'The Voice' audition that brings Guy Sebastian to tears

Bella Taylor Smith goes viral

23-year-old Bella Taylor Smith’s blind audition made a lasting impression on last night’s episode of The Voice – not only for her amazing voice but for the Christian faith that propels her to use it.

The new season of The Voice Australia premiered on Channel 7 on Sunday, August 8 to its largest audience in five years, helped by a star-studded judging and coaching panel of Rita Ora, Jess Mauboy, Guy Sebastian and Keith Urban.

But all eyes were on Taylor Smith as she belted out Beyonce’s song Ave Maria. All four Voice coaches turned around their chairs, indicating they all wanted to mentor her as part of their “team”.

However, Taylor Smith – a member of Hillsong Church in Sydney – chose Guy Sebastian as her coach. Sebastian was a member of Paradise Community Church, an Assemblies of God church in Adelaide, when he won a similar TV show Australian Idol in 2003 – the event that launched his highly successful music career.

“The joy that comes from music is something that’s always worth sharing.” – Bella Taylor Smith

Commenting on their similar backgrounds and approach to music, Sebastian said to Taylor Smith: “I grew up singing in church – I was in my church choir. What do you think growing up in an environment like churches taught you most about your gift?”

“I don’t feel like I can lay claim to my gift,” answered Taylor Smith. “And I think humility and kindness are so incredibly important. And just the joy that comes from music is something that’s always worth sharing.”

“The weirdest thing when I auditioned,” reflected Sebastian, choking back tears, “was because when you sing in church, it’s about other people. You’re there to sort of give peace, and it’s really grounding. I think it’s like your realisation that, exactly what you said, your gift is for a reason and you’ve got to bring love to people.”

Sebastian continued: “You’ve put your gift out there now, but it’s not a bad thing. It’s not a bad thing that your gift is about you as well. The service is still there, but you discover that your gift actually will reach people beyond what you thought it could reach, in the most humbling and the most purposeful way. And I can see that humility. I can see that love for your gift and it’s beautiful. There’s no ego.”

Taylor Smith’s faith was even alluded to in a post on The Voice‘s Facebook page, which described her faith as “heavenly”.

Speaking to Channel 7’s Sunrise program this morning, Taylor Smith explained why she chose Sebastian because of their shared church background.

“I feel incredibly grateful to be doing this, but up until now I’ve loved being a part of my church and singing in my church,” said Taylor Smith.

“Guy was saying it was a really grounding experience for him and that’s definitely what it’s been for me.

“It was nice having that connection with him. It made me feel safe, comfortable and really excited for what is ahead.”

Taylor Smith’s audition video is going viral, and she’s been receiving lots of praise from the students she teaches as a singing teacher.

“It’s been really, really sweet and lovely. All my students are really excited. I teach a lot of little ones, so getting emails from their parents and stuff has been really cute,” she giggled on Sunrise.

Taylor Smith has long been using her gift within the church. She featured on the 2020 Hillsong Christmas Spectacular, singing the classic hymn How Great Thou Art. Her beautiful voice also plays a key part in the church’s worship, as this video shot in July 2020 showcases.

Taylor Smith also uses her amazing gift to bless Hillsong Youth and Young Adults ministry, as shown in the medley of songs in this video from November 2020.

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