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Still alive on 'The Voice,' Forsyth County singer shares excitement

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CUMMING — On national television Monday night, Riley Biederer was welcomed home.

Not to Forsyth County. Though that is where she calls home when she is not in Los Angeles trying to sing her way to fame.

The 19-year-old singer/songwriter secured her spot on the live performances of “The Voice,” a reality singing competition on NBC. She made it through three taped rounds that narrowed the field to 20.

Her path to the live stage has not been without suspense.

“I’ve been up against two really, really, really amazing performers, so it has been a little bit intimidating and nerve-wracking, but at the same time it really helped me up my game,” Biederer said.

The show pits four celebrity coaches — Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams — as they choose singers for their teams by only hearing them sing.

At blind auditions, Pharrell chose the self-described pop-soul artist for his team.

However, Pharrell pitted Biederer against teammate Evan McKeel in the next round, where they sang a song together to vie for one spot.

When Pharrell chose McKeel, Gwen Stefani decided she did not want to see Biederer go home and stole her.

Then came Monday night.

In the knockout round, Biederer had to sing a song of her choice in competition with Regina Love, a contestant from Atlanta who sang “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & the Pips.

“It was super intimidating going against someone who is so seasoned in the music industry and powerful and talented,” she said. “I could have performed a slight bit better, but overall I was pretty happy.”

Adam Levine and Blake Shelton had used up their steal options. But all coaches said both Love and Biederer, who sang Beyonce’s “XO,” gave winning performances.

“I went through a lot of different songs and just sang through literally, like, 50 songs,” Biederer said. “I wanted to capture the genre I was really trying to do … the type of music I want to make is pop music, but it has that R&B, soul influence.

“I think Beyonce is just insane at anything she does, but R&B is really what she does … and ‘XO’ is one of her more pop-y songs.”

In came Pharrell, who stole Biederer back to his team when Stefani chose to keep Love.

“I’m so so glad I got to be on Gwen’s team, even if just for one round. I wouldn’t take it back for anything,” Biederer said.

Musical icons Stefani and guest-coach Rhianna gave Biederer advice she may not have been able to incorporate had she remained with Pharrell, a Grammy-winning producer and singer, the entire time.

“Rhianna is like my biggest influence and she’s … I love her. That was insane to have her giving me advice. She helped me when I was having a little bit of trouble figuring out my style,” she said. “And Gwen really helped me so much. They didn’t show it in the clip on TV, but we spent a good 10 minutes talking about what I wanted to wear.

“Because now I’m coming back [to Pharrell’s team], and I just have a little more confidence. Now that I’m in outfits I really love, it helps me be more confident on stage and not thinking about whether I look good or if this is the right thing to wear … I can just focus on singing.”

Next comes the live playoff rounds, and Biederer needs America to support her.

Viewers vote to keep their top two favorite from each team after live performances. The coaches then choose one remaining artist to complete their roster.

Those remaining contestants move on to the final phase of the competition, where live voting continues and one person is eventually named “The Voice,” receiving the grand prize of a recording contract.

Viewers can tune in at 8 p.m. Nov. 9 and at 9 p.m. Nov. 10 to vote for Biederer as she competes.