Stephanie Skipper sang from the heart.
And for it she received a heartfelt response from Kelly Clarkson, new fans and a coach in Adam Levine.
Skipper, a State College native, belted out “Piece by Piece” Monday in her audition for NBC’s “The Voice.” The performance pulled on Clarkson’s heart strings and prompted the show to feature her in a promo to draw more than 10 million people to tune in.
The fame might be temporary — there are no guarantees of sustained success on a national stage — so Skipper is wants to enjoy and learn on her journey, which began when she learned Clarkson would be a judge.
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Skipper and her husband, Tim, were at a Nashville vineyard when she decided to audition for the hit show.
“Who would know a few months later I’d be on the show?” Skipper said Tuesday during a conference call with other “The Voice” contestants and media. “Kelly didn’t turn her chair, but I did get my hug, and it was such a surreal and beautiful moment. I’m still struggling to find the words ... I know I can’t take this opportunity for granted. It’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share with my new friends.”
Her fan base is growing on the show, too, with fellow performers.
“Stephanie is amazing,” Tish Haynes said. “Stephanie walks with such confidence and grace and is classy in all ways.”
“Stephanie definitely sings with her heart, and that’s why she’s loved so much,” Miya Bass said. “She’s beautiful on the inside and outside, and that’s what makes her standout.”
Skipper had to choose between Levine and Blake Shelton to be her coach and made a connection with the former.
“(Adam) said something about sinking below the song and telling a story,” she said. “That was a huge part of my process and (as far as) singing notes, Kelly already did that beautifully. I wanted to tell my story in the moment, and with Adam I think there is more to uncover and discover.”
Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli