Sisaundra Lewis performing on 'The Voice'. Courtesy NBC
Josh Kaufman performing on 'The Voice'. Courtesy NBC
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -
For two Bay area Top 8 finalists on NBC's The Voice, it's all about the fans.
After Sisaundra Lewis and Josh Kaufman found out they would be advancing to the next level last week, Stacie Schaible asked them what the best part of the experience has been.
Both said that it was inspiring and connecting with their fans.
“The messages that people send me, like the way that they’ve connected with me, or what a song has meant to them,” said Kaufman in the May 1 interview. “To be able to connect with that many people on this kind of stage, I mean, that’s all you want to be able to do as an artist, so that has been amazing.”
Josh was born in Sarasota and grew up around music: his mother was a music teacher. He also grew up in Polk County, which is something he shares with Sisaundra.
Born in Lake Hamilton, Polk County, Sisaundra developed her voice as she worked in nearby orange groves. Her father made a living as a fruit contractor, and she would sing as she worked.
After landing gig for a cover band called Spellbound, one of her bandmates, who later became the sound engineer for Peabo Bryson, introduced the two. She started touring and when Celine Dion joined later for duets with Bryson, Sisaundra started working with her.
Then, she took a break from the stage to focus on raising her three children. That's something a lot of people can relate to, Sisaundra says.
"To hear from single moms and single parents, 'I put my dream on the back burner too, and you've inspired me to take it off' ... that's really, really amazing," Sisaundra said.
Now, Sisaundra is back in the spotlight, with her children's permission, of course.
“I get the phone calls and the text messages, and of course I do the text parenting, so you know it’s back and forth,” said Sisaundra. “’Mom, go for it, we love you, we’re proud of you’, and that just makes you feel so great as a parent."
Josh Kaufman wouldn't drop any hints about what audiences can expect as the competition goes forward.
"You always wanna try and surprise people a little bit... but I can't tell you too much, just gotta watch!" said Kaufman.
To see Josh and Sisaundra in action, watch The Voice on News Channel 8 starting at 8:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.
Have these contestants inspired YOU to live your dream? Tweet your story to @WFLA with hashtag #LiveYourDream!