Brittany Kennell has been living far away from home for years, working odd jobs and pulling long days — it was all worth it for a moment in the spotlight.
"It just gives me some sort of sense of validation" - Brittany Kennell
"All those years and hard work and shows and co-writes and working every odd job, to be here. It just gives me some sort of sense of validation that I was meant to do this. That I'm meant to be here," Brittany Kennell told CBC News in an interview the day after her audition on the American version of The Voice aired.
"This is finally something that made the sacrifice — moving away from Montreal — worth it. And that's huge," she said via Skype from Nashville.
Kennell, 27, grew up on the island of Montreal in Beaconsfield and moved to Nashville five years ago to pursue her music career.
She said she went in expecting nothing from The Voice's blind auditions — where celebrity coaches listen with their backs turned to potential candidates. The show's concept is that artists are chosen for their voices, not their looks.
"We were like, is this real?" - Brittany Kennell
When celebrity coach Blake Shelton signalled his vote of approval during her performance by swivelling his chair to face her, Kennell said she couldn't believe it.
"As soon as Blake turned I freaked out because I didn't, I just didn't expect it."
Kennell's parents were standing to the side of the stage during the performance. She said the moment that Blake picked her, she looked over at them.
"I turned around and I saw them and just like, gave them a look that was like, what just happened? I got off stage and we were just shocked. We were like, is this real?"
"People might not believe that but once you're away from it you do appreciate the winter cold." - Source
While Kennell focuses on preparing for the battle rounds of The Voice and her new life in the spotlight, she says she hasn't forgotten where she comes from.
She misses Montreal, its culture, food and diversity.
And even though she's enjoying sunny Nashville, Kennell said she actually misses winter.
"I definitely miss the cold weather. People might not believe that but once you're away from it you do appreciate the winter cold."