Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Amber Carrington, from Rockwall, faces elimination Tuesday on The Voice
Two contestants will go home, leaving four.
Amber Carrington: “Crazy” - The Voice Highlight
At 19, Amber Carrington already has a rich history with televised singing competitions.
The Rockwall resident has made it into the final six on the hit series The Voice, thanks to powerhouse vocals that have been compared to Carrie Underwood. But her original dream was to land a spot on American Idol. It didn’t go well.
“I was 16, and it was my first big audition,” Carrington said in a recent phone call from Los Angeles. “There were jillions of people there. I sang my song — and did horribly, actually — and I didn’t make it past the first round.”
Some folks in her shoes might feel a sense of vindication after being rejected by Idol and then adored on The Voice. But that’s not in Carrington’s nature. Instead, she admits that three years ago she simply wasn’t ready for it all.
“I think it took that to push me even harder,” she says. “I thought, ‘I know I’m better than that.’ But it takes time to grow that maturity. If I would have made it on Idol then, I wouldn’t have made it far at all.”
She also tried out for Season 3 of The Voice, but didn’t make that, either. Again, she feels almost grateful: “It pushed me even harder. You learn to grow.”
Her dream reached another important juncture when the top six performed. On Tuesday night, two contestants will be eliminated.
Carrington, who says her heart is in country music, initially hoped to be mentored by Blake Shelton. But by the time she took the stage for her blind audition, Shelton’s team was full.
Amber Carrington: “I Remember You” - The Voice Highlight
“Throughout my whole song I was going, ‘What am I doing wrong? Turn around!’ ” she recalls, waiting for the judge’s chair to swing around to face her.
Instead, it was Adam Levine who took her in and became her coach. So what would people be surprised to learn about the rocker?
“When everybody looks at him they see this hot dude or whatever,” she says. “But he’s pretty nerdy. And he jokes around nonstop. He does a really good Russian accent.”
Also in Carrington’s corner: the city of Rockwall. When she thinks about the support she’s received from her town, “I just want to individually hug everyone!” she says. “They’re really coming together for me and it’s so awesome to have that support. Out here you get pretty lonely — you have friends that become your family, but still — so having that support system really helps.”
Although competing on such a prominent stage can be emotionally draining, Carrington calls the experience “kind of like a huge dream.” Another dream: to someday meet her idol, Dolly Parton.
“I’m obsessed with her,” she says, adding that she’s dressed up like the legend many times. “It’s the way she walks into a room and lights it up. It’s her quirky personality, her longevity, the fact that she’s a smart businesswoman — she’s just incredible. I really admire strong women in this business, and she’s at the top for me.”
But the thought of actually meeting her brings out Carrington’s inner fangirl.
“I just met Miranda Lambert and started crying afterward. I geeked out!” she says with a laugh. “If I met Dolly Parton, I’d be laid on the floor.”
Darla Atlas is a Fort Worth freelance writer.