Clarksville High School senior auditions on ‘The Voice’
Celebrity coaches encourage teen, but don’t select her
By Chris Baldus
After auditioning on a nationally televised singing competition, Clarksville High School Senior said maybe she should have sang a different song.
“I wish I hadn’t picked such a strong song because under so much stress to hit those high notes was super hard,” Maddie Poppe said in her post audition interview on NBC’s “The Voice,” which premiered for it’s 10th season on Monday.
Poppe, 17, did not go any further in the competition, but the celebrity musician coaches — Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams — tasked with choosing talent for their singing teams encouraged her.
“The thing you didn’t have a problem with was the dynamics,” Pharrell Williams said. “We felt like you went from zero to 100 and there are places you can use that, but … Maddie, we want you to learn that with finesse so that when you come back when you’re 18 years old.”
When she introduced herself to the judges, Poppe said it all seemed so unreal and that her aunt has the “biggest crush” on musician coach Adam Levine.
“You have a very strong voice,” Aguilera said. “It was super fun to listen to you sing.”
Then Poppe interrupted and said: “I’m sorry, I can’t take this in right now, Blake Shelton is like looking at me.”
The musician coaches had playful banter about that before Levine had Poppe take his judge’s seat. He he went on stage to pretend to be her as the Pharrell delivered his comments.
On her Facebook page, the Clarksville, Iowa, singer describes herself as an indie-pop singer and songwriter. She is releasing a full album this month titled “Maddie Poppe: Songs from the basement.”
Her most recent gig listed on her Facebook page was Feb. 27 at Crossroad’s Mall in Waterloo.
In October 2014, 15-year-old Maddie Poppe competed in the Country Showdown Midwest Regional Finals,.
In her profile on the County Showdown website, she said: “I play the guitar, banjo and sing but I also participate in volleyball, basketball, golf and cheerleading at Clarksville High School. I grew up in a musical family singing with my sisters. My dad taught me how to play guitar and I started writing songs when I was 13. A few of my musical influences are The Band Perry, Sheryl Crow, Matthew West and Miranda Lambert.”
In July 2015, Poppe gained attention while singing at a gazebo in New Hartford during RAGBRAI.
“She played keyboard and sang, with a guitarist as accompaniment,” Kyle Munson, a member of the RAGBRAI news team, wrote July 22. “Her between-song banter was witty and warm.
“By the time she took a set break, a large RAGBRAI crowd had been drawn into the park.”