This summer, Brooke Simpson could have been spotted sipping a cup of joe at Warsaw Coffee, the 26-year-old’s favorite place in Fort Lauderdale. But faithful viewers of “The Voice” have since seen the local working with Miley Cyrus and beating out her opponents on NBC’s 13th season of the show.
The challenge started in September with blind auditions through which celebrity judges—Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine—each chose a group of singers. They then coached their performers to compete for the ultimate prize of a record contract.
During Simpson’s audition, all four judges turned their chairs around (signifying their interests in having her on their teams) as she sang Demi Lovato’s “Stone Cold.” It was the first four-chair turn of the season.
Why did you audition for “The Voice?”
I actually auditioned for “The Voice” four years ago and things didn’t work, but music consistently remained my passion. Last year was a really rough year for my family, and it felt like every door musically was just shutting in my face—everything I tried to force open. It got to the point where I said, “Maybe I need to come up with a plan B.” My husband was the biggest supporter ever, and he really pushed me and told me I needed to try one more time. I did, and I’m really happy that I didn’t come up with a plan B because it worked in my favor.
Why did you choose Miley’s team?
Everyone, especially my family, expected me to go with team Jennifer. It seems like what made the most sense, but I’ve always admired Miley. She can give any advice possible when it comes to music because that girl has been in every lane. She’s done psychedelic rock. She’s done pop. She’s done country. She’s done it all. In that moment I told myself to go with what feels right and when she put my hand on her heart and I felt how fast it was beating [after my performance], I was like, ‘You can’t make that up.’ It kind of sealed the deal for me.
How did you feel during your audition?
When I went on that stage for the blind audition, I’m going to be honest, I don’t even remember what happened. I just remember walking up there, taking a deep breath and then starting to sing.
Who did you grow up listening to?
Spice Girls influenced me, big time. Also, Cher influenced me a lot, but Christina Aguilera was probably the biggest one when I was young. I remember I would sit in my room with my CD player and I would listen to her do her ‘wooing.’ I would listen to it, I would rewind it, and I would try to do it.
How has living in Fort Lauderdale influenced you artistically?
Fort Lauderdale has impacted me a bunch. Whether it’s my church or open mic night, and also areas around Fort Lauderdale like West Palm and Miami. My husband and I have been to open mic nights all around the area. With my church there are so many incredible singers on our worship team. I’ve been influenced big time with this area. I’m so proud to be a Floridian. I’m so proud to show my tribal heritage but I was like, ‘Oh man, I wish they’d let the world know that I am a proud Floridian on TV,’ because I am.