By TRICIA HILL
From proving his talent at the Texaco Country Showdown this summer, Boscobel sophomore Jonah Zimpel plans to continue following his dream at an audition on “The Voice” television show in January. Zimpel will be heading to Chicago on January 19 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center to see if he has what it takes to have “The Voice.”
“I have been watching ‘The Voice’ and I decided I wanted to audition,” Zimpel said.
Zimpel has been performing since his first solo in first grade.
“I love singing and letting people hear my voice,” Zimpel said.
Zimpel will be required to perform two songs of his choosing at the audition in Chicago for the producers of the show. Since Zimpel only has a couple of months until the audition, he plans to perform “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes and “I Drive Your Truck” by Lee Brice. Zimpel performed both songs while competing in the Texaco County Showdown this past summer, where he placed second.
“I want to stick with these songs because I know them very well,” Zimpel said.
When performing at the competition, Zimpel will not be allowed any background tracks, accompaniment or instruments. The producers want the only thing they are able to hear to be the competitor’s voice.
“I need to stay confident and remember to keep working until I have the song 150 percent correct,” Zimpel said.
If Zimpel does well at the open call audition, he will receive a red card from the producers, which means he will continue on to the call back audition where he will perform again in front of the producers.
If Zimpel makes it to the callback audition, he will be required to perform three current/popular songs for the producers, one of which may be the producer’s choice. However, Zimpel will be allowed to have background music, an instrument or an accompaniment at this performance.
“If I make it on to the show, it would be nice to survive a couple rounds at least,” Zimpel said.
For those unaware of what ‘The Voice’ is, it is a television show that takes the strongest vocalists from across the country and invites them to compete in a vocal competition. The show features four stages of competition, including the blind auditions, the battle rounds, the knockouts and, the live performance shows.
In the blind audition competitors perform their song with the coaches backs to the performer. The coaches on the show include Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green and Adam Levine.
The coaches will hear the competitor’s performance and if they are impressed with what they hear, they will press a button to select the artist for his/her team. Once the coach is selected, their chair will turn around so they can see the artist they have selected. If no coach presses a button for the artist, the artist is automatically eliminated from the competition.
After the coaches have chosen their teams, they will dedicate their time to helping their artists by giving them advice and sharing the secrets of their success.
Not only will Zimpel have a celebrity coach if he makes it on to the show, but he will also have a celebrity advisor, such as Cher, Ryan Tedder, Miguel or Ed Sheeran.
The battles continue throughout the show and the competitors dwindle down with each show by a vote done by the live audience. In the end, one competitor will be named “The Voice” and will receive the grand prize of a recording contract.
Dream a reality
Zimpel has a little over two months to prepare himself for this competition and with his family and community’s support he hopes to make his dream a reality.
“Jonah would be more than happy to perform for things in town for the experience,” his dad Derek said.
Zimpel has been performing since the first grade and is in love with music. He has performed at his local church, Boscobel school performances, weddings and more.
Currently, Zimpel’s parents, Derek and Casey Zimpel, are trying to find him a vocal coach to begin working with him before his audition.
“We’re hoping to send him to some big people in Los Angeles that we are hoping to send him to train with for a couple months,” Derek said.
As of right now Jonah has taught himself how to sing his two songs by himself and just listening to them repeatedly.
“I go through it a million times and pick out parts that I know I need to work on,” Zimpel said.
Zimpel has his own Facebook page if anyone is interested in following him on his adventures to Chicago or having him perform.
Zimpel heads into his audition in January full of excitement and knowing that if he doesn’t make it this time, he will try again to audition for “The Voice” and continue to work at his dream of becoming a professional singer.