A&M-Commerce student shoots into Top 20 on ‘The Voice’

Hailing from Sulphur Springs, Texas, Hannah Kirby has landed a coveted spot on the big stage. The Texas A&M University-Commerce psychology major was the last contestant to be chosen during the blind auditions of NBC’s The Voice.

“I actually was the very last person to audition,” said Kirby. “I didn’t know that I would be last when I auditioned. I didn’t know how many spots were left or anything like that. I was a little bit shocked when Blake turned around, and he started to say ‘You’re the last person on my team’, and I was like ‘Oh my gosh!’ It’s incredible to me because going last is so close to not even going at all.”

The Voice stars four celebrity artists who begin the show listening to contestants audition for spots on their team. Unlike more traditional singing competition programs like American Idol, the coaches are facing away from the stage, so contestants are picked based on their voice and raw talent alone.

During Kirby’s cover of “The Letter” by the Box Tops, coaches Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and Pharrell Williams had already filled their teams. The three sat furiously trying to push their buttons to no avail until the fourth and final coach, Blake Shelton, spun his chair around to choose Kirby to complete his team.

“It really made me feel good, of course, when I watched the blind audition when it aired on T.V. to see that the other coaches were hitting their buttons and looking over at Blake, like ‘Come on man!,’” said Kirby. “I feel like, the way it looked to me, was that he was really teasing them. I’m glad that he decided to stop that though and turn around for me!”

During the battle round, Kirby faced off against teammate Sarah Potenza. While Potenza was chosen by their coach to advance, Kirby was stolen by coach Pharrell. She then moved on to the live shows where she and her coach choose songs for her to rehearse and perform each week. Viewers are able to vote for Kirby to move forward on the show after each live performance.

On Monday, she performed “I Feel the Earth Move” (made famous by legendary solo artist Carole King) as a part of the Top 20. Only two individuals from her five-person team will be able to move on into the Final 8. Her competition consists of Sarah Potenza, Corey Kent White, Brooke Adee, Meghan Linsey.

Kirby is a singer, songwriter, violinist and performer. She said her first paid gig came when she was 12 years old, and she hasn’t stopped performing since. In fact, she played in downtown Commerce at the Commerce Songwriters Showcase in 2010. Now with this national platform, Kirby hopes this experience will help to propel her professional music career.

The Voice airs on NBC on Monday and Tuesday nights at 8/7 central. Videos of her previously aired television performances can be found on Youtube while studio versions are available for purchase on iTunes.