There is still a long way to go for the aspiring singers competing on The Voice, but Brandon Chase already feels like hes a winner.
The Arlington resident performed well enough during his blind audition last week that two celebrity coaches, Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green, turned their chairs to stake claims for their teams.
Given that Chase sees himself as a country artist through and through, he chose to become a member of Team Blake.
But even if I didnt get a chair turned, he says, I would have still come out feeling like I accomplished something great. Getting up on that stage and performing in front of the four coaches and the audience, and being shown on national television, I couldnt have gone wrong.
Next, at 7 p.m. Monday on NBC, the Battle Rounds begin. Of the 48 artists competing, eight are from Texas.
Aside from Chase, only one other is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area: Nic Hawk of Dallas. Hes on Adam Levines team.
Chase, born and raised in Arlington, says hes still dazed by everything that has happened so far.
For starters, he barely remembers actually performing on The Voice.
Nerves were just going crazy inside my stomach, he says. I started the song and the next thing I knew, the song was over. I really was kind of on autopilot.
He describes seeing himself on TV last week (in which he sang a soaring version of Hunter Hayes Wanted) as being a surreal experience.
It was pre-taped, so I had been waiting for quite a while to see it, Chase says. It was almost like experiencing it for the first time. I was so overwhelmed in that moment, I couldnt take everything in.
For the past few years, Chase has been performing in pretty much any venue that would have him, from coffee shops to the Dallas House of Blues.
But he had never tried out for any of TVs many singing talent shows, never had any interest in doing so, in fact, until someone from The Voice invited him to a private audition in January.
The Voice is the only show I would even consider going on, he says, because I like the concept and because I like how its based around the artists and encouraging them and supporting their careers and helping unknown artists become known.
Chase has a super-positive approach to just about everything he takes on and for good reason.
Shortly after he was born, he suffered massive internal bleeding and respiratory failure. His parents were told to expect the worst. Yet Chase pulled through, eventually breathing on his own and suffering no lasting ill effects from the ordeal.
As a result, he says, every good moment he experiences now, large or small, is icing on the cake.
I feel like I was given a second chance, Chase says. Its a blessing to breathe each and every breath. I could easily not be here, but I am. I feel like God had a plan for me: Those complications in the beginning, I feel like they were put there so I can uplift peoples spirits when I share my story with them.
The more flamboyant Hawk, meanwhile, has been trying to get on a TV talent show for years.
He believes The Voice was right for him because, as the title suggests, the show is about judging an artist first and foremost by his singing. He aced the blind audition round with a rapid-fire rendition of Blu Cantrells Hit em Up Style (Oops!).
Ive tried out for American Idol five times, and they obviously hated me, Hawk says. But that show is a lot different from this. With this show, I honestly feel like it was my door, because Im the kind of person youd look at and you dont really expect the kind of voice to come out of me that does.
I came on The Voice wanting to execute the song in exactly my style and I felt like this show really gave me the opportunity to do that.
As for Chase, although he feels like a winner already, hes not going to go easy the rest of the way.
Im going to soak up everything I can from Blake, he says. Hes such a huge country star, one of the best in the business. He has so much to teach me, and I have so much to learn. Hopefully, I can take all of it and apply it to my career and be as successful, if not even more successful, than he is now.