Area man sings on 'The Voice' (video)
Oct. 1, 2013 at 5:01 a.m.
Preston Pohl had a tough decision to make as he stood on the stage of NBC's "The Voice" - one that would determine his fate as a competitor on the show and affect his future as a solo musician.
After Pohl's rendition of "Electric Feel" by MGMT, three of the four coaches swung their chairs around, locking eyes with the 26-year-old Hallettsville native.
As his mind quickly weighed the options between the three judges - Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton - he held his microphone close to his chest with both hands. His heart raced, and the grin on his face grew wider by the second.
He made the decision confidently and announced to the audience and the millions watching at home that he would join the other singers on Levine's team.
"(The coaches) are all great, and it was an honor to have three chairs. But Adam, he's a versed and well-rounded musician, and I like to think of myself like that," said Pohl.
As his journey begins on "The Voice," he says he hopes his coach will challenge him with different kinds of music so he can achieve his dreams of becoming a solo artist.
Pohl's parents, Alton and Peggy Pohl, watched the performance on a screen backstage with "The Voice" host Carson Daly. As soon as they saw the coaches hit their buttons and turn to face their son on stage, they jumped and screamed with excitement.
"It was pretty surreal. It's something he's worked really hard for," said Alton Pohl, a pastor of God's Worship Center in Hallettsville. "It made me real proud and so happy for him."
The auditions were filmed in July, so his parents had to keep the results a secret from the rest of their friends and family.
His mother, a senior learning and development specialist at First Victoria Bank, said it was hard to not tell anyone, but when the episode aired Monday night, she was glad she could finally talk about it. She said it took her more than an hour to respond to all the incoming texts and calls about her son's newfound stardom.
When her son said he was going to audition for the show, she said she had some doubts, but completely supported him.
He always had a passion for music and he never gave up on his dream, she said.
Pohl performed at the end of Monday's episode and left so many of his friends and family on pins and needles as they waited to watch him take the stage.
Jackie Hons, Pohl's aunt who watched the show in her Hallettsville home by herself, said she could hardly stay seated as she watched him sing.
"I was very nervous the whole time," she said. "I knew he had talent, but I didn't know he had that much talent."
Pohl moved to Florida at age 17 to pursue a music career with his band StorySide:B.
Hons has mainly kept in touch with him through his posts on Facebook. She often reads about him playing at different bars and performing at different events and thought to herself, "as much as he plays, he must be pretty good."
On stage, under the bright lights and with the cameras rolling, Pohl performed as if he had written the song himself.
"It's got such a good grove to it and I knew that it was something that hadn't been done on 'The Voice,'" he said Tuesday in a conference call. "I wanted to do something different. I felt real comfortable doing it."
Thinking back to the day the audition was filmed, his mother remembers being unable to do anything else other than scream with joy.
"The best part of it was seeing Preston's dreams start to come true," she said. "His dream is to make a difference with music."
As the show continues, the contestants will have their chance to perform against each other within their respective teams in hopes of winning "The Voice" Season 5 championship.
As he said on the show, he can sing a lot of different genres of music. But his father said Pohl has his own style and isn't tied down to just one genre.
"I always seem to lean toward soul. Even if I like to say I do something rock, I always wind up doing it in a soulful way," said Pohl. "Who knows, I might do some country, reggae, rock - I don't know. Definitely, my soul will always shine through."