Brave singing results in a steal

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 06:48
Eagle River singer advances in “The Voice”

For a moment, it appeared to be over for Cierra Mickens, 23, the first Eagle River resident to ever compete on “The Voice.”

It was the battle rounds on March 25 and Mickens (or “The Alaskan Powerhouse,” as she is called) had just finished singing Sara Bareille’s “Brave” with contestant Emily B.

Mickens and Emily B. were on Shakira’s team.

When it came time to judge, Shakira chose Emily B.

Mickens stood up there on that lonely stage and smiled, and you could see it in her face how much she had wanted to move on to the next round of battles, how hungry she was for it.

Then, as she was giving the proverbial goodbye hugs to the judges, Usher (oh sly, clever, waiting-for-the-moment Usher!), leaned slightly forward, pressed his buzzer and stole Mickens away.


Then you haven’t been watching “The Voice.” (And shame on you, too, for how often do you get to see an Eagle River gal compete in a national voice reality show?)

The show is a smarted up version of “American Idol,” a singing competition where judges turn their chairs away during the auditions so that physical appearances don’t sway votes.

When judges like what they hear, they spin around their chairs and choose that singer for their team.

If more than one judge turns their chair, the singer gets to choose what teams he/she will be on.

Mickens, who sang a personal rendition of Gnarls Barkely’s “Crazy” during her audition, was chosen by three judges: Shakira, Usher and Blake.

She picked Shakira’s team.

Teams are coached by the team leader/judge and individuals are paired together to sing a duet with another team member.

The team’s coach then decides who will be kept on and who will be eliminated.

Coaches have the option of stealing a singer away from another coach.

Judges have only two steals for the entirety of the battle rounds, so they use them sparingly.

But enough of this: I know you want to hear more about Mickens.

Or more importantly, what Usher had to say about Mickens.

“There’s something I see in Cierra that I want the world to be a part of,” he said after he successfully stole her from Shakira’s team. “She has star quality.”

Usher mentioned that he had been hoarding his last steal for someone special.

Someone like Mickens.

“God blessed you with an incredible talent,” he told her soon after the steal.

Coming from Usher, a judge who doesn’t easily hand out praise, that’s a ginormous compliment.

Stay tuned for Micken’s second battle round, which should hit television screens within the next few weeks.

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