It’s the dream of every entrant on the popular talent search show, The Voice – when all four judges turn around because they’re impressed with your singing.
That’s what happened to talented Strandfontein singer Celest Schoeman, 28, during the blind auditions on The Voice South Africa – and come Sunday April 23, she will be taking part in the battle round.
The Voice, an international franchise, is a singing contest aiming to search for the nation’s new big star.
Judges on the American show have included singing sensation Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, and country star Blake Shelton.
During the local auditions, coaches, Kahn Morbee of Parlotones fame, songbird Lira, Afrikaans singer and songwriter Bobby van Jaarsveld and rocker Karen Zoid, were seated with their backs to the contestants and select their team, based only on what they hear. If more than one coach turns around, the contestant gets to choose whose team he or she would like to join.
In Celest’s case, she was able to catch the attention of all four coaches and selected to be on Karen’s team.
Speaking about the blind auditions, Celest said when she first stepped on stage she had mixed feelings because she didn’t know what to expect. “At first, it was intimidating because the coaches’ backs were facing me, and usually you have judges facing you. I told myself ‘I got this’ and after that, it flowed. But, when I saw the coaches turning around, I had an ‘OMG’ moment and felt relieved,” she said.
Celest said she chose Karen because she was a strong, passionate and successful woman who inspired her.
“Karen is a rock singer that has done really well for herself. She is unique, outspoken and goes beyond boundaries,” she said.
Celest said it was her father who had first recognised her talent when she was just seven years old and would sing at variety shows and events.
“I remember him paying me to sing a song at karaokes and birthday parties,” she laughs.
At the age of 14 she won the Plainsman/ Westgate Mall Voice Search competition and the Teen Idols competition at the Joseph Stone Auditorium in Athlone on the same day.
She recalls the day vividly, remembering that she sang Impossible by Christina Aguilera and I still believe by Mariah Carey.
Celest performed on many stages across the country before deciding to give The Voice a try.
The singer has performed at the Globe Theatre at Gold Reef City, Roxy Revue Bar at GrandWest and The Barnyard Theatre at Willowbridge in the northern suburbs, having performed in a number of tribute shows.
“With the industry being so tough, I thought to myself, the worst thing that can happen is getting a no, and I have had that before. So, I went in doing my best and if it didn’t work out, life goes on,” she said
Celest is calling on people to support her in her The Voice South Africa journey and is training every day to do well in the competition. “To our youngsters out there, you need to believe in yourself. If you don’t, how do you expect others to?” she said.
You can watch Celest compete in the battle rounds on M-Net’s channel 101 on DStv on Sunday April 23, at 5.30pm.