Taylor Thompson competes on NBC's The Voice
A former Santa Monica College student Taylor Thompson, 19, is competing alongside her sister Tori Thompson, 17, on NBC's series The Voice. The Santa Maria native isn't a stranger to performing in front of an audience. "Since we were little we performed at rodeos, in county fairs, and did national anthems," said Thompson. "We've always performed country and Christian music."
Some of Thompson's musical inspirations come from country music legends Shania Twain and Reba McEntire. "I love Shania Twain," said Thompson. "She's never had a slump, she's always consistent."
In 2003, Thompson appeared on Fox Network's American Juniors, a spin-off of American Idol geared towards a younger audience. Taylor, who eventually won the competition, joined the five-member group with Tory, and American Juniors released a full-length album in 2004.
Surprisingly, the former student isn't a music major. "I like singing and performing, but I just couldn't see myself teaching it," said Thompson. "I just like doing it as a passion, but not as a major."
Instead of pursing a major in music, Thompson instead decided to major in journalism. In addition, during the previous fall semester, Thompson got a written piece published in The Corsair. "I actually had one of my articles published in the newspaper; my professor (Professor Sharyn Obsatz) asked if she could contribute my article to the paper," said Thompson. "I was actually excited."
For now, Thompson is placing her ordinary life on hold to compete on The Voice. "I've left behind a lot. I quit my job at Starbucks, and dropped all my classes at Santa Monica College in order to do The Voice," said Thompson.
Thompson wasn't planning on getting involved within the competition until her mother, Tami Thompson, informed her about the open call auditions.
"At first my mom was searching for a competition for Tori to compete in," said Thompson. "In February, the age limit was 18 and over, so my mom told me about it."
Going out on a limb, Thompson decided to attend the open auditions. "The night before the open call auditions, the age limit changed from 18 to 15. They also decided to allow solos, duo, and trio groups to audition as well, so Tori decided to go through with the open calls."
On May 3, Taylor and Tori Thompson performed Sugarland's "Stuck like Glue," and in turn won the heart of recording artist Cee Lo Green. "They didn't show our first reaction in the show to Cee Lo choosing us," said Thompson. "We were cracking up because it was so random! We were shocked that he wanted to work with us."
Country is the genre of music the sisters' have chosen to pursue a musical career in. "We wanted Blake [Shelton] to pick us since he's a country artist, but I think he was holding out to see the rest of the talent that was going to perform," said Thompson.
However, Thompson isn't disappointed that Green decided to pick the duo. Their critiques from the panel consisted of lines such as "you guys are cute, adorable, and you remind me of the Spearmint Twins."
"This entire experience is a blessing in disguise. It is stressful though," said Thompson. The Voice airs on NBC Tuesday nights at 10 p.m.