John Aaron, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - A singer from Gaithersburg is getting plenty of attention after bursting onto the scene in the reality competition show "The Voice."
Erin Willett admits she was more than a little nervous before performing the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," but took a deep breath, and brought the crowd to life. Her booming rendition was enough to get country star Blake Shelton to pick her to move onto the next round.
Willett is a lifelong singer, but the recent college grad had only been playing in clubs in New York for a couple of months when her friends convinced her to audition for the show. She says she was "literally just along for the ride," and nearly missed the tryouts because of work.
Making her story even more impressive, she moved back to Gaithersburg to be with her family after her father's death. Even though he wasn't able to watch the show on Monday, he was able to attend the show's taping in person while he was battling cancer. Seeing her father's reaction on TV for the first time on Monday made Willett "want to push so much more" in her music career.
Meanwhile, she's still adjusting to her newfound fame.
"I've had a lot of people reach out to be on Twitter, email, Facebook, who are from the area," she said, although no one's come up to her in public. While she's fine with remaining anonymous, she knows it will be exciting when she gets asked for a picture for the first time.
"I'm definitely going to be like 'Ah! It's Happening!'"
The chances of "it" happening will go up significantly if she sticks around on the show, which we'll find out about over the next few weeks. She stays in communication with Shelton via email, and says that, no matter where she ends up as a contestant, a career in the music business is in her future.
Take a listen to Erin Willett:
Behind the Voice: Erin Willett and her family
After the Competition: Erin Willett
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)