Kate Cosentino is still shocked that she gets to represent Kansas City on this season of The Voice

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Kate Cosentino takes the stage for her blind audition. // Photo by Casey Durkin/NBC

Kate Cosentino, a proud Kansas City native, had Niall Horan, Kelly Clarkson, and Chance the Rapper battling to claim her for season 23 of The Voice.

After serious debate between the coaches, Cosentino chose Horan as her mentor.

Cosentino’s rendition of “I Say A Little Prayer” by Dionne Warwick had everyone immediately sitting up straighter during her blind audition. Her jazzy tone and impressive vocal control made the judges look at each other in awe even before turning around.

Clarkson was the first chair turn, which secured Cosentino’s spot in the competition. She was at an absolute loss for words when asked to describe what that first turn felt like, but eventually came up with a sweet comparison.

“It was like getting a birthday cake as a surprise in the mail,” Cosentino says. “Even though I’m confident in myself, and I believe in my music, to have Kelly Clarkson and all these rockstar judges be confident in me, that’s just wow.”

Every judge’s jaw dropped after they turned around, but Cosentino credits this more to the “clown couture” dress that she was wearing than her performance. The dress–pink, red, and covered in bedazzled hearts–came from Overland Park-staple Amelia’s boutique.

“I feel like, as a kid, I would dress funky and weird like that, so people wouldn’t look at my body,” Cosentino says. “Now, I like dressing super loud and funky and fun because my music is funky and fun, but it also has this deeper meaning to me.” 

Everything from her outstanding outfit to her slow, bluesy audition song had been planned and practiced for months. She had even figured out who her ideal mentor would be, if given the opportunity to choose.

Cosentino had her sights set on Horan from the moment he was announced as a judge. She confessed that she was not a “directioner” growing up—the name given to avid One Direction fan—but had Horan in mind because of his stellar songwriting background.

“He’s an incredible songwriter, and he works with many amazing people, especially female songwriters, and likes to support their music,” Cosentino says. “I just felt like he would get me.”

As a coach, he did not disappoint. In Cosentino’s opinion, Horan went above and beyond, messaging the whole team and jumping on Zoom calls with everyone to build relationships. 

Cosentino also created strong friendships with team members, despite technically being enemies. Even during the battle rounds–which will air tonight–Cosentino says it was heartbreaking when teammates would go home.

“Honestly, I think I lucked out with this season because it is truly the nicest group of people I could have asked for,” Cosentino says. “It was almost to the point where during battles, we were like no one needs to go home. People who won didn’t even want to celebrate because it was your friend leaving.”

This wasn’t Cosentino’s first time auditioning for The Voice, but she had put it off her radar, and was actually coming off releasing her first EP “Note to Self” when she was asked to audition.

She required a bit of convincing but eventually concluded that one more audition could only help get her name out there and give her practice performing in very high-tension situations.

“I really felt like a cosmic timing thing because I had just worked so hard on this EP and doing music myself,” Cosentino says. “If I could be on The Voice, I would be on a national platform that could help find people that resonate with my goofiness and my fun songwriting.”

Cosentino is currently based in Nashville, where she performs and runs her guitar strap company “Big Chick Energy.” Before going on The Voice she released a handful of singles, her first EP, and a few self-produced music videos.

She is still performing live shows in Nashville and travels back to KC to perform whenever she gets the chance. She grew up listening to Alt 96.5 and performing in coffee shops. It is unbelievably special that she now has the chance to represent her city on a national stage.

“I just love my hometown. I think it is the magical, hidden gem of the United States,” Cosentino says. “Kansas City has been supporting me the whole time I’ve been pursuing music. So, getting on The Voice and getting to represent Kansas City honestly feels like a win for the community.”

She says the support she has received from family, friends, and fans has been amazing, and especially appreciated in the competition “battle rounds,” which will be aired tonight.

The groups have been formed, and now teammates will be pitted against each other on stage. Two members will sing the same song chosen by their coach, and only one will be chosen to continue in the competition.

Cosentino had to keep her lips tight when talking about her experience after the blind auditions. She already knows who the lucky eight are that advance to the live performances in May, but must keep that information on total lockdown. 

This is another reason she is thankful to have bonded with so many teammates, it gives her someone to talk with about the incredible experience.

“We can trauma bond, and we can happiness bond at the same time because it was intense and amazing,” Cosentino says.

The Voice airs on NBC every Monday at 7 p.m. or you can watch it the day after on Peacock to see how far Cosentino goes, but no matter what, she knows that KC is behind her.

“Behind every artist that I love and that is making it, there is a community rallying behind them. Cosentino says. “No one does it by themselves and I feel like my music career wouldn’t be where it is without the support of Kansas City.”

Categories: Music