Rock Island’s Charlotte Boyer Sings Amy Winehouse on “The Voice”
Charlotte Boyer, a 17-year-old junior at Rock Island High School, made her national television debut Monday night on the final rounds of blind auditions for Season 20 of NBC’s “The Voice” singing competition, which began Monday, March 1.
She was featured singing a minute-long rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “Love Is a Losing Game,” and didn’t get the response she hoped for from celebrity judges John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton and Nick Jonas. None turned their chair for her.
“I am so sorry we don’t have better news for you today,” Legend told Charlotte on the show. “I really do think you have a lovely voice, a lovely tone. I felt like it was a little too stylized, in a way that it felt like we were losing you to the style that you were trying to convey.
“You’re just at an age right now where you’re still trying to figure that out,” he said. “A couple years elapses, and you’ve worked on it some more, you’re going to be so much better. You already have the core of what you need, which is a gorgeous voice.”
“If you sang another song that’s not an Amy song and then put who you are on that song, it would turn out better for you in the end,”
Clarkson told Charlotte. “Your tone is really cool and I’m so glad you’re here today. I’m glad you came to audition for us, all right?”
“I actually really loved your voice,” Shelton said. “The reason I didn’t hit my button is because I felt like that style is so far out of my lane, I’d probably drag you down in this situation.”
A synopsis of last night’s show from Entertainment Weekly said: “Charlotte is a shy teen who comes alive on stage and thinks the format of the Blinds will work in her favor, allowing her to show off her vocals instead of worrying about stage presence.”
It noted that Shelton and Clarkson were the only judges to have spots left to give.
Charlotte’s mom Chrissy Boyer (a professional singer and events manager at Davenport’s River Music Experience), said Tuesday they had a big group of family gather at their Rock Island home to watch “The Voice.”
During the segment (filmed last October), Chrissy’s husband Mundo-Rey was there in person, and Chrissy was shown watching remotely from RME with her other daughters, Mirsa, 20, and Mina, 15.
“It was fun. Her cousins came over, and brought her a little cake that had ‘The Voice’ logo and we all watched it together,” Chrissy said of Monday night. “Immediately after, her phone started going crazy.”
Of the celebrity judges’ comments, she said they made sense.
“For those of us who had seen her perform locally, she’s got a lot of energy, usually pretty lively. I don’t know if part of her being so kind of timid on stage, was that there was no live audience,” Chrissy said. “As a performer, you get the feedback in real time. I do know she was pretty nervous. I thought there really was nothing negative as far as her vocal ability, so that was a win.
“I was really impressed,” she said of Charlotte’s performance. “At some point when you’re up there, for ones that don’t get the chair turns, you realize they’re not going to turn their chairs for me. I was so proud that she finished and she kept her composure.”
Alex Axup, a young Q-C bass player (and member of the band Fair Warning) posted Monday night on Facebook about the show:
“I couldn’t be more proud of this girl! I get nervous just before a bar gig around the QC sometimes, you get it girl for singing on live TV in front of those judges! Charlotte Boyer, you just AMAZE me so much with your talent, courage, poise and drive for your passion! Keep it up girl, we all love you so much.”
“It was a very long process and I was lucky to even be a part of it all,” Charlotte said last month of her auditions in October in Los Angeles.
“I’m not sure what the number was, but there were a lot of auditions, a lot of people that did try out. I was one of the few that got lucky.”
“My mom submitted a video of me to the website and I guess someone found it, and I was invited to audition,” she said. That video was from August 2019’s Sweatstock in East Moline, of Charlotte singing “It’s a Man’s Man’s World.”
That All Sweat Productions’ 50th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival was a great experience, Charlotte said. “It has helped me grow as an artist so much,” she said, noting she started singing at All Sweat tribute shows when she was 15.
She didn’t know her mom submitted to “The Voice.” She and her father got an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles for the month of October, first so she could quarantine for two weeks.
It was Charlotte’s first time ever on a plane. The auditions were at NBC studios, and they couldn’t disclose her song or how she did on the show before it aired.
“There were quite a few singers,” Charlotte said. “There was a small group of high schoolers, about five kids my age. We all got to know each other pretty well.”
“I wasn’t really, going into it, expecting anything,” she said. “I was along for the experience.”
“They have only so many people get to make it to the auditions, to get on the stage,” she said. “If you’re lucky, you make it.”
Char has been writing music since she was about 13, and took her first RME program (Winter Blues Camp) at 12. The Davenport-based nonprofit that works to change lives through music has helped her through its educational programs, scholarships, and financial assistance.
United Way partnered with RME to enlist local songwriters to create six original songs that reflect stories of everyday people, whose lives were changed through the support of United Way.
On Tuesday, Chrissy said Char and her dad had a great time during their month in L.A.
“He enjoyed kind of seeing her get the feedback, seeing some of the other contestants,” Chrissy said, noting 40 “Voice” contestants proceed to the next round. “Her apprehension before she went out there was, ‘I don’t want to disappoint people here at home. What if they don’t turn their chairs?’ I said, just go out there, enjoy it and soak up all that you can.”
She actually was invited back to “The Voice,” and won’t have to audition again to get on the show.
“I think that experience was enough for her,” Chrissy said, noting Char is looking into pursuing music as a career in a different way, like music therapy, in college.
“She believes in the power of music, to heal and to bring reconciliation, and to help people get through traumatic times, or rough times,” her mom said. “She’s interested in that and using her music to help people, make them feel good.”
Appearing on “The Voice” is a great addition to any college application, Chrissy said.
“The experience was way more than we thought it was going to be,” she said. “We had an idea, but it was so much more than that. To see what a real record contract was like, all of these different things that behind the scenes go into having a career. “I imagine for her, it kind of solidified what direction she wanted to go, to continue to have a professional career as a musician or pursue music in a different way,” Chrissy said.
“The Voice” format features four stages of competition: the first begins with the blind audition, then the battle round, the brand new knockouts and finally, the live performance shows.
During the blind auditions, the decisions from the musician coaches are based solely on voice and not on looks, according to https://www.nbcthevoice.com/about.
The coaches hear the artists perform, but they don’t get to see them — thanks to rotating chairs. If a coach is impressed by the artist’s voice, he/she pushes a button to select the artist for his/her team. At this point, the coach’s chair will swivel so that he/she can face the artist he/she has selected.
If more than one coach pushes their button, the power then shifts to the artist to choose which coach they want to work with. If no coach
pushes their button, the artist is eliminated from the competition.
Carter Rubin was winner of season 19 of “The Voice,” at age 15.
You can see a short video about Charlotte Boyer’s experience with RME at www.facebook.com/watch/?v=332590174507464.
To see how Charlotte worked with United Way on “Amplify Quad Cities,” visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=weEHYt_0G4o. You can listen to her original song “I’ll Be Alright” at https://soundcloud.com/unitedwayqc/illbealright.
To see the March 22 segment of her on “The Voice,” visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsyzybITGHI. Before noon Tuesday, it had 78.034 views.