Stay tuned: Gallia native performs on ‘The Voice’

GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — Gallipolis native, Connor Christian, appeared on the blind auditions of “The Voice” on Tuesday night and made an impression on judges.

Christian, who is 23 years old and a graduate from Gallia Academy High School, performed “Bright Lights” by Gary Clark Jr. The performance prompted three of the four coaches’ chairs to turn around, signifying they wanted Christian on their team. Blake Shelton was the first coach to express his interest, followed by Nick Jonas and Kelly Clarkson.

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The coaches all pitched themselves before Christian ultimately chose to join “Team Blake.”

Christian’s parents also appeared in a video on the show to watch their son perform, virtually. During the video, Christian’s mother said “We support him in whatever he does. There’s only one thing we’ve always told him he could not do, and that was to quit.”

Christian’s dad, Randy, told Ohio Valley Publishing that Tuesday night was a big night for the family.

“It was kind of surreal,” Randy said. “It was like ‘Is this really happening?’”

Randy said Connor auditioned in the fall for the show. Before performing for the coaches, Randy said a video of Connor performing several songs had to be put together, which was then sent to a promoter who pitches to the producers. He was then selected to audition in the blind auditions, which have been airing on NBC.

Randy said when Conner was in the fifth grade, he said he wanted to be a performer.

“We were on vacation one time at Pigeon Forge,” Randy said. “They called him up out of the audience to pretend he was Elvis and play air guitar. … When he came back to the table he said ‘Mom and dad, that’s what I want to do.’”

His parents bought him a guitar and Randy said Connor only had a handful of lessons, but most of his talent was self-taught.

Randy also said Connor would participate in school talent shows. Eventually, Randy took him to Pomeroy to Court Street Grill for open mic nights to play.

Connor plays more than covers, Randy said.

“He probably has 20 original songs just waiting in the queue to someday get a record deal and do what he wants to do musically,” Randy said.

According to Randy, there are things the family knows about Connor’s experience they are not allowed to tell yet. Connor will now be moving on to represent Team Blake in the “Battle Rounds.” In the Battle Rounds, the coaches will select two members of their own team to perform against each other to sing a duet. Coaches will select one artist to move to the third round. Stay tuned.

© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.

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