March 14, 2018
It took Jackie Verna mere seconds to clinch her place on the next stage of NBC's "The Voice."
During a blind audition in an episode of the singing competition that aired Tuesday night, the West Chester resident instantly captured the attention of coach Adam Levine as she belted out a rendition of Kelsea Ballerini's "Peter Pan."
Levine turned his chair some 15 seconds into the audition and happily claimed Verna, 23, for his team in the competition's battle rounds by default.
Fellow coaches Alicia Keys and Blake Shelton had already filled their teams to capacity for the next stage. Kelly Clarkson, who was looking for "this one thing in particular" to fill her final available spot, opted not to turn her chair.
"I've never been more excited by a one-chair turn in my life," Levine said. "That is the best country singing I've heard, and I don't care what any of those guys say."
Watch Verna's audition and Levine's joyous reaction after he snagged the 23-year-old for his team:
Prior to settling in Chester County, Verna grew up in Sicklerville, New Jersey, and attended Penn State University.
She began to perform at local open mikes as she became more confident in her musical ability. Verna's focus shifted to music after suffering serious injuries in a 2012 car crash that raised doubts about whether she'd be able to cheer in college, according to her bio on NBC.com.
"Jackie spent the first few months after the accident indoors, not ready to face the outside world," according to the bio. "She quickly turned to the keyboard her aunt gave her, and music became the key to her recovery. Country music allowed Jackie to infuse her emotions and story into its narrative style."
The show's battle rounds will be the third of the competition's five stages.