RALEIGH — Season 14 of The Voice, the popular reality singing competition on NBC, kicked off this month, and an 18-year-old from Sanford made the cut.
Britton Buchanan won over judges Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton singing “Trouble” by Ray Lamontagne. During Buchanan’s performance, Shelton, Keys and Levine all turned their chairs for him at the same time. However, this season brings a new twist in the form of the “block” button.
Shelton hit his button for Buchanan and simultaneously “blocked” Levine. Each coach gets one block per season and when the “block” button is hit, it prevents another judge from being selected as that contestant’s coach.
Going into the competition, Buchanan was hoping for Levine as his coach, but in a twist of fate thanks to Shelton, he walked away on Team Alicia.
“I was extremely flattered that Blake decided to use his block on me,” said Buchanan. “It was crazy. It was kind of surreal and I wasn’t expecting him to give the block to a person at all. I don’t know if it really factored into the decision. Alicia is a great salesperson, and she roped me right in with everything that she said. She pretty much had me in the palm of her hand as soon as she started talking.
“I wanted to (be selected by Adam Levine) going in, but I’m super crazy happy with the decision that I made. I don’t know if I would change it now,” he added.
Growing up, Buchanan followed his intuition toward guitar and musical theatre. His parents introduced him to ’70s and ’80s rock and folk music. When he was 13, he joined a classic rock band and a year later won a songwriting contest that gave him the opportunity to record with renowned engineer John Davenport, whose credits include Robert Palmer’s “Riptide” album, as well as Bruce Springsteen’s album “Born in the U.S.A.” Springsteen continues to have an influence on the young singer.
“The day before I decided to go to audition, I was listening to the E Street Radio,” said Buchanan. “I’m a big fan of Bruce Springsteen. And this interview came on with Tom Hanks and Bruce, and Tom asked him what it would take for a person to make it today, and Bruce responded with, you had to be desperate enough to take every shot that comes your way. And the next day, I was contacted, and I decided to go to Charleston for an audition and here I am right now. It was really kind of an impulsive decision. And it was obviously the best decision I’ve ever made regarding music,”
One song in front of four judges on national television has spawned a whole new realm of attention for the teen from Stanford. From interviews to news outlets to social media followings.
“It is very humbling and it’s like weird in the best way possible because I’m not used to attention,” said Buchanan. “I don’t get it at home. It’s brand new and it’s weird in the best way possible and I love it, and I would not mind having an entire career built on these things. All the comments have just been awesome. And I read everything, and I try to respond to everything because the support means so much to me. It’s just — it’s crazy.
“I thought that I would just sing in bars for the rest of my life. I’m not really the biggest fan of myself at all, and that’s OK. I think it pushes me to try to just work harder so I can be satisfied with what I do. If you ask me if I ever thought I would get anywhere doing what I was doing, no, never. But hey, I’m definitely not complaining,” Buchanan added.
“I’m just going to ride the wave and see what happens. I’m just going to strap on my seatbelt and go for a ride, you know, and then see what happens.”
The Voice airs on NBC at 8 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday nights.