Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal
Chevel Shepherd is small in stature.
But her voice is not small.
That was apparent while she was auditioning for NBC’s popular reality competition series “The Voice.”
During Monday night’s broadcast, the 16-year-old Farmington High School student was able to turn the chairs of three of the four judges.
Judges Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton and Jennifer Hudson all turned their chairs to fight it out for the chance to be the teen’s coach.
“I first started singing when I was 2 years old and would always sing country music,” Shepherd said during the introduction portion of the broadcast. “Mostly Carrie Underwood, because she’s my favorite. … If I saw Blake’s chair turn around, I would freak out.”
Shepherd was born in La Plata. She was raised on country music and the outdoors – often doing crafts, feeding the animals and fixing cars with her dad.
Since she was 8, she has been singing wherever she can in the Farmington area.
In the segment, Shepherd said she enjoys being tiny and sassy. “It just proves that big things come in small packages,” she said. “I’m like dynamite – tiny, but big.”
As Shepherd began to sing, Clarkson said she sounded like Dolly Parton. Immediately after, the Grammy winner hit her button and turned her chair.
Soon after, Shelton turned, and before the 90 seconds was over, Hudson also turned her chair.
“I’ve been dying to get a female country singer,” Clarkson said. “I would love to work with you, because you are so great.”
Hudson turned around because she thought Shepherd’s voice was beautiful and wanted to watch Clarkson and Shelton battle it out for her.
Shepherd chimed in, “First of all, I want to say that I share the same birthday as Blake.”
Her parents thought she would pick Shelton; but in the end, she went with Clarkson.
“I cannot believe I got Chevel,” Clarkson said. “She’s so young, so fresh-faced. … No one sounds like her. Secondly, I used to own a Chevelle.”
During the blind auditions of “The Voice,” contestants start their performance with the four judges turned away from them. Judges who like what they hear turn their chair to face the performer. The judges who turned their chairs then try to convince the contestant to pick them as their coach during the weeks of competition. Those without any chair turns do not move on.
Blake Shelton has the best record of coaching the ultimate winner, and country and western singers most often choose him as their coach.
Not so with Shepherd.
“I’m heartbroken Chevel went with Kelly,” Shelton said. “I mean, we have country music in common; we share the same birthday. We’re both from New Mexico. OK, that last part was a lie.”
Shepherd joined her parents and said, “I had to go with Kelly. I like what she said.”