This year’s Aggie Voice competition at Utah State University was stacked with eight incredibly talented vocalists. Competitors had been rehearsing since early November, receiving coaching and choreography to turn them into music superstars. Contestants were outfitted in swag generously donated from this year’s sponsors Arvo and Roolee Boutique.
The show began when the eight contestants teamed up to wow the crowd with a group rendition of “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates. The true competition began as each individual sang a song of their choice.
Highlights from the competition included Ambryan “Breezy” Nielson’s rendition of “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna. Bethany Sorenson, who is eight months pregnant, sung an original song.
Ryan Jenson showed he was a ladies man through his version of the country song “Your Man” by Josh Turner. Carolee Beck took the competition to the next level by playing the piano while singing “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons.
Contestant Rachel Saltmarsh sang “Stone Cold” by Demi Lovato while dealing with a case of laryngitis.
“I loved being able to meet all of these incredibly talented people. They are all so good. It was a amazing experience,” Nielson said.
Once all eight contestants had performed their solos, it was up to the judges and the audience who would move on to the top three. The audience was able to be involved by casting their own vote on their phones to help determine the outcome. While the tallies were added, everyone at Aggie Voice was treated to a special performance from judge John Allred. As a Utah-based musician, Allred is no stranger to performing at USU. He opened up for Matt Kearney here last spring.
The top three that were chosen were Ambryan Nielson, Carolee Beck and Rachel Saltmarsh. They each performed another solo performance. The audience and judges then participated in a final vote to determine the winner. Before the winner was announced, all eight vocalists took the stage together for the final song “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake.
The winner of this year’s Aggie Voice was Carolee Beck. She was awarded the title and $500 dollars from Arvo.
“It’s pretty crazy to be the winner. I just love to sing so this is a great payoff,” Beck said. “I’m a music major here at USU so I’m just going to keep on singing.”