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Belle competes on “The Voice”

Jillian Barwick | Friday, September 28, 2012

One Saint Mary’s student is finally living her dream of becoming a professional singer.

Sophomore Sylvia Yacoub, from Muskegon, Mich., was featured this week on “The Voice”, a reality show for aspiring singers to compete and be coached by some of the music industry’s biggest names.

Yacoub, who spent last year at the College, is currently taking a year away from school to compete on the show and further her career as a singer.

Yacoub’s audition in front of coaches Adam Levine, CeeLo Green, Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera aired on Tuesday night on NBC. Even though she only aired during this week’s auditions, Yacoub already has a huge fan base at home.

“My hometown has been amazing. The support is so humbling to see that just me appearing on ‘The Voice’ has touched so many lives and inspired so many people to go after their dreams,” Yacoub said in a conference call. “Seeing someone from their town and school has really touched so many people in my town. It really means a lot to me.”

When a competitor auditions, the coaches have their chairs turned with their back toward the singer for a blind audition. During Yacoub’s performance, Shelton, Green and Aguilera all turned their chairs in hopes of gaining her on their teams. In the end, however, Yacoub picked Aguilera as her coach.

“I grew up listening to Christina a lot. She has been such a huge musical influence for me,” Yacoub said. “I tried not to be biased and I listened to all the arguments [of the coaches]. When dealing with nerves and music, I think she can help me the best with where I want to go as far as pop music.

“It was probably one of the most exciting and tranquilizing moments of my life. I was so nervous to sing in front of her and when I realized she had turned around; it’s crazy that your idol your whole life had heard something in me.”

As for self-promotion for the show, Yacoub has utilized social media to help her connect with her fans back home and at school.

“It’s really cool to be able to get feedback from fans and see how many people you’ve actually reached and touched and have been inspired by you,” Yacoub said. “It’s really cool especially when you’re not airing yet.”

While Yacoub had to wait until after her audition aired on NBC to share that she was Team Christina, she was still able to update her fans on when she would finally grace the television.

“It’s really cool to keep in touch with them and keep them engaged,” Yacoub said. “Then they kind of feel more involved and hopefully they feel more connected with the audience, which is cool about ‘The Voice.’”

Before Yacoub made it onto the next round of the show, she had auditioned for other reality shows a couple of years ago.

“I wasn’t really doing them for right reasons two years ago,” Yacoub said. “I have a lot more maturity and my voice has grown since then. I am at the right place mentally and vocally and it felt right going into everything now.”

Yacoub said she is really excited to have this experience with “The Voice” and hopes it will continue so she may meet her end goal of becoming a professional singer.

“I honestly don’t think I would have had this experience two years ago,” she said. “This is such an amazing experience and I can’t believe I am here now.”

“The Voice” airs on Mondays and Tuesday’s on NBC at 8 p.m.

Contact Jillian Barwick at
jbarwi01@saintmarys.edu