LONGMEADOW, MA – Brynn Cartelli says when she was little she used to dream about someday singing with Kelly Clarkson. Now, the 14-year-old Longmeadow High School student will get her chance, as Cartelli dazzled judges on NBC’s “The Voice” season 14 premier last week and chose Clarkson to mentor her during the competition.
Cartelli performed Labrinth’s “Beneath Your Beautiful” during Blind Auditions, prompting Clarkson and fellow celebrity coach Blake Shelton to hit their buttons and turn around for Cartelli. Adam Levine and Alicia Keys, the other two judges, also praised Cartelli for her performance.
While Cartelli ultimately chose to go with Clarkson as her mentor, she said she did consider Shelton due to his success on the show with female performers.
“He really made some great points, so I had to think about it for a minute,” Cartelli told the Longmeadow News. “I used to have dreams when I was younger about singing with Kelly Clarkson, so I kind of knew I was going to go with Kelly. I knew my younger self wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t.”
Cartelli says she’s been a fan of Clarkson since she was 4 years old, but choosing the Grammy Award-winning mentor was about more than just being a fan.
Clarkson, who won the first season of “American Idol” in 2002, has experience in singing competitions, which is something Cartelli says will help during her time on The Voice.
“She’s literally been in our shoes, and she understands what it’s like to be in the moment,” Cartelli said. “She knows exactly what to say, and everything she says is just really real based off her personal experiences.”
It’s been a long journey already for Cartelli, who knew she’d be on the show for about a year now but had to keep it a secret.
“It was really hard,” Cartelli said with a laugh. “I kind of feels like I’m living two lives.”
Since her performance aired, Cartelli said she’s seen an outpouring of support both on social media and in town. She said she also received a message from Lauren Duski, the season 12 runner-up on The Voice, which was the first time she felt star struck since the premier aired.
“You see it all through the screen and it just doesn’t feel real,” Cartelli said of the social media support. “It’s just so surreal. I’m humbled and thankful for it all, and I try to respond to as many of the messages as I can.”
While Cartelli’s journey has just begun, she said she’s already learned a lot through her experience on The Voice, saying: “I have to be who I am as an original artist. You won’t succeed if you try to sound like someone else because that’s what makes people stand out. You also need to have that hard work.”
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC. For more information, go to www.nbc.com/the-voice. You can also follow Brynn Cartelli on Twitter @BrynnCartelli.
– Article by Jeff Hanouille