Chevel Shepherd 'The Voice' event at FHS drew about 1,200 fans
Get to know NBC "The Voice" contestant Chevel Shepherd of Farmington. Farmington Daily Times
Winner to be announced Tuesday night
FARMINGTON — About 1,200 people filled the Scorpion Arena tonight. Every school in the area seemed to be represented as supporters of teen “The Voice” contestant Chevel Shepherd sang three songs during the final four voting round that will determine the winner of a recording contract.
Votes cast online overnight, and the numbers of songs streamed online, will determine who takes the prize Tuesday night after weeks of competition that started with summer auditions.
Master of ceremonies and Farmington High School coach and teacher Johnny Curry urged the audience to vote as they left the event after hours of raffles, short speeches and lots of music from the show.
The event featured a Facetime phone-in from Shepherd, who called in from a Burbank, California, soundstage.
“Thank you for all of this,” Shepherd said to the crowd. The 16-year-old FHS junior said she misses friends, family and her teachers and looks forward to coming home and seeing her best friend.
She said she wants to personally thank people who voted for her and supported her bid for the top spot on the show.
Singer and fellow finalist Kennedy Holmes, 14, popped in to the call to say of Shepherd, “She’s amazing.”
Performers sang solos and duets tonight, and original songs.
Shepherd’s last number was a song Clarkson reportedly wanted to record herself, “Broken Hearts,” which the Voice, via Twitter, promptly declared “country gold.” According to hollywoodlife.com it was written by Shane McAnally, Ashley Arrison & Aben Eubanks.
It brought down the house in the Scorpion gym, as the audience literally raised what looked like a thousand points of light via cell phone flashlights, waving them as she sang.
Shepherd performed a The Judds duet, “Rockin’ With the Rhythm of the Rain,” with celebrity mentor Kelly Clarkson, as well.
Her first solo was “It’s a Little Too Late,” recorded by Tanya Tucker in 1992.
The other finalists are Kirk Jay of Team Blake, Team JHud’s Holmes and Team Blake's Chris Kroeze.
In the hours before the show, Shepherd’s Twitter feed filled with supportive tweets, and Shepherd tweeted that she was “super excited.”
Shepherd has in the past called Mondays the fun day, and the Tuesdays spent waiting for the voting results stressful.
Local politicians found their way to the microphone, with County Commissioner Jack Fortner dubbing the Shepherds “the first family of Farmington” and announcing that instead of just a Chevel Shepherd Day, the county has decided to make that a Chevel Shepherd Week. The date is to be determined.
Sheriff-elect Shane Ferrari told the crowd there should be an investigation, “because Chevel is killin’ it.”
Cheer squads from local high schools appeared, as well, and Chevel Shepherd merchandise was available near the gym’s entrance.
“Let’s celebrate the positive things that are happening in the community,” Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett said.
A watch party for the Tuesday finals was advertised on the No Worries Sports Bar’s Facebook page.
Your vote counts
Viewers have several ways to participate in the show’s voting process, which determines the winner.
Viewers also can visit apple.com/apple-music/ and vote by streaming the music of the artist of their choice.
Viewers have up to 10 votes they can cast for their favorite competitors after registering with NBC per email account.
Shepherd can be followed on Twitter at @officialchevel.
Shepherd won her top four spot after the public embraced her performance of "Blue," a song originally written for country legend Patsy Cline. The song was written in 1958 by Billy Mack.
Last week Shepherd also sang a country duet with Team Blake’s Jay, Jason Aldean’s 2009 hit “She’s Country.”
Shepherd on Dec. 4 made the cut and advanced to the group of eight following her performance Dec. 3 when she sang a cover of the Loretta Lynn standard "You're Lookin' at Country." Lynn praised her performance.
Shepherd has advanced through the blind auditions in the summer, knockout rounds and elimination rounds. Shepherd has been in Los Angeles full time since early November, when she began appearing on the show on a weekly basis.
John R. Moses is the editor of The Farmington Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4624 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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