Austin wedding singer, Lake Travis HS grad battling it out on The Voice

Voice contestant Sammie Zonana (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)
Voice contestant Sammie Zonana (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The anticipation is rising as we get closer to the battle round for a local contestant on NBC’s hit singing show, The Voice.

Sammie Zonana’s voice and unique rendition of “Dangerous Woman” struck a chord with coach Gwen Stefani. She got a chair turn during her blind audition and earned a spot on Team Gwen.

“I remember the moment she turned,” said Zonana. “I will never forget it because I looked at her, I looked her in the eyes and I sang to her and it was like a moment where I said, ‘thank you, thank you for believing me.”‘

Clips from the show suggest the Lake Travis High School graduate will take the stage soon for round two of the competition which is a sing-off with another member of her team.

“I’m very stoked to represent Austin because I feel like it’s a huge piece of me, it’s a part of my heart and my soul,” said Zonana.

Zonana graduated from LTHS in 2010 where she had dreams of becoming a screenwriter. Singing wasn’t even on her radar until she picked up a guitar in college at the University of Texas at Arlington.

“I guess I just got the guts to put my iPhone up on the table and record this terrible song I had a written, of course I think it’s terrible, but I uploaded it to Facebook and my friends were like ‘who are you?'” said Zonana. ‘”We’ve known you all these years we never knew you could sing,’ and I was like, ‘I didn’t know I could sing either.”‘

Now, the entire world knows. It was her biggest supporter, her mother, who first put the idea in her head to try out for the show.

“My mom who is just a mega fan was like, ‘you’ve got to audition for The Voice!’ But I just don’t think it was the time yet, I don’t think I was ready.”

Then her aunt mentioned it again last year. “For some reason at that time I think I was just ready to maybe explore and take that plunge,” said Zonana.

After coming out of her musical shell, Zonana started a business singing at weddings. Her plan was to book one or two last year, and then she ended up performing at eight or nine.

As of Monday night, we still don’t know if she survives her battle round, and she was up for divulging any details.

“I can’t tell you anything about any of that,” she said with a smile.

We do know she’s not giving up her day job just yet.

“I have [a wedding] next week, and I’m really excited about it,” said Zonana.

Zonana met up with KXAN’s Erin Cargile at One-2-One bar on South Lamar where she will be performing Wednesday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m. She brought her ukulele and played an acoustic version of one of her songs, Soak. 

For all you die-hard Voice fans, here are some extras you may be wondering about, too.

Erin: How often do you hear from Gwen? Does she text you?
Sammie: (Laughs) I wish I had Gwen’s number. It’s just so cool to be in someone’s presence who has just accomplished so much.She’s just a really cool chick.

Erin: You got to meet Celine Dion!
Sammie: That is also a moment that I will never forget because she is an amazing amazing woman who has done incredible things in the industry, and the best part to me is that she is a woman and that she’s just been a powerhouse from the beginning, and I just have so much love and respect for her especially after meeting her and getting to peek into who she is.

Erin: Is it a secret, like it looks like on the show, where you don’t know who the mentor is going to be until you walk in the room?

Sammie: 100 million percent complete secret. It’s a huge, huge surprise and everyone is keeping it a secret, and the whole day you’re freaking out because the biggest fear is everyone is like, ‘what if I don’t know who they are and I walk in?’

Erin: Can you tell us anything [about your battle round]?

Sammie: I can’t tell you anything about any of that.

Erin: (Sigh) How hard is it to keep all of this a secret?

Sammie: It gets easier.

Erin: We can’t even have a small hint? No hints. I can’t give you any hints.

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