The dream of a recording contract continues for Abbeville’s Koryn Hawthorne. The 17-year-old singer moved closer to that dream Wednesday when she advanced to the top 12 of “The Voice,” the nationally-televised singing competition on NBC.
Hawthorne advanced after team coach and pop artist Pharell Williams chose to keep her on the program. In public voting held Monday and Tuesday, the viewing audience cast the most votes for her teammates, Sawyer Fredericks and blues singer Mia Z.
Williams was allowed to save one of the three remaining team members and chose Hawthorne. Lowell Oakley and Caitlin Caporale were eliminated.
Williams struggled with his decision to send any of the singers home.
“I believe in the three of you and I have to make a decision,” said Williams. “I have to go with my gut on this one.
“I love what you guys do. You’re special to me. I want you to know this is the beginning of the rest of your lives.
“But I’ve got to make a decision. My heart and soul and spirit is going with Koryn.”
Time restraints prevented singers from commenting during the live show.
On Monday, the show’s judges praised Hawthorne after her stirring rendition of the gospel classic, “How Great Thou Art.” Williams compared her to pop superstar Beyoncé.
After the show, the viewing audience was invited to vote by call or text for their favorite contestant.
“Koryn was humbling to watch,” Williams commented Wednesday. “She is 100 percent, undoubtedly, anointed.”
On Wednesday, Hawthorne and teammates did a group performance of “Say Something,” a hit for the pop duo A Great Big World.
Hawthorne is a junior at Lighthouse Christian Academy in Abbeville. A part-time pizza parlor worker, Hawthorne has sung locally at nursing homes and charity events.
The top 12 singers compete live Monday and Tuesday on NBC. The show’s winner receives a recording contract.
Want to watch?
Top 12 competition of “The Voice”
7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday