Teresa Guidry says she took a leap of faith when she moved from Rock Hill to Nashville nearly two years ago to launch her music career.
The 22-year-old took another huge leap toward her dream Tuesday night after her audition on NBC’s reality TV singing competition “The Voice” – landing on a team with country superstar Blake Shelton.
Guidry, a 2012 graduate of Rock Hill High School, performed Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” for her “blind audition” on Tuesday’s show.
During this portion of the show, contestants perform while the coaches – Shelton, Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams and Christina Aguilera – have their chairs turned so they can’t see who is singing. If any of the coaches are impressed by a contestant’s voice, they hit a buzzer, which turns the chair around.
More than 40,000 people auditioned for the show, from which only 100 were selected for blind auditions in front of the coaches.
As Guidry neared the end of her song Tuesday, Levine and Shelton both turned their chairs around, meaning each wanted her on his team. That put the decision in Guidry’s hands.
“You and me together, that’s a threat to them,” Shelton told Guidry in an attempt to draw her to his team.
Levine responded: “If I hadn’t turned around, he wouldn’t have.”
Guidry, who said she likes both artists, ended up joining Team Blake.
“I was hoping Blake would turn,” she told The Herald on Wednesday. “You have Adam Levine looking in your eyes saying, ‘Please Teresa, please be on my team.’ It’s really hard to turn one of them down. If I could, I’d work with them both.”
Guidry is one of 12 contestants on Shelton’s team. After the blind auditions finish, the show moves into its second stage – the “battle” rounds, in which each team’s coach pairs the contestants against each other.
“You never quite grasp what you’re about to do until you’re up there doing it,” Guidry said. “I was panicking pretty much all the way until I walked out on the stage.”
Guidry moved to Nashville almost two years ago. She got a job at a whiskey bar to pay the bills but has also been getting her name out by performing at gigs and networking within the music community. She wound up auditioning for “The Voice” after meeting a casting producer for the show.
“That leap turned into another leap; this is always something I knew I loved,” she said. “For me, it’s just in my head. You’re gonna feel a leap – you almost know it’s something I have to do.”
Support from Rock Hill has been overwhelming, she says – from friends and former teachers to strangers and people she’s only met once.
“It kind of feels like I have the whole town’s support right now,” she said. “It’s really crazy to be able to show people what I’ve been doing in Nashville and what I’ve been working on.”
Guidry, who also writes her own songs, says she’s not quite ready to show some of the songwriting projects she’s been working on.
“I don’t want to show it unless I would listen to it,” she said. “You have to step your game up if you want to be taken seriously” in Nashville.
Barbara Guidry said her daughter first picked up a guitar when she was about 14 and started writing songs soon after. She sang in choral groups in school, and in high school she was asked to rewrite the music for the Rock Hill High School Alma Mater and sing it at the homecoming football game.
“She’s worked so hard to get to where she is,” Barbara Guidry said. “It’s an amazing opportunity.”
Network officials encourage the contestants’ family members to be present during the show and fly them out to the studio, Barbara Guidry said. They met Shelton after Teresa made his team.
“He shook everybody’s hand and talked a little bit more and hugged everybody,” she said. “She’d gone in there hoping Blake would turn around. I think Adam would have been a good choice, too.”
Barbara Guidry remembers making the first trip to Nashville to help her daughter get moved in, and crying on the way back.
“It’s hard watching your kids grow up and spread their wings,” she said. “You’re happy for her at the same time, and really proud of her.”
The family will make the trip to California each time Teresa performs on the show, which airs locally at 8 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC, Comporium Channel 106.