Jonathan Hutcherson of Wilmore has spent the past two weeks cheering on fellow singers during blind auditions for Season 10 of The Voice.
On Monday night, with only two slots left for this season’s finalists, Jonathan was selected by superstar producer Pharrell Williams as the final entry on his team.
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A segment filmed in Wilmore played before Jonathan’s audition was shown. It featured the 16-year-old at his family’s home on a five-acre farm near Wilmore with his three younger brothers, including “chick magnet” Eli. It also addressed Jonathan’s struggle with a hearing impairment since birth.
Jonathan’s mother, Traci, said, “When the audiologist said that he had a hearing loss, I just started crying. We didn’t know if he’d be able to sing. I was just hoping he’d be able to talk.”
Jonathan said the hearing loss does affect his singing, and he has learned to adapt.
“I’m trying to show people: Don’t let anything stop you,” Jonathan said to host Carson Daly before he auditioned, singing One Direction’s You & I.
“Jonathan’s got some very interesting tones to his voice,” Williams said. “It’s amazing that he’s only 16 years old. I’m definitely looking forward to working with him.”
Judge Adam Levine, whose team was already full when Jonathan auditioned, but who was shown encouraging Pharrell to turn around for Jonathan, told the competitor, “You really do connect with a vocal, and that’s the hardest thing to teach somebody.”
Voice fans will of course remember that Levine coached Harlan County’s Jordan Smith to victory in Season 9, which wrapped up in December.
For Kentuckians who knew that Jonathan had auditioned, the wait was a bit more excruciating because Smith was chosen on the first episode of last season, and then viewers had to wait nearly three weeks for the battle rounds. In this case, Jonathan was the penultimate singer chosen in an episode that ended with the start of the battle rounds, in which competitors on the same team sing together, and the coach can only pick one to stay in the competition. But the person not picked has the potential to be stolen by another coach.
A few weeks ago, Jonathan posted a photo of himself with Smith on Twitter and Facebook.
Earlier Monday, I talked to Smith, whose debut album, Something Beautiful, drops Friday, and I asked him about Jonathan.
Smith, who will be at an in-store album release at 11 a.m. Friday at the Walmart in Harlan, said he met Jonathan when he went to meet with this season’s Voice competitors.
“He seems like such a sweet kid, and everyone was saying, ‘Oh, Jonathan, he has that Kentucky charm,’” Smith said. “It’s a very good thing that he’s there, representing us again this season. I’m very happy for him and all these contestants.”
We’ll have more on Smith later this week, and of course we will be following Jonathan’s progress on The Voice.