Boonville resident Shawn Smith was selected to be a contestant on "The Voice". YNN's Cara Thomas caught up with "Big Sexy" about his journey so far on the singing competition.
BOONVILLE, N.Y. -- Shawn Smith is a small town guy from Boonville New York, a single father, a veteran, and a musician.
Smith, known as "Big Sexy", went from playing in bars to performing on "The Voice's" stage.
Bob Seward, a friend, said, "It takes a lot of luck and a lot of talent to get to where you want to be. In this case a lot of luck played a factor into all of this and certainly a ton of talent."
Smith had never seen an episode of "The Voice", let alone heard of the show. So, it took initiative from a good friend and huge supporter to convince Smith to audition.
Seward said, "This show is perfectly suited for you. You've got a great background story, you've got a fantastic voice, it's not based on looks it's based on how well you sound."
"I came in for a Thursday to play and he walks in and he has the audition pass already all filled out, printed out and everything," said Smith.
The following weekend, Smith was auditioning, first in New York City and then in Los Angeles.
He said, "I ended up getting through and out of 40,000 people I was top 125."
However, there was still one more audition to go: the blind auditions. Smith had to impress the four celebrity judges using only his voice.
At that point all the spots had been filled except one, and fortunately, "Big Sexy" claimed it.
Smith said, "Once Cee-Lo hit it and that chair, I don't remember a thing after that. I really don't, I just kind of like blacked out and had this out of body experience, you know."
Once he made it through, Smith began competing in the competition's Battle Rounds and training with his coach Cee-Lo and advisor Miguel.
Smith said, "He let's you be who you are, you know what I mean, he's not trying to switch you, mold you or anything, all he's trying to build you up on what you already have."
Filming is over for now and Smith is back home, but the show has already completely changed his life. Smith said he couldn't have done it without the support of the community.
"Go Team Big Sexy. Shawn, everybody's so proud of him. We had the viewing party at Shots on Monday night. We had more than 200 people there. And the place was ready to erupt," said Seward.
Smith said, "How do you say thank you to everybody? This is exactly how you say it. Thank you so much Utica, New York, Boonville, I love you."
Smith is a veteran. His vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq.
The Battle Rounds begin airing this week on "The Voice".