Rebecca: Aw, thanks, I am working on the rest of the Peru story, hopefully soon. And they weren’t just nice, they were SURPRISINGLY nice, considering how tedious that process must be on their end. Also, hey there! 🙂 I read some of your blog posts the week leading up to the auditions, it helped a lot with knowing what to expect when I went.

  3. as it happens, 2 other people i know who sing very well – Billy Neal and Lindsey Rakers – also went to audition and neither were chosen. i believe that it’s formulaic and if you don’t fit their neat little ideal as someone who would appeal to the masses or someone who they could see being shot down in flames but not getting all bolshie about it they it’s aw an’ bile yer heid.

    *I* personally think you have an amazing voice so neener neener to the voice people. 🙂 xoxo

  4. Gail:
    Juliana tells me that the Voice isn’t so much about the ‘deliberately mocking the bad singers’ as American Idol is, so I’ll give them a pass on that part. I was a little surprised that a couple of people in my group weren’t picked, because they were good singers and ALSO seemed to have that ‘quality’ (whatever it is) that I would’ve expected they were looking for. The drawback to being turned down, for me, is just never getting to find out *why*. The person sitting at the desk is jotting occasional notes down as you sing, which just makes you think, wait, what did I do just then that made her write something? It’s a surreal process, to be sure.

Leave a Reply