Troy grad takes on ‘The Voice’

Tori Roper
Features Editor

Celeste Betton, a 2011 Troy graduate, recently competed on NBC’s “The Voice,” a nationally viewed vocal talent competition, narrowly missing the cut for top 12, but making it to the top 24.
According to Betton, she had not considered auditioning for “The Voice” until one of the judges from Operation Rising Star, a military talent competition in which she participated, encouraged her to do so. The judge was also a vocal coach for “The Voice.”
Betton competed in Operation Rising Star in 2014 as an Army spouse and landed herself second place in the competition.
“At the moment, I really did not want to; I literally had just walked off the stage after coming short of first place in ORS, and was still kind of mourning that loss,” Betton said.
“After a few days, though, I looked into it and registered for the open call almost on a whim,” Betton said. “Through a networking connection, and God’s favor, I was able to skip the open call and get a private audition during callbacks, and the rest is history.”
Betton said that she was not sure what to expect from her audition.
“Before then, I had auditioned for another reality talent completion, but my audition never aired. So I was actually over the process of building myself up for letdowns.
“There were a couple notes in there I didn’t even know human beings could hit,” Adam Levine, one of the judges for the show, said of Betton’s blind audition.
Gwen Stefani said that she loved Betton’s energy and her ability to manipulate her tone.
Blake Shelton said that Betton’s blind audition was “full of heart.”
Pharrell Williams, Betton’s vocal coach, “is going to pull perfect performances out of you, and that’s going to be fun to watch,” Shelton said.
Betton found herself on Team Pharrell after her blind audition and said that she loved it.
“What I enjoyed most about being on Team Pharrell was simply being a part of Team Pharrell,” she said. “The relationships that I made with the people on my team are lifelong and ones that I truly cherish.”
“Then there is the added bonus of getting to talk, walk and work with the Grammy-award-winning artist, Pharrell Williams. I mean that’s cool, too,” Betton said. “If I had had a choice, he would have still been my No. 1.”
“Celeste, your choice of notes is like literally listening to vocal ‘Cirque du Soleil,’ ” Pharrell Williams said of Betton’s final performance, in which she went home, and her fellow performer, Mark Hood, remained. “I made a mistake by putting you guys together ’cause I don’t want to lose either one of you.”
Betton said a lot of work went into every performance that she did, from her wardrobe and vocal lessons to band and dress rehearsals.
“There is so much to love about being a part of the show, but I think one of the key things that stands out is actually performing,” Betton said. “When you are standing out on the stage singing and everything comes together before your eyes — the lights, the fans, the band — there is just nothing like it.”
Although her time on the show is over, Betton said that she is still focusing on music and on her fans.
“My fan base has definitely grown since being on ‘The Voice,’ ” Betton said.
“Oh, and my fans — well, I call them my FANmily — are amazeballs,” she said. “They are so encouraging and supportive of everything I do.”
Betton said that her social media platforms exploded after performing on “The Voice.”
“It’s the way that I stay connected to thousands of people who enjoy my gift and actually care about what I’m doing,” she said. “I never thought I was that interesting.”
According to Betton, she has conquered transitions and organizational challenges since leaving the show.
“My husband is in the U.S. Army, and, in September, the military relocated our family to Washington state,” Betton said.
“It is beautiful here, and from what I hear, the Pacific Northwest has an amazing music scene,” she said. “I have been working hard to build a strong mana.”
Betton is a full-time wife and mother, which she said “is one of the best jobs ever.”
“Right now, I am working hard behind the scenes to move my passion for music from a pastime to a career,” she said.
Of all of the things she gained from competing on “The Voice,” Betton said that self-confidence was the most important to her.
“For years, I struggled with the fear of inadequacy and rejection,” she said. “What ‘The Voice’ gave me was validation in a huge way; and for that I am forever grateful.”

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