Savanna Woods is in the running
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
On Monday, March 15, more than one million viewers watched self-taught singer, songwriter and guitarist Savanna Woods perform a searing rendition of the Cranberries’ hit song “Zombie” during a blind audition of The Voice that aired as part of the long-running NBC series. While celebrity judges Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas, and John Legend contemplated if the Stanwood native had what it took to vie for the ultimate prize—a $100,000 payout and a record deal—the 26-year-old indie rocker with a big voice nailed her audition and remained calm and collected when she learned she’d made the cut.
That same night, Woods watched her own television debut at the Farmstrong Brewing Company in Mount Vernon.
It’s understandable if this incongruous schedule of events befuddles people. In the Hollywood universe, Woods auditioned for The Voice last October in Los Angeles and was sworn to secrecy as she and her fellow contestants continued to compete in subsequent battles and knockout rounds. In the real world, she’s been back in the Evergreen state as pre-recorded episodes air in advance of live programming that will allow viewers to cast votes to help keep their favorite musicians in the running.
Woods’ growing fan base will be able to watch her virtually when The Voice moves past the blind auditions and presents its “Battle Premiere” on Mon., March 29 (there’s also a chance you may catch her in the “Best of Blinds” episode on March 22, but don’t quote me on that).
If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, watch Woods’ original audition. As her voice soars to melodic highs and raspy lows, the judges all sit with their chairs faced away from the stage. Rules dictate if they press the magic button that turns their chairs toward the performer, it means they liked what they heard thus far and are eager to help coach the contestant to a possible victory.
Early on, fellow musician Nick Jonas presses his button and watches, rapt, as Woods growls the lines about “another mother’s breaking heart” in the song inspired by an IRA bombing in 1993 in England. Kelly Clarkson—the winner of the first season of American Idol—waits until the last possible second to join him.
“Your tone is incredible,” Jonas says as he makes his case for Woods to join Team Nick. “I really feel you had something to say, and that’s the kind of artist I want to work with.”
“Bottom line, I think you’re cool as hell,” Clarkson countered. “I don’t even know if there’s anyone that’s been like you for the six seasons I’ve been here. For me, what just happened was Patty Griffin and Nirvana had a baby and I, like, really liked it in my head.”
Those words must’ve had an effect on Woods, because she decided to join Team Kelly—a fact that caused Clarkson to exclaim, “I have a rock-and-roller!”
While Woods is remaining mum on whether she’ll be advancing to the live episodes, she’s responded to those who have asked how she remained so chill during the audition. On her Facebook page, she notes she was “more exhilarated than nervous,” and that she does well under pressure by trying to stay present.
“It also helps to remember that you can’t have a dream in your heart that you don’t also have the full potential to live out,” she says, “so a lack of confidence is only a disservice to yourself. Love yourself for all of who you are. We each have our own unique talents and passions, so there’s no point in trying to be someone else. Idolizing isn’t necessary; we’re all just humans here, doin’ our best.”
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