Her audition: Sugar Joans, 24, of Los Angeles, auditioned with “Chain of Fools,” displaying a nice rasp in her voice. Still, she was nearly finished her performance before a big ending prompted Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani to turn their chairs. Gwen called Sugar’s “soul singer” flavor very impressive. And Sugar opted to join Team Gwen.
Her background: This young lady’s dad was a singer in the 1980s and toured with Alice Cooper. He also sang on albums by Patti LaBelle and Janet Jackson, but she says the bulk of his career was spent performing with Sergio Mendes. He still plays shows. Sugar looks up to him because he’s had a long and successful career, but Sugar says she wants to “pave her own way.” For a day job, Sugar manages a shoe store; she plays shows with a wedding band in her off time. Of course, she’d like to make music her full-time job.
What the show didn’t show: First off, here’s betting her real name isn’t Sugar Joans since her YouTube channel is labeled Sophia Louise. Anyway, in her Voice video interview, Sugar describes herself as an R&B/soul singer who hopes to stay in that vein after being “fed a lot of old-school music” — Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder — by her dad when she was young. She sees the Voice as an “amazing showcase for an artist like me who hasn’t had anything monumental happen in her career yet.” And, yes, she’d pretty much given up hope of landing a spot on the show as her audition wound down and no chairs had turned. “Twenty seconds in, I’m like, ‘OK, what’s going on. I hope someone turns soon. Forty seconds in, I’m still waiting and waiting and waiting for a chair to turn. Sixty seconds in, I had pretty much accepted that no one was going to turn but that I was going to sing my heart out anyway. And, then, in the nick of time, Gwen and Blake both slammed down on their button … At that point, I had lost hope. It was awesome.”
Blind audition: Turned two chairs with her performance of “Chain of Fools.”
Battle round: Defeated Jean Kelley; they sang “Survivor” by Destiny Child in one of Season 7’s most impressive battle round performances.
Knockout round: She sang Beyonce’s “Love on Top,” but lost her Team Gwen match to Bryana Salaz. She was immediately stolen by Pharrell.
Live playoffs: She sang “I Say a Little Prayer” by Aretha Franklin. Her cover landed at 85 on the iTunes singles chart and 39 on the pop chart. She was Pharrell Williams’ pick to advance to the finals.
Top 12: She sang “Take Me to the River.” The song failed to chart on the iTunes Top 200, but hit number 199 on the pop chart. On results night, Sugar found herself in the bottom three. She sang “I Want to Dance with Somebody” for her save-me song, but was eliminated.
Wild Card: She sang “Back to Black,” delivering one of the night’s best vocals, but the wild card spot went to Damien. “Back to Black” landed at 136 on iTunes’ singles chart.
On iTunes: Just her Voice performances.
“Like a Star”