An 18-year-old Mason resident secured a spot on “Team Nick” last Monday during Season 18 of NBC’s “The Voice.”
Michael Williams did so by singing “You Say” by Lauren Daigle. At the last second, celebrity judge Nick Jonas pressed his red “I WANT YOU” button to ensure Williams’ place on the singer’s team.
Earning the last spot on Jonas’ team was “so surreal,” Williams said.
“It was a dream come true, for sure,” he said. “Obviously, it was kind of nerve-wracking when I was up there because he waited until the very, very last second. It was crazy to see Nick Jonas in person, turning around and believing in me, believing that I have something special in my voice. That meant a lot.”
Williams said that when he was 6 years old, he told his parents that all he wanted for Christmas was voice lessons.
“I had grown up singing hymns because I learned all my music from my mom singing around the house,” he said. “Hymns and worship songs because my dad was a pastor.”
Williams’ parents were surprised by the request since most of their small-town life revolved around sports, but they agreed to pay for not only voice lessons, but also piano lessons, as well.
“I’m really glad that I got to start early and that my parents were on board with that,” he said.
Shortly after, Williams got involved in community theater and began performing at local events.
At 10, Williams was diagnosed with a digestive disease that kept him from playing sports, so he relied on music even more. By the end of his elementary school years, he was performing operatic songs at a church in Mason.
This year, he’ll return for a second year of singing at Kings Island.
“I was singing a lot of country music,” he said. “It was ’90s country and it was really great to be able to connect with the crowd. On stage, it taught me how to be able to sing and dance, that’s a big part of it, (and) how to connect to an audience from a more intimate stage.
The “family-centered environment” allowed him to get people of all ages involved with his performances.
Tim Williams, the director of operations for Hope House Middletown, said his son, last Christmas, came and sang for residents, many of whom learned of his being selected Monday night.
“They heard him sing before, and so they were really excited,” he said. “It was really kind of neat.”
Michael Williams said Jonas helps him a lot because “he’s really good at connecting with me” and also comes from a musical theater background.
“The little that I’ve got to work with him so far and talk with him, it’s been really great to see him know exactly what I need,” he said. “He’s very thoughtful with how he coaches. You’ll be able to see that in the battle, more.”
While the show’s other judges — Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Blake Shelton — didn’t choose Williams, Clarkson lauded him for his vocal range, intensity and passion.
Williams also got the added bonus of having Clarkson, when she saw him for the first time at the end of his audition, blurt out “Oh my gosh, you cutie. You are so cute.” and having her compare him to a young Tom Cruise.
You can check out Williams’ blind audition at www.tinyurl.com/WilliamsTheVoice01. “The Voice” airs on NBC at 8 p.m. Mondays. Blind auditions are scheduled to conclude Monday with the Battles portion of the show kicking off on March 23.
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