Her audition: By the time Jessica Childress, 26, of Lancaster, Calif., took the stage, only one spot remained on the teams for Season 4. She snagged it by getting Usher to turn his chair for her robust version of “Marry Me.” From the looks on the other judges’ faces, you could tell some of them wished they could have lobbied for her services.
Battle Round: Defeated by Vedo the Singer when the two of them performed “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars. Jessica was not stolen.
Her background: Jessica told The Voice she’s never been a full-time professional singer, but has been performing music “since I can remember.” After college, she took a job in public relations. She called the job stable, but also told her husband that “I feel like a piece of my soul is shriveling up.” With his encouragement, she quite the p.r. job to pursue music.
On her coach: Jessica said she had no idea there was only one spot left on Team Usher — the last spot on any team for that matter — when she took the stage, so there really wasn’t much choosing involved on her part. On Facebook, she writes that Usher is helping her perfect the Moonwalk, something she hopes to unleash during the battle round.
What the show didn’t show: On her website, Jessica describes her music as “two parts soul, one part jazz, a taste of R&B and four parts pure energy.” But in a post-audition interview, she admits the very name of the show is part of what drew her to The Voice. “I knew this would be about singing only,” she says of her reasoning. “I may not have a lot of other things like great performing skills, but I do have a good voice. So maybe I can learn how to do some of the other things, but if they’re judging me by my voice, that might be a good place to start.” As for her start, it came in church and singing for the elderly in nursing homes, she writes on Facebook. She recalls one Sunday when a “sweet little lady” pulled her aside and said, ‘little girl, you’ve got to keep doing this.” Jessica was just 6 at the time.
Quote: “My husband, Clint, is the most supportive man in the world. This was kind of his idea. He thinks I am the best singer in the world. For real. It’s so funny. The minute I quit my job and kind of gave myself over to the opportunity, I got the opportunity to do The Voice.” On iTunes: Her audition song, “Marry Me.”
“He Won’t Go” (Adele cover)
“Bubbly” (Colbie Caillat cover)