By TRICIA HILL
Boscobel singers Kaylee Brandes, Jonah Zimpel and Andrew Mindham made their way to Chicago on Saturday, Jan. 18 to test their vocal talents at auditions for the television show “The Voice.”
When arriving at the audition, the singers were broken up into groups of 10 to 12 people and then the groups gathered in a room together. Once there, each singer was given the opportunity to sing one verse and a chorus from the song they chose to perform. They had to perform their song with no back up music. Once they were done performing, they would either receive a red card meaning they received a call back or they were just sent on their way. That was the mutual consensus for the Boscobel performers on Saturday, as no one received a call back to audition again on Sunday.
The Boscobel performers were competing against over 22,000 people on Saturday, with the judges watching 100 auditions every 15 minutes.
“People that showed up at 7 a.m. to audition were still auditioning at 2 p.m.,” Zimpel’s mom Casey said.
Mindham graduated from Boscobel High School in 2010 and is currently attending UW-Whitewater for Elementary Education. Mindham performed ‘Too Close’ by Alex Clare. Mindham must have stood out to his group, because unlike the others who only sang about 30 seconds of their songs, Mindham was given the opportunity to perform the entire song for the judges. Once he was done performing his song, the judges asked Mindham to perform a few other songs on the spot, that he had not prepared to perform.
“Even though I did not make the cut, they told me I should come back next year,” Mindham said. “It was a nerve wrecking experience.”
Mindham felt relieved that he did not receive the call back on Sunday, because if he had he probably would have turned it down. His reasoning was because he had not realized that if he were to receive a call back he would have had to stay until Sunday to perform at another audition and that would have ruined Mindham’s plan with his band. Outside of his college studies, Mindham is part of a band with a group of his buddies and they had been practicing to perform at the Battle of the Bands.
“After all the practicing the band had been doing, I wouldn’t have wanted to let them down,” Mindham said.
Mindham was able to attend the Battle of the Bands with his band and they finished in first place, so he felt blessed with the outcome.
Brandes is currently a junior at Boscobel High School and is a member of the high school choir. Brandes performed ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele.
“I was so nervous, that I froze and forgot the words,” Brandes said. “However, I was surprised at how supportive all the other people were during the audition.”
Not receiving a call back was not enough to keep Brandes down, as she plans to make a return soon and attempt another audition. When she does return though, she plans to put more time into practicing and perform a different song.
“I ran into a guy who auditioned and he made the call back, and he recommended that next time I shouldn’t perform Adele because she is performed so often,” Brandes said.
Brandes walked out of the performance upset about how she had done, but after talking to her aunt, she came to realize that she was just nervous. Even without the call back Brandes now is proud of how she did and is happy that she was able to go through that experience.
“I practiced so much in one week that I almost lost my voice and was living off cough drops and hot tea,” Brandes said.
When Brandes graduates from college she plans to continue following her dream of being in music as it runs in her family with her father being a D.J. and her cousin Chris Esser being a dance music producer. After high school Brandes plans to attend college to be a music teacher.
Zimpel is a sophomore at Boscobel High School and is also a member of the high school choir. Zimpel spent countless hours practicing not only on his own time but also with his instructor, Brandi White, owner of Gotta Dance in Lancaster.
When Zimpel decided to audition for “The Voice” his plan was to perform “Gone, Gone, Gone” by Phillip Phillips. However, he ended up changing his mind and singing “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes.
“I was more comfortable with the song,” Zimpel said.
Zimpel went in with a group of about ten people, with him being the youngest of the group and the oldest being about 45 years old. Due to differences in age, Zimpel and his mom noticed the differences in dynamics between the songs Zimpel sang and the songs of the other members in the group.
Zimpel was the only one in his group that was able to finish their entire song. Even though at the end of his song, he did not receive a call back card, he was told by the judges that he was young and had a lot of talent and to continue following his dreams.
“I felt it was the best performance I have ever had,” Zimpel said. “I know I made the right choice by deciding to sing “Wanted.”
He plans to continue following his dreams in music and audition again sometime to be on “The Voice.” Zimpel hopes to someday also make an attempt at auditioning for “American Idol.”
“When I audition again, I will do a different song to gain more experience,” Zimpel said.