Copious Notes

Kentucky girl gets three judges to turn around on ‘The Voice.’ Who did she pick?

Livia Faith of ‘The Voice’ recalls her blind audition and picking her coach

Livia Faith, a Season 14 competitor on “The Voice,” recalled her blind audition and choosing Alicia Keys as her coach during an interview at her Stanton, Kentucky home March 14, 2018.
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Livia Faith, a Season 14 competitor on “The Voice,” recalled her blind audition and choosing Alicia Keys as her coach during an interview at her Stanton, Kentucky home March 14, 2018.

Taking the stage on “The Voice,” Livia Faith said she really wanted judge and fellow Southerner Blake Shelton to turn around when she sang, signifying that he wanted her on his team.

But almost as soon as she stopped singing, the Stanton 17-year-old had Kelly Clarkson and Alicia Keys singing “Earth Angel” in an attempt to woo her to their teams.

The first thing the NBC competition show’s audience learned about Faith was that she has a ukulele named Henry — “It’s like a baby guitar, it’s so cute,” she said. Next thing we knew, we were looking at black fences and train tracks of the Powell County seat and learning that Faith started singing about the same time she started talking and her mother is her best friend. Faith said she started singing at the Stanton Corn Festival when she was 9 and has long wanted a career in music.

But the high school senior said there aren’t a lot of opportunities to sing in Kentucky, for her, so she went to “The Voice” looking for a life-changing event. That seems to be what she got.

A fan of “oldies” (some of us call them “standards”) Faith sang the Fabian Andre, Wilbur Schwandt and Gus Kahn classic “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” made famous initially by Kate Smith and later by Cass Elliot, aka Mama Cass, with The Mamas & The Papas.

The way it’s portrayed on the show, Clarkson hit her button to pick Faith a second before Shelton, but it was pretty much simultaneous. Keys got on board a verse later as Faith wrapped up, and then the schmoozing began.

Livia Faith
Livia Faith is a contestant on Season 14 of “The Voice.” Paul Drinkwater NBC

Faith said her mom introduced the song to her, and Clarkson suggested doing contemporary material with a retro twist, which Faith was all about. Keys suggested incorporating ukulele into her act and said she loves to take classics “and twist them on their heads,” which Faith is also into. At this point, Faith’s initial first choice was feeling neglected, but Shelton told her he knew he was going to turn around the minute she started singing. All three judges expressed ambitions to take Faith’s distinctive voice and tastes to make singular statements on the show.

And then the show cut to top-of-the hour commercials.

When we returned, Faith was agonizing over he choice: Clarkson, Keys or Shelton.

Faith picked Keys, who said, “Livia’s voice was so beautiful and so pure. She’s only 17. She’s just starting. I know what to do, so I’m very excited about her.”

Faith said, “I really felt connected to Alicia. My heart was telling me she’s the right choice for me.”

But then the compliments continued, with Clarkson, the original “American Idol” winner, saying, “I loved how she was a bit quirky and different from everybody else.”

Monday was the penultimate night of blind auditions for the show. After Tuesday night’s episode, “The Voice” will go to new rounds next week.

Rich Copley, @copiousnotes

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