Carson Peters talks about his time on The Voice

This week seventeen-year-old singer and fiddler, Carson Peters, was eliminated from NBC’s The Voice during the Knockout round of the singing contest. In a phone interview, the Piney Flats, TN native reflected on his experience on the nationally televised talent show.

Though his final performance aired this week, it was filmed throughout the summer. Upon being selected, Peters and his mother flew to Los Angeles for the competition. The pair spent their summer in California from late May until mid-August.

The high school senior shared, “I was basically there the whole summer. I was present for all the filming until the live shows.”

Peters was sought by all four judges (John Legend, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, and Ariana Grande) in the Blinds, the first round of the competition. He selected Shelton to be his coach.

“Due to COVID, I don’t think it was like previous seasons. For each song, I got about two hours to work with Blake.”

Though his time with his vocal coach was limited, Peters kept a busy itinerary while on the west coast.

“The schedule was random, but we were working 4-5 days per week. We had band rehearsals, stage rehearsals, and wardrobe fittings. On my days off, I would sleep in and go to parks and jam.”

After capturing the judges’ attention in the Blinds with his version of Don Williams’ Living on Tulsa Time, Peters moved to the second round of the contest, the Battle Round. In that segment, he was pitted against another contestant, Clint Sherman of Royse City, TX. Both vocalists played guitar, sang verses separately, then harmonized on the chorus of Vince Gill’s Don’t Let Your Love Start Slipping Away. Shelton selected their tune for this round. Following their performance, Peters was chosen by Shelton to advance in the competition.

In the next level of the singing contest, the Knockout Round, Peters picked his own song and decided to demonstrate his prowess on the fiddle.

“I chose George Strait’s Amarillo by Morning. I took it to the first band rehearsal. I did the key step-up in the last chorus like George Strait had recorded. I kept it in there to show the judges my voice range and my skill with the fiddle, playing in two different keys.”

Pitted against Virginia native and Berklee College of Music attendee, Lana Scott, who sang Wildest Dreams, the competition was stiff. However, Peters was not selected this time by his coach. It was a difficult decision for Shelton.

“Carson-versus-Lana is a heartbreaker for me,” the singing coach stated after the Knockout round.

Peters was professional, courteous, and gracious following his elimination. “I want to thank all four judges for turning for me in the Blinds. It was one of the most special moments I’ve ever had,” he stressed.

Reflecting on his last performance, Peters shared via phone, “Nerves definitely came into play. I was not as comfortable with the song. I needed to show more than just tone. I tried to do too much with it. If I could redo it, I would probably choose a different song.”

Peters is grateful for the exposure.

“Overall, I was happy with my performance. It definitely has helped my career, both in bluegrass and country. I’ve gained a lot of social media followings and made connections that will help me in the future.”

Following high school graduation in the spring, Carson Peters is headed to Nashville to attend Belmont College. He plans to major in Music Business and minor in Music Performance. In the meantime, he’s busy scheduling lots of bluegrass shows with his band, Iron Mountain.

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.