Kelsea Johnson//Photograph by Paul Drinkwater, NBC
Kelsea Johnson did the First State proud with her appearance on the popular reality TV show “The Voice.” The 22-year-old Newark native seemed to come out of nowhere to grab the limelight when she joined Team Alicia (Keys) during the blind auditions. We caught up with the Delcastle grad in mid-March as she planned to join her family at a viewing party of the show’s battle rounds. Kelsea wasn’t allowed to discuss many details, but we have a feeling her entertainment career is about to skyrocket.
This is cool because we don’t have many celebrities from Delaware.
(Laughs.) I wouldn’t call myself a celebrity.
How many times have you watched the replay of your audition?
I don’t watch it often because it’s so weird for me. But my little brother—he’s only three—watches it every single day. So he watches the whole thing, including when I have to pick my coach. And he says, “Why does she pick Alicia every time?”
You moved to California last summer?
Yes. I moved out there during the process of the show, but before the blind audition. I was just really trying to pursue music broadly. It was the perfect time for me to move to California.
You can really sing. Where did that talent come from?
It definitely came from my mom’s side of the family. Ninety percent of my family on my mom’s side can sing. The love of music is definitely ingrained in that side of the family.
I hear you did a little performing when you were in high school.
I never did any gigs or things like that, but I did a couple of family friends’ weddings and a few funerals. I sang the national anthem at a couple of high school basketball games. I did a celebrity basketball game, Duffy’s Hope. I would also sing at some on-campus events in college (Stony Brook University).
You picked Alicia. Was she your top choice going into the competition?
Yes. I love her. I grew up on her music. She’s a superstar. Honestly, once I got on stage, it wasn’t an easy decision because I’m hearing what Kelly (Clarkson) and Adam (Levine) are saying. They were fighting for me and saying all this stuff that really spoke to me. But I went with my gut feeling and went with Alicia. I thought, she turned (her chair), so I can’t turn her down now.
Were you angry that Blake Shelton didn’t turn around for you?
No. It would have been nice to have four chairs, but I was blessed to have three.
What inspired you to do all of this?
I think the show stands for something really good. I really want to be in music, and what better way to start my career than being coached by A-list celebrities? I just want to learn—to learn about myself, about my voice, about the industry. That’s my main goal here. There is no downside to this. Even if I lose, it’s a huge step in my career.