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Performing Arts

For a song

By Marilou Carlin

Prevailing over many thousands of contestants and dozens of elimination trials, Michelle Chamuel (photo left), an alumna of the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance, has made it into the finals on The Voice, the popular singing competition show on NBC-TV.

Throughout the season, Chamuel has been celebrated for her powerful voice, nuanced performances, and unique style and showmanship. The winner will be announced on the live broadcast 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 18.

Michelle Chamuel, a native of Massachusetts, graduated from U-M in 2008 with a BFA in performing arts technology (media arts concentration). In addition to singing, she plays guitar and piano. While still an undergrad, she formed a band with other SMTD students, which quickly amassed a devoted fan base. Titled Ella Riot (formerly My Dear Disco), the band is currently on hiatus but Chamuel has continued to make music under the name The Reverb Junkie while also forming a duo with fellow band member Tyler Duncan, also a 2008 graduate of SMTD (jazz and contemporary improvisation), which they call S/he.

The Voice, which airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST, is regularly the top-rated program in its time slot.

Each of the contestants is mentored by one of four top music industry professionals (the show’s “coaches”). Chamuel had her choice of working with three of the four coaches (each of whom expressed interest in working with her based on a blind audition) and selected the Grammy-winning R&B/hip-hop artist Usher, one of the best selling music artists in American music history.

During the first several weeks of the competition, which are taped, the contestants compete against others on their coach’s “team,” with the coach choosing the contestant who will advance to the next round. When the remaining contestants move to the live performance phase of the competition, the viewing audience votes to decide who will continue and ultimately win.

Songs that the contestants perform during the live phase of the competition are immediately made available to download from the show’s website and iTunes. Selections by Chamuel include “I Kissed a Girl,” “True Colors,” “Raise Your Glass,” “Titanium,” and “Call Your Girlfriend.”

Marilou Carlin is a writer at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.


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