Indiana preschool teacher nails biggest gig yet in 'The Voice' audition

Chelle sang a Billie Eilish song for "The Voice" Blind Auditions Tuesday night. (NBC/Mitchell Haddad)
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BARGERSVILLE, Ind. (WTHR) - We have another talented Hoosier to track on this season of NBC's hit show "The Voice."

Chelle, an 18-year-old from Bargersville in Johnson County, knocked it out of the park with her audition Tuesday night and landed on Team Kelly.

Now, she's ready to chase her dream.

In her day job as a preschool teacher, Chelle Cox's singing skills entertain and excite toddlers. But she just impressed a much more discerning audience on a much bigger stage.

In fact, the Bargersville teenager got three judges on NBC's "The Voice" to turn their chairs - Blake Shelton did after just a few notes.

"When I was performing, I was looking over to my left and I saw him out of the corner of my eye, turn and I was just like, 'OK!' And any kind of nerve I had was immediately gone because I'm like, 'OK, I made it onto a team,'" she said.

Singing a Billie Eilish song, Chelle made it through the Blind Auditions with three judges wanting her on their team: Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and Nick Jonas. The fourth judge, John Legend, joked that he should have turned around, too.

"Your tone hit me," Jonas said. "Made me feel emotional, which is the hardest thing to do as a performer."

Chelle ended up choosing Kelly Clarkson as her coach.

"You know Nick almost had me," Chelle said. "He said he'd write songs for me and you know what, I would take him up on that offer still. But when Kelly kind of threw that in there like 'I was your age once. It's hard being a teenage girl and putting yourself out there for everyone to see,' I was, like, 'You know what? If someone can really step in my shoes on over thinking things, I need to work with that person.'"

"I think you're going to flourish on this show if you just...let go," Clarkson told her on Tuesday night's show.


We asked Chelle what it's like to hear that kind of praise from those kinds of superstars.

"It was validation for sure, that all the hard work, all the years, all the traveling for gigs and auditions and stuff, it paid off," she said.

Chelle, a self-described introvert, went to a lot of small gigs, often singing her favorites: blues and soul.

She graduated from an online high school last year and, as a hobby, collects rocks. She even gave specially chosen rocks to the judges after her audition.

Chelle's grandfather first recognized her vocal talent when she was 9 or 10 years old. But it was YouTube where she perfected her performance with cover songs.

"I started a YouTube channel when I was 13. I was posting covers, gosh, probably like three a week maybe," she explained.

Now, it's "The Voice" and a successful blind audition that she had to keep a secret until Tuesday's show aired.

"Oh, my goodness. I'm so excited I get to share all of this with everyone I love and care about," Chelle said. "It was such a big night last night. I'm over the moon!"

She said she's also thrilled to have fellow Hoosiers watch her star rise.

You can hear Chelle sing again during the "The Voice" Battle Rounds, which start Monday, March 23 at 8 p.m. on Channel 13.