No matter what else happens for Andrea Thomas on “The Voice,” she’s already a winner.
The highlight so far: “I had my first duet on national television with Blake Shelton,” she says.
It was a moment this aspiring country music singer won’t soon forget. Thomas, a Fort Worth native who’s now based in Nashville, sang “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You” in the opening blind audition round for the show’s four music-superstar coaches.
Shelton enjoyed her sweet cover of the Alison Krauss song so much that he not only turned his chair to claim her for his team, but he also started singing along with her.
“Actually, I didn’t know he was singing until I watched the video afterward,” Thomas says. “I didn’t see that when it was happening. It was very cool.
“I am so grateful that he heard something in me that moved him and that he turned around. With me doing country music, honestly, he is the only one I wanted to be with. I’ve learned so much already.
“Blake Shelton IS country music.”
Andrea’s country roots run deep, too. She is the granddaughter of Jimmy Jones, a member of the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame. She grew up singing on his “Texas Country Gospel” TV show.
More recently, she was a backup singer for Carrie Underwood for two years.
Now she’s turning heads on “The Voice,” which airs at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday on NBC.
A couple of weeks ago, in the second round (known as the “Battle Round” in which members of the same team perform together but are pitted against one another), Thomas advanced again.
She and Micah Tryba sang the Rascal Flatts song “What Hurts the Most,” after which Shelton gave Thomas the thumbs-up. Shelton said she had that “country thing” that some people are “just born with.”
Next are the “Knockout Rounds,” beginning Monday. Once again, Thomas will be pitted against a fellow Team Blake artist, but this time each singer will select his or her own song to perform solo.
Thomas was born in Fort Worth, moved to Burleson with her family at age 12 and graduated from Burleson High School. She moved to Nashville 11 years ago at age 19 and graduated with a music degree from Belmont University in Nashville in 2009.
She released an independent album, “Awaken My Soul,” in 2011. She sang backup for Underwood from 2012 to 2015.
Others often urged Thomas to audition for “The Voice,” but she never felt the time was right.
“Then I got an email from one of the show’s talent producers,” she says. “They had seen an original song that I had sung on YouTube and asked if I would audition for the next season.
“I felt it was a door opening. I was like, ‘OK, this is a confirmation. I need to do this.’ I’m still pinching myself that I get to be on this show. It has definitely been a very cool experience.”
There is still a long way to go on the show, which rewards the winner with a major-label record contract, but Thomas knows that getting this far is an accomplishment few singers get to enjoy.
“I’m so thankful that there’s a show like this,” Thomas says. “There are so many amazingly talented singers in this country. Getting noticed and having your career explode is all about the right time, the right place, the right song. This show gives people that opportunity.
“I loved the Carrie Underwood gig. I got to do music for a living and I got to travel the world, which was wonderful, but it wasn’t for my music. This is the first time on a major scale that the limelight’s on me. Now it’s up to me to give it everything I’ve got.”
Who knows? If she winds up snagging that record contract, maybe one day there could be another Blake Shelton-Andrea Thomas duet to get excited about.
- 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday
- KXAS/Channel 5