Up-and-coming singer Marina Chello of Plainview made an impression on the coaches of The Voice, securing a spot on Blake Shelton’s team during Monday’s premier of NBC’s music competition show’s 17th season.
During the blind auditions, the 37-year-old immigrant from Uzbekistan performed P!nk’s “Walk Me Home,” drawing interest from coaches Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton, who wasted no time making fun of Chello’s hometown.
“Must be a terrible view there,” Shelton joked after Chello said where she’s from. “Like, just a plain view. It’s near the airport, I think.”
Clarkson jumped in, saying, “Oh my gosh, dad joke!”
After they had their fun, the judges got down to business.
“The one thing I was drawn to is how powerful your voice is and how connected you are to the lyrics,” Shelton said. “There’s something about your voice to me that I feel America’s gonna connect with. And that’s what it take to make it to the finale.”
Clarkson also heaped praise on Chello, who’s husband and son were on hand to watch the performance.
“I love that you chose something and pop and rock at the same time,” Clarkson said. “A lot of people come out here and sing their best song right off the bat, and I think you have 80 percent more to give. And I actually like that you chose to do these runs that were lower instead of staying in your upper register the whole time. It showed off your range and that was very smart. I would love to work with you.”
After giving it some thought, Chello said she “had to go with her gut” and chose Shelton as her coach.
Chello and her family moved to New York from Uzbekistan when she was 11. Listening to American music helped her learn the language, overcome cultural differences, and make friends. She got involved in school plays and concerts before pursuing music after graduation.
In 2007, she landed a deal with P. Diddy’s Bad Boy Records, which released her hit single “Sideline.” She later got married and took a break from music to focus on being a mom. While she currently manages a catering hall, she decided to give music another shot by trying out for The Voice.
It looks like her second act is off to a good start.