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Singer - 4. Blind Audition

The soft sound of Chipper’s basketball shoes barely broke the room-enveloping silence. He waited on the darkened stage, head bowed, and microphone clutched in his hands, for the music to begin. A side-glance assured him his sister, Cristina and his niece, Carolina watched from the wings with Carson Daly, the host. The corners of Chipper’s mouth ticked upwards.

Butterflies swarmed in his stomach, and he needed to calm his nerves. He stared at the back of the coaches’ chairs and tried to concentrate on having sung in front of presidents before. This should be less intimidating. A single spotlight on him and the first bars of the song cleared his head. He was born to perform and this was his chance.

Chipper was unable to see the coaches’ faces. It was later, when he watched the broadcast-ready episode, he could observe their expressions and hear a few of their comments. Four well-known musical stars listened to potential contestants sing, not knowing what they looked like. The show, predicated on highlighting vocal ability, discouraged appearance influencing the audition’s result.

An evil smile formed on country music icon Blake Shelton when he seemed to recognize the song. He glanced at the other coaches and slammed his open palm on the red button in front of his seat. The chair rotated until he was able to see the individual singing, and the microphone caught his reaction. “Oh, crap. It’s Adam’s mini me.”

“HE’S IN! HE’S IN!” Daly sprung from his crouching position and high-fived Cristina. Chipper noticed their broad smiles and later heard the jubilation on tape.

Moments after Shelton turned his chair to indicate his interest in coaching Chipper, the aspiring musician reached a high note that made the two female artists sitting in the middle also hit their buttons.

The fourth coach, Adam Levinelead singer for Maroon 5had been on every season of the show with Shelton. The two had a bromance thing going the producers seemed to encourage. Critics agreed it was part of the show’s appeal. They acted like frenemies and often competed head to head when trying to persuade participants to choose them as their coach.

As Chipper neared the end of “Denim Jacket,” Levine at last showed his interest. As the chair rotated, the grin on his face was so big his eyes were nearly closed. It was not often an aspiring musician risked doing a song by one of the coaches; Chipper had gambled, and Levine seemed to approve. When the performance ended, there was bedlam in the audience, and the four coaches stood applauding.

The first comment was Blake’s. “You know, this isn’t fair. But just because the two of you shop at the same thrift store, and he sang one of your songs doesn’t mean anything, Adam. He might be smart enough to choose a coach who could help him win.”

“Shut up, Shelton. You’re just jealous.” Levine sprung from his chair, climbed on stage, and faced the audience with an arm around Chipper. They wore similar faded blue jeans with strategically placed rips around the knees and near the crotch. The only differences in their attire were Chipper’s jacket, and Adam’s shirt having sleeves; something he remedied by rolling them up his arms. “Dude, we’re destined to be a team. We’re gonna make beautiful music together. Forget the other three.”

While Adam returned to his chair, Blake spoke to Chipper. “Let’s ignore your lack of fashion sense for a moment. What’s your name?”

“Well some beach! Blake Shelton turned first for me.”

“Don’t you forget it, son.”

“Anyway, my name’s Chipper. I’m twenty-two. And I’m originally from New York City.”

“YASSS!” Alicia Keys sounded excited a fellow New Yorker was on stage. “You have an incredible voice. Adam can hit high notes most of us have trouble reaching, but you nailed it. It was a gamble to sing a coach’s song, and you pulled it off. Where in New York?”

“I was born and raised in the Upper West Side. Both my parents are from Argentina, and I’ve spent the last four years at the University of Miami.” Chipper held both hands up, his thumbs touching, to form the U flashed by Miami Hurricanes’ fans at sporting events. “Go ’Canes!”

“You said Argentina. Do you sing in Spanish, too?” Kelly Clarkson, the fourth coach, hailed from Texas and always appeared interested in bilingual contestants.

“Definitely. I did a Julio Iglesias song in my initial audition.”

“Oh, you gotta pick me, you gotta pick me. I so want someone who can sing in Spanish to win this show.”

Levine drummed his fingers on the chair’s arm while the other coaches made a pitch for Chipper to join their team. When everyone turned their attention to him, he became serious. “You and I are going to win this season. You were faithful to the song, yet you made it your own. Some of those runs were sick!”

“Are you calling him a sick individual?”

“Shut up, Shelton. Chipper sounds like a smart man. I have no doubt he realizes we’re meant to be together. I can’t wait to beat your ass this season.”

“Well done, brother.” Carson had joined Chipper center stage and vigorously pumped his hand.

“Thanks.”

“Okay, Chipper. You’re the first contestant this season to have all four chairs turn. Who do you choose to be your coach?”

Chipper had been given direction on what to do in a variety of situations, from no chairs turning to having all four coaches interested in him. He remained quiet, dragging the moment out to build suspense; he suspected that in his case it wouldn’t fool anyone. “I’m on such a high right now I’m having trouble thinking and talking. I’m so humbled all four of you want to work with me. But I think I know who I want.” He paused again for dramatic effect, gliding his eyes along the line of chairs until they rested on the leftmost one. “I pick Adam!”

“YES!”

“Crap!”

Copyright © 2019 Carlos Hazday; All Rights Reserved.
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Story Discussion Topic

Welcome to the discussion thread for CJ’s series. All things CJ are fair game, I simply ask you be respectful of others. I will actively participate in the discussion. Ask questions, speculate about what’s coming, or bitch about what happened. We’re now open for business!    

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Chapter Comments



As always, a great chapter.  An interesting story and I look forward to more of Chipper's journey.  

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Who other than Adam.....love the interaction between the two.  And of course he got 4 chairs.....

Great update!  

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Chipper’s awesome blind audition probably made more than four heads turn. I can imagine the home audience reaction, too. Who wouldn’t want to coach Chipper?

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Just as I imagined ... you done yourself proud with this one. I didn't even mind the short length.

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I. Freaking. Love. You. Right now! As soon as I read those words Blake's voice automatically registered in my mind! And I must applaud chipper for referencing my favorite Blake Shelton song which will now be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. I'm glad he picked either Adam or Blake. If it were me I'd pick Blake because he was the first to turn, same he's won more than the others...... But yay team adam

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4 hours ago, JACC said:

Another fantastic chapter, Carlos, too short for my liking! No, I'm not complaining, 10000 words would be too short for my greedy reading habits when you gift us stories from the CJverse.

Thank you for your writing, take care of yourself (and try publishing three or five times a week. That was greedy me)

JA

If I published any faster, the story would be done too quick. Then I'd be hearing cries for more! :P

 

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3 hours ago, avidreadr said:

As always, a great chapter.  An interesting story and I look forward to more of Chipper's journey.  

Using a TV show as the premise for a story was risky, but I thought Chipper's talent and personality would help me pull it off. There'll be more music, but we'll also get to see a bit of his time in Los Angeles.

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2 hours ago, JayA said:

Who other than Adam.....love the interaction between the two.  And of course he got 4 chairs.....

Great update!  

Even before we knew he was singing a Maroon 5 song, anyone familiar with the coaches should have guessed who Chipper would choose based on attire! :P

 

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2 hours ago, Parker Owens said:

Chipper’s awesome blind audition probably made more than four heads turn. I can imagine the home audience reaction, too. Who wouldn’t want to coach Chipper?

Straight women and gay men probably drooled a bit. That may help him when audience votes decide who advances.

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2 hours ago, dughlas said:

Just as I imagined ... you done yourself proud with this one. I didn't even mind the short length.

I had a blast writing the performance chapters even if I'm not a musical person. Hopefully that enjoyment came through in what I wrote.

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31 minutes ago, Wesley8890 said:

I. Freaking. Love. You. Right now! As soon as I read those words Blake's voice automatically registered in my mind! And I must applaud chipper for referencing my favorite Blake Shelton song which will now be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. I'm glad he picked either Adam or Blake. If it were me I'd pick Blake because he was the first to turn, same he's won more than the others...... But yay team adam

Anyone unfamiliar with the show or the judges should still be able to enjoy the story, Those aware of any of it, hopefully will find I captured the essence of them. I asked Parker's advice about using some beach. I was unsure whether I should show it as a song. He advised against it, and I'm glad I listened. Blake fans like you would know what I was doing. One of those Easter eggs I like to drop in.

I think Alicia would have been Chipper's second choice because of the New York connection. He's never shown an interest in country music so he either knew about Blake's first hit or did his homework. Here's something for other readers and to further drive you nuts the rest of the day. LOL

 

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1 hour ago, Carlos Hazday said:

If I published any faster, the story would be done too quick. Then I'd be hearing cries for more! :P

 

No matter what you do you will be hearing cries for more 😘

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You nailed this chapter as far as I’m concerned with how an artist might feel on stage in this show and how the show feels

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This format forces you to create a lot in a short amount of space, and you do not disappoint!  One can feel the tension, excitement, and drama of the show.  Well done!  Come on, Tuesday!!!

Tony

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1 hour ago, tabaqui said:

No matter what you do you will be hearing cries for more 😘

I'll turn off the hearing aid. Oh, wait, that's my brother who has one of those. LOL

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1 hour ago, tabaqui said:

You nailed this chapter as far as I’m concerned with how an artist might feel on stage in this show and how the show feels

Any artist, be it a singer, and actor, or a writer will experience nerves and maybe even fear. I know I'm tied up in knots whenever I share a new story. Those who experience success while alive tend to be confident and out going. If we put ourselves out there, we have to be ready for rejection. Transferring some of what I've experienced since I started writing was how I got in Chipper's head. A healthy ego helps; half the battle is won if they believe in themselves.

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42 minutes ago, dutch woman said:

Glad to know that Adam will come back to the voice . 😆

Panic set in when I heard Levine was not returning to the show. It wasn't a total surprise, he did not seem to be into it during last season. The story was written already, and the scare subsided when I remembered this was fiction and I could do whatever I wanted. I'd already take some liberties with the format so I figured I could have him in the story since he plays a pivotal role.

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45 minutes ago, pvtguy said:

This format forces you to create a lot in a short amount of space, and you do not disappoint!  One can feel the tension, excitement, and drama of the show.  Well done!  Come on, Tuesday!!!

Tony

Thanks, Tony!

I like the short chapters, they force me to concentrate on a scene and milk the most out of it. The two other stories I've written since Singer have chapters shorted than my usual but I did not force myself to limit the word count. We'll see how those are received when I publish them.

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I have never watched the show.  I may have to start.   Bravo, Carlos!!!!   More, please,,,,

 

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