Before sending coaches Kelly Clarkson and Niall Horan into a fierce battle over her during the blind audition on The Voice with her captivating rendition of Katy Perry‘s 2010 ballad, “The One That Got Away,” everyone was surprised by singer Gina Miles’ actual speaking voice.
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Singing through deep and velvet vocals, the Illinois native introduced herself more sheepishly with her soft-spoken voice.
“Wait, you have that small speaking voice and this giant singing voice?” said a surprised Clarkson. “What just happened?”
The 18-year-old singer elaborated on her singing and speaking voices. “I’m not super crazy confident normally, but when I sing, I’m a very different person,” shared Miles. “A lot of people are shocked by the contrast of my singing voice and my normal voice.”
The singer said that she was never the “loudest in the room,” and added, “I am pretty shy, normally.”
Several years earlier, Miles started accompanying her father, Ryan, to his DJ-ing gigs and singing anywhere she could. In 2022, Miles recently released her six-track debut EP, Who Are You, including her songs “Incredibly Patient” and “End With You” (listen below).
“When I was 14, I started doing fun little shows here and there,” said Miles on the show. “I did bars, hotels—basically anywhere they would let me sing. I really have spent a lot of time trying to hone in on a sound for myself, and I really enjoy expressing confidence in that way.”
Horan praised the timbre of her voice. “I love voices with so much character, like you’ve got,” he said. “That was incredible to see you get up there and really hit those notes with proper control. For such a young girl, it’s incredible.”
As a past contestant on The X Factor in the U.K. in 2010, which ultimately led to him joining One Direction, Horan sensed the young singer’s nerves during the performance.
“I can see you holding the mic with two hands because I used to be barely able to go on stage, gripping the mic stand, holding onto the mic like you were doing right now,” said Horan. “You’re going to grow into this competition. [I] feel like you’ve got so much more to give. This is very exciting.”
Clarkson gave more compliments to Miles’ voice. “Your beautiful eyes were closed, but I turned around way before him,” joked Clarkson. “I was like OK, I don’t know if that’s nerves or if it’s her just really loving this message and wanting to be the vessel for it. You had me in the beginning when it was a beautiful whisper how you were sounding and then it exploded in the chorus.”
Trying to sway Miles on her team, Clarkson told the singer she can help train her voice.
“I am great at teaching vocalists breath control, bubbling before you get out there, like really making sure that you are so solid with your vocal ability that by the time you’re out here, you’re not nervous, because you’ve done it so much,” said Clarkson. “I’m a really big fan of your voice.”
As the battle heated up between the coaches’ pitches to the young singer, coach Blake Shelton passed Horan a note. “Are you giving him help?” said Clarkson. “What are you doing?”
Shelton replied, “I’m giving him my phone number” before Horan read the note aloud. “Kelly can’t coach nerves,” read the note. “She admits it.” Clarkson retorted, “He’s right. I’m not good at it. I try so hard, but I fail every time.”
Jumping on the opportunity to persuade Miles after Clarkson’s revelation, Horan brought up his own past again, and his experience with nerves. “Kelly is one of the best singers of the last 10 generations, and she can do the vocal ability stuff with you,” said Horan. “I personally am not the biggest singer that ever walked the planet, but I feel like I try to sing with a bit of feel and a bit of character, and you have both of those things.”
He continued, “You went for the big chords, but you were so amazing in the early moments of the song. They are the moments … when you hear a good verse sung by someone who really means what they’re singing. There’s no better feeling. I’ve been there. I’ve walked through a competition like that.”
Enjoying the fight between Clarkson and Horan to get Miles on their respective team, which he helped instigate, Shelton said it turned into “a battle to the death” to win over the singer.
“The gloves have really come off on this one, I tell ya,” quipped Shelton.
After their lengthy back and forth, Miles decided to join Horan’s team.
“I don’t know if in Ireland it’s common practice to be passed a note about somebody and then read the note allowed to the person,” joked Shelton at the end, referencing Horan. “I’m gonna get him back. That is the last time I’m helping that kid out.”
Photos by Casey Durkin/NBC