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Minneapolis singer chosen on ‘Voice’

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By Amy Carlson Gustafson

A YouTube video helped Minneapolis musician and nanny Kat Perkins land a spot on “The Voice.” Last year, a video was posted on YouTube of Perkins singing Adele’s “Someone Like You” at an Amsterdam airport, where she was on a layover during a trip to perform for the troops in the Middle East. Producers from the NBC show saw the clip and liked it so much they invited her to try out for the TV singing competition.

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Perkins made the cut and filmed her blind audition in October. She had to keep the details a secret until the segment aired on Monday night.

Delivering a fierce rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman,” Perkins got three out of four of the show’s superstar coaches — Adam Levine, Usher and Shakira — to turn their chairs around (a signal they wanted her to join their teams) and fight over her.

As the trio tried to convince the 33-year-old rock singer who grew up on a farm in Scranton, N.D., to join their team, Usher called her a “country artist,” which was baffling.

“What you didn’t see was Shakira said the same thing, so I really got perplexed by it,” said Perkins, who does have a history singing country music but rocked it on Monday’s show.

“I thought maybe they really thought I was a country artist. I didn’t know if I should roll with it or say, ‘Listen, I’m a rock singer.’ ”

Turns out those comments by Usher and Shakira made Perkins’ decision to join Levine’s team a little easier.

“I was so nervous,” she said. “Adam saved the day by making it known I was a rock singer.

“So that helped me in the end, and he had the best pitch. He was really willing to take me under his wing, so that was a cool feeling.”

A founding member of the rock band Scarlet Haze, which once opened for Bon Jovi, Perkins is currently in two cover bands — Northern Comfort and Dirty Word.

She mentions Stevie Nicks, Heart, Journey and the Doobie Brothers when talking about musical influences.

Perkins had been skeptical about TV singing competitions.

“I didn’t picture myself ever auditioning for one of those shows,” she said. “I’m a huge fan and I sit and watch them — especially ‘The Voice.’ But I never pictured myself doing it.

“Putting yourself out there is so scary to think about, but when the call came inviting me to do it, how could I say no? I had to take a chance.”

“The Voice” also provides her with a chance to launch a solo career, something she’s wanted to do for a while.

She said she made up her mind to “go big or go home.”

“It’s either all or nothing venturing out on my own,” said Perkins, who will appear on the show again at some point during the battle round, which kicks off Monday.

“And I did, I went big and I think it’s the perfect platform for me to do that. I don’t know if I would have had the strength or motivation to do it any other way.”

The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.

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