Brainerd musician Seth Doud is taking his talents to Chicago — trying out for NBC’s reality talent show “The Voice.”
Doud, a 2001 Brainerd High School graduate, competed in the first round of try-outs Saturday for “The Voice” at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. He made it through the first round and was asked to come back to compete in the second round scheduled Wednesday at a rehearsal hall on Superior Street in Chicago.
“I was excited to make it through the first round,” said Doud, who was on his way to Chicago Tuesday. “But Wednesday will be another day, but I will get to perform with my guitar so I am really excited about that.”
Doud said in the first round, he performed “Freedom of the Road” by Martin Sexton and he wasn’t allowed to play his guitar. In the second round, Doud said he has to come prepared with four songs, but he may play his guitar.
“I have no clue what I will sing,” said Doud as there are so many songs he could perform. “I always wing it ... When I perform, I never set a song list. I like to get there and gauge and assess the audience to see what type of music they want to listen to. I never plan it out. This is what I do.”
Doud said that he was told by “The Voice” that they want to hear current and popular songs. Doud said he was told by friends not to perform “Freedom of the Road” during the first round, but he did anyway and it worked out as he was the only performer to make it to the second round in his group.
“People want to hear popular songs and I change it into my folky-style,” said Doud.
Doud has never tried out his musical talents for a reality show before. Doud said in the 1980s there was “Star Search” and later there was “American Idol” and he said so many of his friends encouraged him to try out. He said he decided to give it a shot for “The Voice” after much encouragement and support from his wife, Shelly.
“To be honest I haven’t seen much of the TV show,” said Doud. “People kept telling me to try out and when I found out they were in Chicago we went.
“This is something I was talked into doing and I didn’t expect to make it through. But now that I have I am really excited. If I make it through Wednesday I will be on my way to LA (Los Angeles) in March (to take part in the show).”
Doud, who has written and performed an acoustic blend of folk, rock and soul music for the past 17 years, describes his music as “soulful acoustic.” Doud has one self-entitled album he recorded at Fuzzy Slippers Studio in St. Paul in 2010.
In a 2011 Dispatch article, Doud said, “When I was in about fourth grade, my dad bought me an electric guitar from Snoop and Save, and I started picking songs. By the end of the school year, I had determined that I would be a big rock star. Well, I’m not a rock star, but I’m doing OK.
“I took a few lessons on the guitar, but when I was younger, I didn’t feel I needed them. If I had continued, I might be a better player technically. I learn a lot from watching other musicians and adapt some of that to my own style.”
According to “The Voice” website, the show features four stages of competition: The first begins with the blind audition, then the battle round, the brand new knockouts and then the live performance shows.
During the blind auditions, the decisions from the musician coaches are based solely on voice and not on looks. The coaches hear the artists perform, but they don’t get to see them. If a coach is impressed by the artist’s voice, he/she pushes a button to select the artist for his/her team. At this point, the coach’s chair will swivel so that he/she can face the artist he/she has selected.