22nd July 2018
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Stardom for Shetland-raised girls on America’s The Voice

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Two State-side singing sensations with isles connections have been propelled into stardom with spectacular appearances on the American version of The Voice.

Sisters Whitney and Shannon Sim were plucked from originally 40,000 hopefuls to appear in the show’s live auditions.

They have impressed judges with their vocal talents on the hugely popular NBC entertainment show, which follows the same format as the UK programme aired on this side of the pond.

Whitney, 25, and 23 year-old Shannon had the choice to be coached by all four judges when they wowed them in the so-called blind auditions, which aired previously.

They opted to join the team headed by singer-songwriter Alicia Keys.

And their partnership with the star certainly seems to have paid off. The girls, who stay in Texas, have made it through to the knockout rounds, which air on Monday, Tuesday and on the following Monday, too.
“Being on the show is an absolute dream come true,” said Shannon.

“We have always wanted to do something like this, but the opportunity was never there.

“When we auditioned for the show we never imagined we would make it to the blind auditions, never mind get a four-chair turn.

“It is all so surreal and amazing. The whole experience has been so much fun.

“One of the best parts of the whole experience has been the friends we’ve made. We’re so thankful to have met all the other artists and became such great friends.”

Whitney, who as a child attended lessons at Sound Primary School in Lerwick before the family moved to the US, added: “We have always loved music and have been singing together since we can remember. Our mum has a very musical family, so we’re pretty sure that’s where it all came from.”

The girls’ father is James Sim, who lives in Panama, and their mother is Alva, who stays in Austin.

Grandfather Eric Uren, who stays in East Voe, is proud of their achievements, and says the singers have always kept themselves in tune.

“The girls have sung all their lives, ever since they were old enough to do it, and they’ve always sung together,” he said.

“They applied to go on the blind auditions and got through to that.

Mr Uren said the family had always known of their talents.

“For them to get as far as they have out of 40,000 auditionees – we’re very proud of that, and as my son James says that’s a win in itself.”

See Whitney and Shannon singing on The Voice in America here

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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