Voice Season 10 final casting auditions select just one Canadian: Samm Smith
'I can't even begin to thank the community of Okotoks,' says hopeful teen
A teenager from a small town in Southern Alberta has just had the most important audition of her budding musical career, and it could land her on one of the most-watched music reality TV shows of all time.
Samm Smith, 15, was one of the 200 hopefuls and the only Canadian invited to the final round of auditions for season 10 of NBC's hit series The Voice.
"I can't even express to you how much work went [into this], not only from me, but from my family," Smith told CBC Newsshortly after the audition in Los Angeles.
"I practice every day, and they had the pleasure of hearing me for five hours every day for the past seven months or so. Lucky them," she joked.
If Smith makes it through, she'll get the chance to sing to the chair-backs of four of the most influential music icons in Hollywood: Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams and Blake Shelton.
Her repertoire for the auditions included original renditions of Ariana Grande's Almost is Never Enough, Alicia Keys's If I Ain't Got You and Al Green's Let's Stay Together.
Huge outpouring of community support
Smith's trip to the City of Angels was made possible in part because of a huge send-off at Rylie's Cattle Barn, a family restaurant in Okotoks where Smith hosts an open mic night every Thursday.
"I can't even begin to thank the community of Okotoks for what they did," she said.
The venue, which is meant to hold 200 people, was packed with 315 for a special fundraising event, Smith said.
"They passed around a hat and [raised] $3,000 for me to be able to drive down here," she said.
Smith, who began singing when she was just four years old, has attended open mic nights at Rylie's Cattle Barn since she was nine.
"It just started from having fun with my dad, and now it's something that's kind of huge."
"This is just another stepping stone. Really, whenever I sing, my career just kind of shoots up."
Smith isn't allowed to reveal how the audition went, but you can watch to see if she made the cut when the show premiers Feb. 29 on NBC.