Coach Kelly Clarkson raves about 16-year-old protégé

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FARMINGTON — Farmington teenager Chevel Shepherd impressed again on the NBC-TV program "The Voice" tonight, belting out a cover of the Little Big Town hit "Little White Church" to an enthusiastic reception from a live studio audience.

"You are so magnificent!" Shepherd's coach, judge Kelly Clarkson gushed afterward. "You all, she's like 16 years old, and she just threw down."

Shepherd, a junior at Farmington High School, will find out during Tuesday night's episode of "The Voice" whether she is one of the 11 contestants who will advance to next week's shows. A total of 13 contestants performed during Monday's program, with two of them facing elimination.

Shepherd, 16, dedicated the song to her father, describing him as her biggest fan. She said he is a classic rock listener but said Little Big Town is one of his favorite country bands.

"We're so, so close," she said. "We're best friends."

More: Farmington's Chevel Shepherd ready for another round on 'The Voice'

The tune was co-written by the members of Little Big Town — a Nashville country vocal group often compared to the iconic rock group Fleetwood Mac because of its complex, layered harmonies — with songwriter Wayne Kirkpatrick. It was released in March 2010 as the lead single for the group's "The Reason Why" album, hitting No. 6 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.

During a taped introduction to her performance, Shepherd was featured rehearsing with Clarkson, who mentors the Team Kelly contestants on the program. Clarkson heaped praise on her protégé even then, exclaiming at one point, "People in Nashville have got to be salivating over her."

More: Farmington High School student recounts triumphant 'The Voice' performance

Clarkson described Shepherd as having a feisty side, adding, "I was not that cool when I was 16."

Viewers have several ways to participate in the overnight voting process for "The Voice." They can download the program's app at nbc.com/Voiceapp, or they can go online to nbc.com/VoiceVote or Xfinity.com/VoiceVote. Viewers also can visit apple.com/apple-music/ and vote by streaming the music of the artist of their choice.

More: Farmington girl hopes to parlay 'The Voice' success into Nashville career

"The Voice" season continues through Dec. 17-18, with contestants eliminated each week. The number of performers will be cut from 11 to 10 next week, 10 to eight the week after that, and eight to four ahead of the final two episodes. Only then will the winner — who receives a recording contract — be selected.

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