Student gets a ‘maybe’

FAIRMONT – The reality talent shows such as Fox’s “American Idol” and NBC’s “The Voice” bring out talented hopefuls by the thousands at every audition.

Taylor Schultze, a senior at Fairmont High School has auditioned for both shows. She received some positive feedback from “The Voice” tryouts recently in Chicago.

Schultze says she learned how to sing before she learned how to talk, but she has been taking voice lessons since third grade, and also taught herself how to play the guitar.

“My mom (Kim) had me taking piano lessons for four years, and I hated it,” Schultze admits. “It just wasn’t fun. Then I got an electric guitar, and looked some things up online, and taught myself how to play. Now I have an acoustic guitar, and that’s what I play.”

Schultze has tried writing her own songs, but prefers performing covers of jazz and blues artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones and Adele. Her most recent performance at Wednesday’s Kids Against Hunger concert was a cover of Adele’s “To Make You Feel My Love.”

Auditions for “American Idol” and “The Voice” concentrate solely on vocal talent.

A few years ago, Schultze auditioned for “American Idol,” when tryouts were held in Milwaukee.

“We had a two-day wait just to get a wristband to get into the auditorium,” she recalled. “Everyone wanted to hear everyone else sing, to see what kind of competition they had … Then when it was time, we had five seconds to sing, and they’d either say, ‘Thank you, but not what we’re looking for,’ or they’d pull you. I was with three other girls and we were all cut right away … At 15, that crushes you down a bit, but it was still awesome because there were a lot of talented people that didn’t make it, though, but could have won the entire thing.”

Fast forward to a few weekends ago when “The Voice” tryouts were held in Chicago. Schultze went and tried again.

“We were broken into sections, and it got reduced down to groups of 10,” she said. “This time, we could sing as much as we wanted, and everyone was really nice. The judges would clap, and give comments, and then either dismiss or keep some to stay. I got to stay, and I ended up on the ‘maybe’ list. But they talked to us and we got to tell them about our lives.”

Some other members in Schultze’s group moved on immediately, and she hopes she will get to see them on the show.

“It’s exciting that they may be on the show, and I can say, ‘I know that person,'” she said. “There were a lot of talented people there too.”

Even if Schultze didn’t make the final cut, “The Voice” tryouts were a positive experience for her.

“A ‘maybe’ is better than ‘no,'” she said. “There, they actually judged on talent, not just how you looked while you were singing.”

Going to “The Voice” tryouts was also a great lesson in “Try, try again.”

“I met people there that had already tried out three times before,” Schultze said. “You can’t just give up when you love something like that … Your time will come.”