Secret out: Naples' Casey Weston lands in top 16 on NBC’s ‘The Voice’

THE VOICE -- 'Reality Teams' -- Pictured: (l-r) Casey Weston, Tim Mahoney -- Photo by: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

THE VOICE -- "Reality Teams" -- Pictured: (l-r) Casey Weston, Tim Mahoney -- Photo by: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

By advancing to the final 16 and the live performances on NBC’s new talent show “The Voice,” Casey Weston showed she can sing.

The 18-year-old Gulf Coast High senior also proved she can keep a secret.

The first few episodes of The Voice were taped three weeks ago, yet Weston was able to keep the career-changing news under wraps. She said only her parents, Toni and Dave Weston, knew the outcome of Tuesday night’s battle round where Weston was named the winner. She said keeping the secret wasn’t hard.

“I wanted my family and friends to enjoy this experience and be immersed in this cool TV show. If they knew the outcome, what fun would that be?” Weston told the Daily News on Wednesday. “They would not feel the dramatics of it.”

Weston showed she had a flair for the dramatic, slaying the Stevie Nicks portion of “Leather & Lace” and eliminating Tim Mahoney, a competitor twice her age and with twice as much singing experience.

Weston’s celebrity coach, Adam Levine of Maroon 5, chose her over Mahoney because, as he said, “there is something about Casey Weston.”

The former Gulf Coast volleyball player said the battle round, where the contestants performed in a makeshift boxing ring, did not bring out her competitive nature. Instead, she concentrated on her craft to get her to the next round.

“I am a competitive person, having played sports and volleyball my whole life, so of course I wanted to win, but for me it was about singing a great song.” Weston said. “I think that came across because it was a performance I wanted to share, and I was genuine, and it was awesome for people to watch.”

Weston’s performance was even more impressive considering the song was released in 1981, a dozen years before Weston was born. And even though she is a self-proclaimed Stevie Nicks fan, Weston said she’d never heard this No. 1 song performed with Don Henley.

“I am a huge Stevie Nicks fan. I absolutely love her, her voice — it’s so different and so cool, and it is so unique. And a lot of people tell me that my voice is unique as well,” Weston said. “But this is one song that I hadn’t heard, but when I heard it was Stevie and Don Henley, of course I was so ecstatic because it was Stevie, but I had never heard it before.”

Despite being at a disadvantage singing a song she’d never heard, Weston said she got engrossed in the song, listening to it over and over again in her hotel room, and diving into the real meaning of the lyrics. She said the biggest key was listening to the advice of Levine.

“Adam said to sing it strong, sing it like a badass is what he said,” Weston said, “but I told him I would sing it like a bad brat.”

Weston will now have to wait until June 7, four days after she graduates from Gulf Coast High, to perform next on The Voice. Weston has finished her requirements for graduation and is only waiting to walk and get her diploma on June 3.

On the first live show, only eight of the final 16 competitors will move onto the next round. The viewers will vote for one singer from each team to move on and each of the four celebrity coaches will be able to save one singer.

Weston admitted that unlike playing sports, she doesn’t have a strategy for winning the $500,000 first prize and the recording contract.

“When it is sports it is different because you are winning a game. For me music is something that is an enjoyable experience,” Weston said. “It’s about making people feel good, moving people. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about people enjoying my performance.”

If Weston has any complaints about her new found stardom it might be that the whole experience is happening so fast.

“One minute you’re in high school and you are worrying about your physics test, and the next day you get the call to come to L.A., so you fly out,” Weston said. “So this is a whirlwind of craziness but it is the most exciting thing that ever happened to me.”

Regardless of what happens on The Voice, there is one certainty about Weston — her talent is no longer a secret.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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