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Forsyth County singer advances on The Voice

FORSYTH COUNTY — Riley Biederer has been stolen.

Don’t worry, she’s fine. More than fine. On Monday night, the 19-year-old singer/songwriter from Forsyth County earned a spot in the narrowing pool of singers vying for the title on NBC’s “The Voice,” a hit reality competition.

Biederer, a self-described pop-soul artist, went head to head with teammate Evan McKeel in the battle round, which came after blind auditions.

They sang Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” as a duet, both hoping their team coach, Grammy-winning entertainer and fashion designer Pharrell Williams, would retain them for the next round.

Though all four coaches — also including Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani — praised both singers, Pharrell chose McKeel.

“When I finished, I felt completely confident I had done really well,” Biederer said. “I had a feeling Evan was going to win just because it was such a perfect song for him. It’s how I felt from the beginning.

“I was content with it. So it was unexpected when I was down the stairs already. I was ready to move on, and it happened and I was just overwhelmed.”

Each coach was allotted two “steals” in this round, reserved for those competitors he or she did not want to see go home.

“I’m lucky because now I’m getting to work with two of them, and they’re both so amazing,” Biederer said of her move from Team Pharrell to Team Gwen. “In the next round, I’m hoping to do a song that is really in my lane of music, and I’m excited to see what happens with the song choice because that’s such an important part.”

Stefani is a Grammy-winner, fashion designer and actress who is the co-founder and lead singer of rock band No Doubt.

“It’s so crazy to sing one of [Stevie Wonder’s] songs, but it’s not really something I would probably consider a strong song for me,” Biederer said. “It was definitely a strong song for Evan. I want to do a female pop-soul song, maybe something more current to really hone in on my style.”

The competition is aimed to position artists in the best chance for a successful career, and developing a vocal style is not the only aspect of who someone is as a singer.

“Gwen is very fashion-oriented, so I’m excited to see what happens with that,” she said. “From other people on Team Gwen I’ve talked to, I know she is very involved in the outfit selection for performances, so I’m excited to see how I develop in that.”

The episode with Biederer’s full performance can be found at

“The Voice” airs at 8 p.m. Mondays and 9 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC.