by JAMES S. KIM
Have you ever heard a voice that made you stop and turn and find its source? Atlanta’s Clara Hong did just that with her voice on this week’s The Voice. Her rendition of “Chuck E.’s in Love” got judges Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani and Pharell Williams literally spinning in their chairs within seconds of her first effortless note.
Watch her performance here:
When it came down to choosing which team to join, Hong found herself being fought over by the three judges.
Pharrell was enamored with her tone, comparing it to silk, to which Hong replied, “You’re silk. … Your voice!”
“[Your voice] feels very you,” remarked Gwen Stefani, who, after complimenting Hong on her stage presence, gave her an impromptu coaching display of how to command it. “Your singing voice, it’s so alluring.”
Adam Levine went all out and wrote a poem for Hong as the other judges gave their pitches. “Clara is great, and so am I. Why should I coach you? Let me tell you why. I’ve been in this chair for three solid years. I know what it takes, so please, have no fear. So Team Adam it is. So glad you could be the triumphant victor. Let’s make history.”
“I’m a really competitive person, and I will kill for you,” Levine later emphasized.
In the end, Hong chose Levine–her gut feeling, she said–over Pharrell, who she had been a fan of since middle school.
Hong, whose parents moved from South Korea to the States when she was eight years old, took a break from college after two years to pursue her passion in music. After moving into the city, she also took on a banquet server job to pay the bills.
“There’s some pressure to prove to my parents that I can succeed with music,” Hong said. “They came here initially to give us a fine education, and I think it would be a relief to know that they feel okay with me doing this.”
You can watch Clara’s full blind audition segment below: