Story by Jamal Taylor

The Last Voice Standing held their auditions Feb. 2-3. After two evenings of sifting through talented students, 12 were chosen to continue with the competition beginning Wednesday, Feb. 10.

Temple Duarte, one of the managers for the show and a sophomore studying communication, said the auditions went well.

“At first, things were a little slow, but then, on Wednesday, there was so much talent,” Duarte said.

Kupono Kaneao, a member of the committee and a junior studying dance, is a coach and mentor for the contestants.

“We always come in with low and high expectations for auditions,” Kaneao said. “We do get some characters, but we also get blown away by the insane talent here at BYU-I. So talent-rich. It’s just so uncommon to find so many talented singers in one place.”

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Feb. 3 was the second day of auditions, and Connor Spurling, manager for the show and a sophomore studying psychology, said no one predicted they would have more walk-ins than people who signed up come to try out.

He said the committee tried their best to make the potential contestants feel both comfortable and professional during the auditions.

“We really tried not to be too menacing,” Spurling said. “We laughed and smiled and tried our best to let everyone know how genuinely excited we were that they came out.”

He said the committee would jam before the contestants came in to help the contestants feel more comfortable during their audition.

“It’s nerve racking for the contestants,” Kaneao said. “But we were all jamming before they came in, so it just shows them that we were all singers, too.”

Then, to set the right mood for their audition, Kaneao said he tried to create an atmosphere of being on stage by dimming the lights in the room.

“We wanted it to be pretty chill and make them feel comfortable,” Duarte said. “Just a simple set up so they didn’t feel so overwhelmed.”

Duarte said that with all the talent the committee saw, they struggled to choose the contestants who would continue.

“Trying to pick only 12 people out of over 50 incredibly talented students was seriously so difficult,” Duarte said. “So many people blew us away. Overall, the amount of talent was the thing that made it difficult — too many good people.”

No matter how hard anyone tried, the committee refused to give up details about the contestants. They said they want everyone to be surprised, and after seeing all the auditions, they said they believe people will be.

“They were all great though,” Duarte said.