Around 15,000 hopefuls sent audition tapes to appear on season 11 of The Voice but only two Canberrans got their chance to sing for judges Keith Urban, Rita Ora, Guy Sebastian and Jessica Mauboy: Xanthe Campbell, 17, and Tahalianna Soward-Mahanga, 15.
Xanthe has been passionate about all areas of performing arts – dancing, acting and, of course, singing – since she was nine years old and this year decided to put her talents to the test and audition for Channel 7’s reality show.
“I got my passion for singing from Adele when I first listened and learnt her song Rolling in the Deep, and she really got me into singing more,” she said.
Xanthe said she writes her own music and performs covers, focusing on the genres of pop, jazz, alternative and musical theatre.
Xanthe lived in America for five years after re-locating for her dad’s job, where she began pursuing her interest in music.
“I took singing lessons for about three years when I was living in Chicago, and I was only about 10 years old,” she said.
This led to Xanthe entering her first singing competition.
“I auditioned for America’s Got Talent when I was 13 so I went to Wisconsin and I just sang in front of the producers and it was an open audition.
“I didn’t get past that and it was so intimidating because you sing right in front of the judges … but I was just excited to be on that stage and perform.”
Xanthe was told there were around 15,000 applicants for The Voice this year.
“I was just so excited to even be considered one of the few hundred they picked to audition.”
She submitted a video of her singing ‘Turning Tables’ by Adele.
“It was kind of funny because I’ve done things like this and I’ve only gotten up to the application stage, and the cut-off was like 12 midnight, so I literally submitted my application in the last hour,” she said.
“I did it kind of as a joke because I knew I wouldn’t get in, and then, yeah, I just kind of waited and I got word back and now I’m just really excited to be a representative for Canberra, and showcase Canberra’s talents as well.”
Xanthe aims to keep performing and creating her own music. She has her sights set on attending Melbourne University to study performing arts.
“To just keep releasing music and performing is really what I’m excited to do and I think it’s really important to have the mindset that this opportunity doesn’t really define me,” she said.
“I’m just excited to get exposure from this experience [on The Voice] and for people to see me performing on stage because I have been performing since I was little.”
Xanthe looks forward to people watching her blind audition tomorrow night (3 May), where she will be performing a song by Billie Eilish.
“Billie Eilish is such a big role model for me, so it’s such a big honour to sing one of her songs on stage,” she said.
Tahalianna Soward-Mahanga had her blind audition air on Tuesday (26 April), singing Beyoncé’s ‘Freedom’.
Despite not turning any chairs, Tahalianna’s sure to return after judge Jessica Mauboy encouraged her to come back and audition again in the future. She’ll also be inspired by the invitation from Jessica to an upcoming concert and backstage passes for her and her family.
Xanthe’s The Voice Blind Audition airs on Channel Seven tomorrow night at 7:30 pm.