By Kerry Torpey `20
McPhail’s may not have the biggest stage and Fr. Dominic is no Carson Daly, but Providence College’s edition of The Voice was still able to hit all the right notes.
On April 22, the Providence College Board of Programmers hosted their first annual singing competition inspired by the hit NBC competition series, The Voice. The lucky student winner of the night received the opportunity to perform at Clam Jam on April 28.
A total of 16 contestants took the stage at McPhail’s in hopes of becoming the first ever winner. The master of ceremonies, or MC, for the night was Fr. Dominic Verner O.P. “Celebrity” judges included Michael Gilmore ’17, Father Philip Neri Reese, O.P., and GA Joe Flynn `15.
When asked how he felt to be the first ever MC for PC’s The Voice, Fr. Dom said he was “very excited.” He felt his job as the MC “is to make [the competitors] look good.” He jokingly said, “[It is a] small student body…how much talent could there really be” before explaining how impressed he is with the very gifted and skilled students of PC.
Practically every seat in McPhail’s was filled with eager contestants and excited viewers. BOP member Michael Splann took the stage to explain how the night would work. Just like the television show, the judges had their backs to the stage during all the performances. Once a contestant finished his or her song, they would turn around, see who was singing, and then give some feedback.
Not only does the winner leave with a set at Clam Jam, but the top three all received StubHub gift cards so they can purchase tickets to live entertainment events of their choice.
The night kicked off with a performance of Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity.” Following the performance, Father Dom got the crowd laughing saying that “there was some real weight to that one.”
As the night continued, the audience heard covers of songs by artists such as Chris Young, Shawn Mendes, Rihanna, Billy Joel, Adele, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and more.
Contestants Ryan Cox ’18 and Fiona Pearlman ’20 showed off not only their singing skills, but their guitar skills with acoustic performances of “You” by Chris Young and “California King Bed” by Rihanna.
The judges gave some impressive feedback and remarks to many of the contestants. Kelli Jenney ’19 gave a performance of “Our Song” by Taylor Swift. As the crowd joined along with clapping and foot tapping, Father Philip Neri told Kelli “That’s a crowd pleaser and you pleased the crowd.”
The final performer of the night was Meghan O’Connor ’18, who gave a fun-filled performance of “Bust a Move” by Young MC. The audience really got into O’Connor’s performance and even busted a few moves of their own.
And with that, it was time for the judges to deliberate and select their winners. After finalizing their decision, Father Dom announced that the third place winner was Taralynn Vecchio ’17 and the second place winner was Mary Tracey ’18.
In the end, the judges selected two winners for the first place prize. Pearlman and Erin McCarthy ’19 took home the gold for their performances of Rihanna’s “California King Bed” and Beyoncé’s “Sandcastles,” respectively.