STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
The producers of “The Voice” were in Philadelphia recently, auditioning potential contestants for the singing competition TV show.
“The only thing I prepared myself for was I knew it would be a lot of people” auditioning, said Collegeville resident Katie Blain.
Blain and Bob Domarasky of Phoenixville were both scheduled for the 11 a.m. Saturday slot, with the hopes of being called back Monday.
Domarasky had submitted a video online of him singing the Leonard Cohen composition “Hallelujah,” as recorded by Jeff Buckley, and Blain was invited on the strength of a video of her singing a Jewel song.
“One thing I can say is the entire town of Phoenixville was behind me,” he said, reporting that he had support from members of the Facebook page “You know you’re from Phoenixville when …”
Domarasky said that he had to walk six blocks, past “people after people after people,” to get to the back of the line, after being directed to the Broad Street side of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where “The Voice” auditions were held. The temperatures that morning were in the high 40s and low 50s.
He estimated that there were 3,000 other “The Voice” hopefuls also scheduled for that same 11 a.m. slot. According to Domarasky, there were slots at 7, 9 and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. that day.
“By 9:30, they had opened the doors and the line moved five blocks in five minutes. Once you got inside, it was a different story,” said Domarasky, who has been singing for 30 years.
Blair commented that the auditions were well organized, and that groups of audition candidates sometimes spontaneously broke into song while waiting to get inside. “Philadelphia has this aggressive reputation, but everybody was pretty nice. It was interesting meeting all the people. Everyone had the same dream,” she said.
Domarasky was caught off guard when he was ushered into a room as part of a group of 10 singers, and then told by the lone judge typing on a computer that he had just 30 seconds to sing, with all the nine other hopefuls watching. “In reality, you don’t have a lot of time to sing what you were prepared for,” he said.
Even though the entertainer judges on the show pick their teams based on the sound of the singer, without seeing what they look like, Blain got the impression that your look at the audition was about as important as your sound and the song you chose. “I was a lot older than most people in the room,” she recalled. “There was this 16-year-old girl who didn’t know who Jewel was, but she was singing a Linda Ronstadt song.”
Although neither got a callback, both singers were glad they did it, and are not discouraged. “It was a good experience all in all. I had never done anything like that before. I was kind of surprised it was as long a day as I thought it was going to be,” Blain said. “If anything, it gave me this urge to do what I love.”
“I really thought I would never, ever get to audition for ‘The Voice’,” Domarasky said, adding that it was something on his personal bucket list. Another item on his bucket list is to sing the National Anthem at a Phillies or Eagles game in Philadelphia.