(9:45 a.m. EST) — On the second night of the blind auditions Tuesday, singer/guitarist Angie Keilhauer — who has performed on the Carnival’s Breeze, Ecstasy, Glory and Legend — turned three judge’s chairs with a killer, husky-voiced performance of the Dierks Bentley hit . She will start the season on judge Blake Shelton’s team.
Keilhauer follows Holland America contract singer/guitarist Stephanie Anne Johnson, who made it onto the show in fall 2013, only to be voted off during the live eliminations.
Judges Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams also vied for the El Salvador-born Keilhauer, 24. Williams called her supportive family onstage, along with a couple from Savannah, Ga., with whom she cruised multiple times and considers family (they even brought a guitar onboard to replace one of hers that broke).
Levine applauded her for “breaking the mold” when singing a country song. And Shelton, who she’ll be working with as the competition starts, told her she was “really something special. You are wild.”
For Keilhauer, who says she started working for Carnival “about three years ago” after dropping out of college to pursue music, “it was the best moment of my life.
“I auditioned for four years ago in an open call and didn’t even make it into the first round.” This year, she was contacted by a producer who had seen one of her videos (she has a YouTube channel). “They invited me to audition. I remember thinking how lucky I had been being on cruise ships.”
Because of that, she is confident when performing. “I was given the opportunity to focus on music every day. I learned how to play any kind of cover song, but it’s going to sound like me singing it.”
She picked Shelton, because “I don’t want a safe choice. He seemed like someone who would challenge me.” Her blind audition sailed up the iTunes charts the day after, cracking the list of top 30 country songs downloaded.
Whether she’ll be back on a ship depends on how she does on the show, says Keilhauer, who now calls Marietta, Ga., home. Her goal: “to make music and live comfortably.” She already has an album and performs at small venues in her downtime. Cruise fans had a hand in setting up some of her shows, she says.
“People on the ships were always saying, ‘You should audition for .’ So maybe I’ll be the one who gets other (cruise performers) on it.”