Carson Daly showed her a video of Gene Simmons, wishing her luck and expressing confidence that she’ll “go the distance” on the show.
Sophia, 18, of Norco, Calif., talked about that thrill during a Wednesday conference call with the media.
When she was 13, Sophia got involved with an organization called Kids Rock Free, a nonprofit that teachers youngsters how to play instruments and puts them into bands.
Sophia wound up lead singer of a classic rock band called No Surrender. And the band wound up performing at a Rock & Brews, a restaurant chained co-owned by Simmons and Paul Stanley of Kiss.
“Being kids at the time, we looked up to these rock legends,” Sophia recalled. “We’re playing music like them. We’re playing our hearts out. Seeing them from a distance, we were all just fan-girling, basically.”
Afterward, she got to meet Paul and Gene and said she talked to them about songwriting and the life of a musician.
“They let me eat one of their fish tacos,” she said with a laugh. “It was probably one of the coolest moments I’ve ever gotten to experience.”
Then came The Voice. And the special good luck message from Gene.
“When I saw the video with Gene Simmons, I freaked out,” Sophia admitted. “I got the cool rocker tongue (from Gene) and everything. I really want that video.”
As it turned out, Blake Shelton and Miley Cyrus really wanted Sophia for their teams after hearing her take on “Invincible.” The young singer dedicated the performance to her mom, who she said proved “invincible” while raising her as a single parent.
Miley won out.
And while Sophia is on the show as a solo performer, she says she also has “a real passion for her bands.” In addition to No Surrender, she’s lead singer for a funk/soul group called Detour 91 and part of an all-original band called Fourth Glory.
“It’s still under wraps,” she said of the latter. “We’re really excited about all this stuff. I just see myself playing music full time. I see so many different routes in my future. They all lead back to being a pure entertainer.”