It’s not easy to get all four judges to swivel during the Blind Auditions on The Voice, but hopeful Sisaundra Lewis did just that on Monday night. The critiques after her stellar rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way” weren’t what one might expect, however. While Blake Shelton gave an impassioned speech that ended with, “Please pick me,” Adam Levine gave her a rather left-handed compliment.
“I still don’t think that was your best,” Adam said, but he noted that he could only imagine how great her “best” would be if that was the baseline. Usher, too, told her there was “room for growth,” admitting that he waited until the last second to swivel his chair because he has high standards for that song.
In the end, the beautiful singer –– who may have broken into the Guinness Book of World Records for most gigantic earrings –– went with Blake. “The way Blake looked at me … the way he talked to me … it felt like home,” she gushed.
But what else do we know about Sisaundra? According to her NBC bio, Sisaundra was born into a family of migrant workers. And, an article in the Orlando Sentinel notes, she learned how to sing by watching her mother in church.
Unlike some of the other relatively unknown contestants, Sisaundra has already had a long history in music. The divorced mother of three, 44, performed at Cirque du Soleil in Downtown Disney for 10 years, and has also performed at mega-churches, Universal CityWalk, and various jazz festivals.
It was her 15-year-old daughter that got her to try out for the show. When her mother tried to claim she was too old for a reality show competition, her daughter wouldn’t take this as an answer.
"I said I was too mature. She said the show didn't have an age limit," Sisaundra said. "How can you turn down a teenager when you're telling them they can do anything? I'm here because of my daughter encouraging me."
As if the Cirque experience weren’t impressive enough, Sisaundra has also performed with Peabo Bryson, Janet, Jackson, Najee, and Celine Dion. The latter was so impressed with Sisaundra’s work as her vocal director for five tours, she recorded a message (read: thinly-veiled self promotion) wishing her luck during the auditions.
Interestingly enough, the talented singer also has a background in jingles, having sung “ditties” for Sprite, Dr. Pepper, and Shower to Shower. She’s also written two songs, “Shout” and “Emotional,” and can be heard on both of these Billboard hits.
It’s an impressive resume to be sure but, as we’ve posed before, this could make her more difficult to mentor than someone with a relatively blank slate coming into the competition.
Is Sisaundra one of your faves? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments!