On Monday’s episode of “The Voice,” Longmeadow’s Brynn Cartelli performed Patty Griffin’s “Up to the Mountain,” a song Cartelli’s mother taught her as a child. The 15-year-old wasn’t always confident singing it, she told her coach, Kelly Clarkson, during the episode.
“It has always been a challenge for me,” said Cartelli, one of the 12 remaining competitors in the reality singing competition. “When I would be thinking, ‘This song is too big for me, I can’t do this song,’ [my mother] was like, ‘Brynn, you can.'”
Cartelli’s mother was in the audience for Monday night’s live performance, and Cartelli received a standing ovation from all four judges: Clarkson, Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, and Blake Shelton.
The high school freshman and youngest contestant on season 14 of “The Voice” was among the first four singers voted into the top 12 by America after receiving the most votes of the artists on Clarkson’s team last Monday, the first of the live playoff shows. Last Monday also happened to be Cartelli’s 15th birthday.
“I am constantly just shocked by you,” Clarkson, who has covered Griffin’s song herself, told Cartelli after she performed. “You have the craziest, like, eclectic taste in music, and you nail all of it. And that is a blessing, Brynn. And you are only 15. You just turned 15, dude. Like, that’s crazy. And it’s real. That’s what it is. It’s not planned. It’s real and it’s innate. And that’s why I think America loves you.”
Keys also complimented Cartelli’s performance.
“You have this capacity about you that is just so from another planet and another era and another time,” Keys said, “and I’m just so interested in learning more about who you are and what makes you who you are.”
Berklee College of Music student Jackie Foster, of California, also performed on Monday night, singing Britney Spears’s “Toxic.” Foster, who is on Keys’s team, is the lead singer of an alternative rock band called Self Portraits that performs across New England. She dedicated the song to her band, which has played the song together. Members of the band were in the audience to support her.
“Jackie is powerful,” said Keys during the episode. “She has this edgy rawness. To me, she’s somewhere between Pink and No Doubt.”
One of the top 12 performers will be eliminated on Tuesday night’s show. Then the remaining 11 performers will compete again on Monday night.
The show’s finale is scheduled for May 22. The winner will be rewarded with a recording contract.