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Jessie Pitts owned the stage during The Voice’s blind auditions. She said she waved to the crowd, worked the audience and felt like she was where she was meant to be. Photo by Tyler Golden/NBC.
One line into the song, Gwen Stefani turned her chair around.
It only took seven words of Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” for The Voice judge to indicate she wanted Spain Park High School graduate Jessie Pitts on her team. Nineteen-year-old Pitts is now on Team Gwen, continuing on the show’s battles in the upcoming weeks.
“Wow, I loved your voice,” Stefani told Pitts after her audition. “It was like an angel — so pretty. I love how you can wiggle your way up into these other little notes.”
Stefani was able to sway Pitts to her side, but Pitts already had an idea of her own singing style. She started singing in her church choir at a young age and continued singing in her high school choir and show choir. Pitts said her father was one of her biggest influences.
In addition to singing with her, he raised her on classic Beatles and country music, and he built a wooden stage for her to perform on. Under this influence, she was able to create her own style.
“I would say I have an indie kind of voice, but I love taking pop songs and making really unique transitions to make it sound like a song you have never heard before,” Pitts said. “It [might be] a popular song, but it sounds so different the way I sing it. It’s kind of like you are reading your favorite book for the first time.”
The influence of singers like Regina Spektor and Ellie Goulding can be heard in Pitts’ soft voice, but she said she always wants her own personal edge to shine through. If you have ever seen one of her gigs, she said you have probably heard her cover of “Love Me Tender.” Elvis originally recorded the song, but she said the cover by Norah Jones inspired her own version.
Her take on pop songs made more than Stefani react during the blind auditions. Blake Shelton pressed his button almost immediately after Pitts took the stage. He said her voice “is like a bowl of Lucky Charms, marshmallows only” when she started singing.
The day leading up to the audition, Pitts said she was a nervous wreck. She first auditioned two years ago and was told that she should come back when she had more experience and when she was a little older. She took that as a sign that The Voice wasn’t the path for her, but went to the auditions again when a friend begged her to go.
The morning of the audition, however, Pitts said she woke up with the most peaceful feeling. Being on the stage was nothing less than incredible, she said.
“I was working the crowd, waving to the people, and it just felt right,” Pitts said. “It felt like it was what I was meant to do. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be, and that was a very pleasant surprise. I could really just enjoy the moment and give it everything I had.”
For Pitts, listening to the judges, some of the world’s top artists, talk about her voice was an out-of-body experience. She said she was humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to sing in front of them, and she felt even more blessed to be able to perform for them again.
Pitts took the stage with Ryan Will Oct. 20 for the next round. The pair battled their vocal talents by singing Ellie Goulding's "I Need Your Love," and Stefani chose Sill as the night's winner.
Although Pitts lost the battle, Shelton saved her from going home. He used his last "steal" to make Pitts a member of Team Blake, the winning team from last year's season with singer Danielle Bradbery.