Two Charlotte-area natives have been revealed as first-round picks on NBC’s reality-singing competition show “The Voice,” but if you blinked, you might have missed their brutally edited performances – and victory celebrations – completely.
In separate episodes, blind-audition performances by Rock Hill, S.C. native Teresa Guidry and Statesville’s Lacy Mandigo were packaged as parts of montages that literally lasted for mere seconds.
(Blind auditions in a nutshell: A contestant sings, while the celebrity vocal coaches (Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Pharrell Williams and Christina Aguilera) listen – while facing away from the performer. If a coach is impressed by an artist’s voice, they push a button, their chair swivels around, and the singer is on that coach’s team. If more than one pushes the button, the artist then gets to choose his/her coach.)
Hopefully we’ll see more of both Guidry and Mandigo in the “Battle Rounds,” which begin next week and start the process of whittling the current field of 48 contestants down to 24; at that point, the live shows start. But in the meantime, here’s a slightly deeper dive into the singers’ auditions and backstories.
Hometown: Rock Hill, S.C.
Current city: Nashville, Tenn.
What we saw on TV: After Guidry sweetly sang the last few notes of Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” Levine spun his chair around, then Shelton followed suit. Guidry said, “Adam, I love you, but I pick Blake.” The episode, which aired Tuesday night, focused on her for just 18 seconds.
What we didn’t see: “So they both turned for me, and I’m like, ‘Holy crap.’ They’re saying Teresa this, Teresa that, and I’m just thinking, ‘What is happening?’ It felt like an out-of-body experience. And I stood there for a long time while Blake and Adam went back and forth and back and forth. They probably argued for a good 20 minutes.
“Before the blind auditions, they ask you a million times, ‘Who would you pick if you got your first choice?’ And I always said Blake, because I’m into country. But once I was up there, it was really difficult because Adam was really, really fighting for me. It was hard. He said a lot of things that I really loved, and Blake said a lot of things that I really loved. I had no idea what I was gonna do.
“To the right of the stage, I could look back and see my parents. They were screaming and jumping and pointing at Blake. So it was super, super hard, but at the end of the day, I had to go with my gut.
“It all happened SO fast. One minute I was backstage waiting to go on, and the next thing I knew, I was on Team Blake.”
Random facts: Two Junes ago, she took a leap of faith and moved to Nashville to pursue her singing and songwriting dreams – leaving home with barely any money in her pocket, with no job lined up, and with no friends there to help with the adjustment. ... Her first week there, she was hired as a server by a popular restaurant called Whiskey Kitchen. It was her boss at the restaurant who introduced Guidry to a casting producer for “The Voice.”
But this is what “The Voice” might have focused on if it had done a full story about her: The fact that Guidry has 10 siblings, ranging in age from “I think” 20 to “I want to say 41.” “Sometimes I miss a birthday and it skips in my head,” she says, laughing, “so I’m always in the right vicinity of their ages, but it’s kind of hard to keep up with every single one.”
As the second-youngest, most of her brothers and sisters had moved out of the house by the time she was a teenager, so while she was attending Rock Hill High School, her home life was similar to her peers. But family reunions nowadays can be standing-room-only events.
“There are I think 15 grandbabies now, too, so every time we get together, there are just masses and masses of people. I love going home and getting to see all my nieces and nephews and everybody, but it can be overwhelming at times because I’m not really used to it anymore. If everybody’s together in one house, after two days I’m like, ‘OK, love you guys, but...’ ”
Hometown (and current city): Statesville.
What we saw on TV: As Mandigo put a raspy flourish into the end of Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man,” Christina Aguilera hit her button. “I had a dream last night that you turned around for me,” Mandigo says, “and it was on the last note.” Her total airtime on the March 1 episode spanned 24 seconds.
What we didn’t see: “I walked onstage and I was like, ‘Crap, I think I just walked onstage wrong.’ But I took a deep breath, exhaled, and smiled out into the audience. And when I started singing, I sang to the audience – because no matter what, I wanted it to be a good performance for them.
“Still, I was getting kind of nervous out there. I was thinking, ‘Well, crap. No one’s turning. No one’s turning.’ But I made sure to keep going and giving it my all. In my head, I was like, ‘This last note has to get Christina.’ Because she does all of that rasp and growl type of thing.
“I’ve listened to her since I was little, and I’ve watched her movies – like ‘Burlesque.’ I really look up to her as a coach. ... So when I hit that note, and I saw the stage light up, I was like, ‘Yes!’
“And I really did have that dream before the blind audition. I don’t know if that was God saying, ‘I’ve got you. Don’t worry. Don’t stress yourself out.’ But when it actually happened, I thought, ‘Whoa. This is insane.’ ”
Random facts: She sang the national anthem before the last game the Charlotte Knights played at their old stadium in Fort Mill – on Sept. 1, 2013. ... Her father, Brian, has belonged to a number of metal bands, and currently fronts one called Black Demise. At one point, he was in a Judas Priest tribute band; Lacy sometimes would get on stage and sing one of the songs that they covered.
But this is what “The Voice” might have focused on if it had done a full story about her: Mandigo has a tattoo on her left wrist that reads, “ ‘Sing for Me’ R.S.” And here’s why:
When she was a little girl, her great-grandfather, Ralph Sanders, would routinely sing the hymn “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” to her. “Eventually, he developed Alzheimer’s,” Mandigo says. “He was going back and forth from the hospital to the nursing home, so I would go visit him every day. I would hold his hand, and sing him that song. His eyes would light up, and he would remember who I was, and he would sing with me.
“The last thing he ever said to me before he passed away was, ‘Sing for me.’ So I got that tattooed on my arm, and now when I hold my microphone, I can see that. It inspires me. And his initials are beside it. That’s one of the biggest things for me, is keeping my promise to him, and really pursuing this because he believed in me so much. It just means a lot that I got to share all of those memories with him.”
The “Battle Rounds” begin at 8 p.m. Monday on NBC.