Scott D. Pierce: Ex-Utahn out to prove that she has 'The Voice'
Loren Allred's grandmother was very disappointed with the singer's first appearance on NBC's "The Voice."
Not with the results. Allred, a 22-year-old former Utahn who's trying to make it in the music industry, made it through the blind auditions and advanced to the next round of the singing competition.
But viewers didn't actually see Allred perform. They saw her ever-so-briefly when it was announced she would advance.
"My grandma called me and said, 'I told everybody I know to watch!' " Allred said. "'And we all sat there and you were only on for a second.'
"But it's OK. My battle round is coming up, so they'll see more of me."
Allred was born in Pittsburgh; her family moved to Murray when she was 14. She graduated from Cottonwood High and spent a year in the musical theater program at Weber State before transferring to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She didn't stay long before she "kind of got discovered on YouTube," left school and headed to New York City.
She's hoping "The Voice" will further her dreams of pop-music stardom.
The show's blind auditions feature four judges facing away from the contestants. If they're impressed by a singer, they punch a button and their chair swivels.
Midway through Allred's peformance of David Guetta's "When Love Takes Over," Cee Lo Green hit his button. At the last second, Adam Levine hit his.
"I didn't walk into it with any expectations," Allred said. "And then when Cee Lo and Adam both turned around, I was floored. It was really amazing."
In an instant, she went from the pressure of performing to the pressure of having to decide which of the two would be her coach/mentor.
"You're on the spot," Allred said. "Everybody's waiting. And it's hard not to just blank out.
"But I decided to choose Adam because he did it at the last second. I wanted someone to be hard on me."
Next up for Allred are the battle rounds. Each of the four coaches/mentors (Levine, Green, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton) chooses pairs of singers from his/her team to sing a duet. After each duet, the coach chooses to keep one contestant and eliminate the other.
But there's a new twist. Coaches can "steal" eliminated contestants if they're the first to buzz in. (They're limited to two steals apiece.)
The battle rounds begin Monday (7 p.m., NBC/Channel 5), but we don't know which episode will feature Allred's duet.
We do know that she'll be on for more than a few seconds.
"It's just this huge platform of exposure," Allred said. "I want as many people to hear me as possible, and then go from there. I really want to touch people with my music."
Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.
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