Sunderland singer moves to next stage of ‘Voice’
SUNDERLAND — Michelle Brooks-Thompson would love to be this year’s winner on NBC’s “The Voice,” but said she isn’t going to turn her back on the kind of singer she is just to win.
“The experience so far has been incredible,” said Brooks-Thompson in a phone interview from California on Wednesday. “No words can express — except maybe ‘excited and blessed.’”
Brooks-Thompson, 28, who made it through the first round of “The Voice” by singing “Proud Mary,” competed Tuesday in the second round of competition, the battle round, and made it through after singing Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.” She knocked her teenage teammate out of the competition in that round.
“It was hard to compete against a teammate, especially one so young,” she said. “We’re all like family ... so it was particularly difficult.”
Brooks-Thompson said she believes her experience in singing got her through the second round of competition and said she put everything into her performance, but she said she made sure she let her teammate know after the battle round that she “did awesome “and that she just needs a little more experience.
“I wanted to build her up ... because she deserves it,” she said.
The Sunderland resident and gospel singer has been singing in church since she was very young.
A Boston native who now lives with her husband, David Thompson, Amherst Regional High School football coach, and her 4-year-old twin daughters, Aaliya and Aleesia.
Brooks-Thompson graduated from Amherst Regional High School, where she sang at basketball games. Later, she sang at University of Massachusetts football games when her husband played there.
She is no stranger to competition. She sang the National Anthem at a Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees game in 2011 after winning the baseball team’s “Sing Your Way to Fenway” contest, and was a finalist on ABC’s American Karaoke Challenge that same summer.
Brooks-Thompson also won the Valley Idol competition in 2010 and finished second at the World Karaoke Championships in Texas later that year.
She still solos every Sunday at Holy Trinity Church of God and Christ in Springfield — if she’s not already in California for “The Voice” that week.
Brooks-Thompson said she is a gospel singer who is a “powerhouse and very soulful” and said that will come through no matter what genre she ends up having to perform as she moves on in the competition.
Next, she will compete against another teammate, but this time in a knockout round in which contestants are paired just minutes before they have to perform and each sings his or her own song. One is sent home at the end of that round.
In the last round, contestants were paired with a teammate and sang the same song, together.
Brooks-Thompson, who is a firm believer in fate, said whatever is meant to be will be for her. She said she will advance in her singing career no matter what happens on “The Voice.”
In the meantime, she said she will continue to prepare for each performance and do her best.
She has been traveling back and forth from Sunderland to California and will continue to do so as long as she is in the competition. All of her expenses are being paid by “The Voice,” she said.
“My family has been very supportive,” she said. “My husband takes the girls out so that I’m not interrupted while I’m rehearsing.”
Brooks-Thompson said the twins are excited for her and hope she wins, because they’ve been promised some new toys if she does.
Like the other contestants, Brooks-Thompson believes she will perform her best if she takes the stage each time feeling confident.
Brooks-Thompson will compete in the next round within the next couple of weeks.
“The Voice,” hosted by Carson Daly, is in its third season with American recording artist and actor Christina Aguilera, singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer and actor Cee Lo Green, country singer Blake Shelton, and Adam Levine, who is Brooks-Thompson’s coach and is a singer-songwriter and front man for pop-rock band Maroon 5.
There are four stages of competition: blind auditions, the battle round, a knockout round and finally, live performances.
If she makes it to the final round, she will have to perform a new song each week until she either gets knocked out or wins.
The four coaches choose the winners of the first three rounds, but the television audience votes for its favorite performers each week during the last round.
The winner will receive a recording contract.