Zan Fiskum channeled some Maple Valley magic on Monday night to advance to the next round of “The Voice.”
Fiskum nailed Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” during the NBC singing competition’s first knockout round, which pits two teammates against each other. Like Fiskum, Carlile grew up in Maple Valley and went to Tahoma High School.
“She came to my high school once talking about how she was kind of a misfit, but she just ran after her passions,” Fiskum said in the run-up to her performance. “I feel like I can connect to that because I’m a little bit weird myself.”
There’s been nothing weird about Fiskum’s success so far. She’s turned in knockout performances of Maggie Rogers’ “Light On,” The Indigo Girls’ “Closer to Fine” and now “The Story.” Another Maple Valley resident and Tahoma High student, Benicio Bryant, also used a Carlile song, “The Joke,” to eventually earn his way to the final round of “America’s Got Talent” last year.
One thing’s for sure, if you pick a Carlile song, you better be ready to perform. Celebrity mentor James Taylor told Fiskum: “You set yourself a major task.” And her coach, John Legend, said: “Zan has this really lovely tone. It’s just sweet in all the right places, powerful in all the right places. Brandi Carlile’s songs test all that. To be able to do that requires a level of skill that not everybody has.”
Fiskum removed any doubt with her performance. She’ll next appear on the April 27 episode of “The Voice,” a compilation show that looks back at Season 18 so far. Live performances start in May. It’s unclear how that will look given the current coronavirus pandemic situation, but Fiskum will enter the final episodes as one of the favorites given her performances so far.
“I feel like there’s singers and there’s artists,” coach Blake Shelton said while endorsing her performance. “And you’re a great combination of both things.”