Fort Wayne’s Christiana Danielle hopes to surprise, win over viewers on ‘The Voice’

Fort Wayne native Christiana Hicks, who competes as Christiana Danielle on "The Voice," will try to sing her way into the Top 12 during the show's life playoffs, which begin at 8 p.m. Monday-Wednesday. (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

“The Voice” viewers will find out a lot about Christiana Hicks next week, and it’s not just how she will handle the performing for millions of viewers on live television.

“My take on a song I am singing, I think, will be a surprise,” Hicks, who competes as Christiana Danielle on the show, said during a phone interview last week from Los Angeles, where she and the other Top 24 contestants are rehearsing for the live playoffs, which begin Monday.

“I’m really switching up a song,” the Fort Wayne native said. “I hope America will receive it well. I think it is a song that is most authentic to me.”

Of course, “The Voice” rules prevent Hicks from revealing what song that is before she performs it on the show. She also has to prepare a second song to sing in case she isn’t voted through to the Top 12 during the competition 8-10 p.m. Monday.

“The Voice” airs locally on Fort Wayne’s NBC, Channel 21.2.

Hicks needs to have two songs ready because show officials also are switching things up this season.

On Monday night, all 24 remaining contestants will sing, a show announcement said. At the end of the evening, the contestant from each team who gets the highest total in real-time viewer voting will advance to the Top 12.

People can cast up to 10 votes for each contestant using “The Voice” smartphone app and one vote for each contestant using a special Twitter hashtag for that person. The Twitter hashtags hadn’t been revealed as of 5 p.m. Thursday.

The remaining contestants will have to sing another song on one of the shows at 8-9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, the announcement said. After more real-time fan voting, the person among each team’s remaining contestants who receives the most votes by the end of Wednesday’s show will advance to the Top 12.

Each celebrity coach – Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton – then also can select one of his or her remaining four contestants to move on to the Top 12, the announcement said.

At this point in the show, song choice is increasingly important, and Hicks said those decisions involve a collaborative effort between her and show producers. “The Voice” must have permission rights for a contestant to sing a song, so some songs aren’t available for use, she said.

Hicks said she is “super excited” about the live shows. She’s also thrilled her parents will be there to watch her. They haven’t been in the audience since the blind audition episode when she made it onto the show, which started this season Feb. 26.

But Hicks joked that she is telling herself the live shows are no different than the pre-recorded shows, which have included every episode prior to Monday’s show.

“That’s the mind game I’m working on,” she said.

“It’s exciting things are happening in real time, so America will know when I know,” she added.

Hicks, who has described herself as introverted, said singing on the “The Voice” has been totally different from what she is used to, which mainly involved singing worship songs with the worship team at Huntington University in Huntington before her graduation in spring 2017, and at her church, New Zion Tabernacle in Fort Wayne.

When she sings worship songs, Hicks said she usually has her eyes closed and doesn’t worry so much about hitting every note just right.

“You are talking to God,” she explained.

On “The Voice,” she must make eye contact with the audience and entertain them, something she found uncomfortable at first.

That’s why song choice and song lyrics are so important to her, she said.

“I always want to sing things that have meaning,” she said.

HOW TO VOTE

During next week’s Live Playoffs shows at 8 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, viewers can cast up to 10 votes for each contestant using “The Voice” smartphone app. A viewer also can cast one vote for each contestant using a special Twitter hashtag for that contestant. The Twitter hashtags hadn’t been revealed as of 5 p.m. Thursday.

Real-time viewer voting Monday night will send one member of each team through to the Top 12.

The remaining 20 contestants will sing again either Tuesday or Wednesday night.

Viewer voting tallied near the end of Wednesday’s show will send one more contestant from each team to the Top 12.

The celebrity coaches then also will pick one remaining member of her or his team to advance to the Top 12 competitors.

TUNING IN

“The Voice will be broadcast 8-10 p.m. Monday, when all 24 remaining contestants will perform.

The remaining 20 contestants will sing again either 8-9 p.m. Tuesday or 8-9 p.m. Wednesday.

All of the shows will broadcast on NBC, which is seen locally on Channel 21.2.

WATCH PARTIES

Fort Wayne: 7:30 p.m. Monday in Andorfer Commons at Indiana Tech, 1600 E. Washington Blvd. Free popcorn and water will be available.

Huntington University: 7:30 p.m. Monday in Zurcher Auditorium in Merillat Centre of the Arts, 520 Lake St. in Huntington. Free Team Christiana T-shirts available to the first 250 students with an HU ID, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the lobby. Free treats also will be available. “The Voice” starts at 8 p.m. The university also has been hosting its own Huntington University Voice Competition, and its playoffs also will take place Monday night.

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