reality tv

A year ago, Kristie Mercer's life fell apart. It was the push she needed to pursue her dream.

From sitting behind a microphone in a studio to standing behind one in front of four comically large, spinning chairs seating some of the most famous people in the world on The Voice, life for former The Thinkergirls host Kristie Mercer looks pretty different to how it did a year ago.

And while it hasn’t been exactly easy to plunge herself into the unknown – resurrecting a singing career after not performing in public for 10 years – she says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

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Sozzy to errybody that was tuned in patiently to @thevoiceau on Sunday waiting to see my mug. People were all like “bro where were you I held in my wee for an hour not wanting to miss you sing” ???????? Sawwy! . . . I can confirm THIS SUNDAY NIGHT FROM 7PM on @channel9 you’ll see me sing to the back of four oversized spiny chairs in hope of turning one around. . . . But if I’m honest, whether I turn one or zero chairs – I feel like I’ve already won just having the confidence to stand up on that stage. As wanky as it sounds, it’s been a hashtag journey to even put myself and my ability out into the world after 10 years of not singing in public. So if you’re not washing your hair THIS SUNDAY, tune in and see baby gurl give it a red hot crack. . . . (Now lets enjoy the promo that my mate put in mega slow-mo to catch my half a second appearance blowing a kiss LOL)

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Speaking to Mamamia, Kristie’s story is one which proves that sometimes, having your life suddenly, and viciously, shaken up to the point where it’s almost unrecognisable is exactly the push you need.

Especially, she says, as a woman in your late 20s, when you’re expected by society to have your sh*t as close to being together as possible.

Watch Kristie’s blind audition on The Voice below. Post continues after.

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Navigating a breakup, being brutally axed from her KIIS FM night slot, and the decision to end her podcast The Thinkergirls with co-host Stacey June in March this year, 29-year-old Kristie says having her slate (involuntarily, in some cases) wiped clean was a blessing in disguise.

“A year ago, there were so many elements of my life that changed. Our radio contract wasn’t renewed, I went through a breakup of a nine year a relationship… I moved house, and there were a few times I looked around and thought ‘this isn’t my life, this isn’t how things were supposed to go’,” she explains of her ‘plan’ suddenly being thrown upside down.

“At the time you’re like ‘bloody hell what other things can fall away’ and you feel like you’re losing this sense of identity you’ve built up over the past 10 years of your life, but I look back at that now and that was a really beautiful way to kind of reset.”

Resetting, in Kristie’s case, took admitting there was a dream she’d been pushing away that she no longer wanted to hide – the pursuit of a career in music.

“I was kind of forced to look around and think ‘OK well what direction do I want to go in, what actually makes me happy,’ and I kept going back to music.”

She describes her passion for singing as a “secret side” she had little confidence in revealing until now.

Because while working in a career which saw her interview several musicians, Kristie says it became easier to separate herself from her dream for fear of failure.

So when she made it to her first blind auditions for The Voice, she felt just making that stage was a win.

“It’s weird being in radio constantly speaking to artists about their music and wanting to say ‘yeah I used to sing’, but it kinda opens you up to people questioning what you’re like. For a long time I wasn’t willing to identify myself as a singer so it kind of felt easy to pretend… it was this other part of me that I kind of hid away for a long time.”

Last week, Kristie made it through the blind auditions with a rendition of Miley Cyrus’ ‘Nothin’ Breaks Like a Heart’, with both Guy Sebastian and Kelly Rowland turning their chairs around.

While she says having to choose between the two superstars “tortured her soul”, she felt she owed it to her younger self – a massive Destiny’s Child fan – to be under Kelly’s wing.

“It’s Kelly Rowland,” she says with a laugh.

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“She’s got this kind of non-human ether about her that kind of radiates, I don’t know if it was Destiny’s Child and that girl power message that imprints such an impactful message on you of empowerment,”Kristie says, adding that yes, Kelly Rowland is as cool and down-to-earth as she appears to be on television.

“I feel like a freak because I just stare at her, but she surprised me how authentic she was. I thought you know, she’s going to be so professional because she’s a megastar, right? But she lets you get to know her quite quickly.

“In the first session she was like ‘Oh my god, I’m so tired, I’m jetlagged, my kid was up, I really miss him, I need to FaceTime him’… When its someone of that stature you don’t expect that as much.”

Showing authenticity, and what “the slog” really looks like is something Kristie, who also works as a nanny, is particularly passionate about, and admires greatly in other women.

On Instagram, she’s been open about what life has looked like since losing her radio gig and parting ways with The Thinkergirls. She even recently admitted to having her card declined at Woolworths.

“It’s been devastating at times, but I’m so proud of it,” she says.

“I’ve never been one to shy away from the honesty around the hustle and the reality of what it’s like to piece yourself together in your 20s. I take it as a huge responsibility as a person with a platform to put stuff out there that’s actually real.”

“For the last year and a half I have really struggled when people ask ‘what do you do?’ because I don’t know how to answer that. It’s a headf*ck… I don’t have a singular job title to identify with.”

When asked about parting ways with Stacey June and The Thinkergirls, she says it was a mutual decision.

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“Naturally as you change and grow and evolve as people, you have to continually keep checking in with yourself and with each other to make sure you’re still on the same page,” she explains.

Kristie first met Stacey at a radio bootcamp in her mid-20s and worked with her at KIIS FM and on their own podcast.

“I think that naturally happens in any kind of relationship whether it’s romantic or friendship or work… you end up being different people and interested in different stuff. In the end, naturally we wanted to make different things, so in order to continue supporting each other, to fully explore those avenues, it just made sense to stop.”

While we’re yet to find out if Kristie makes it through the knockout round of The Voice, according to her website, she is working on her first EP and available for bookings.

But she says she doesn’t have “a plan”. And she doesn’t want one.

“I keep getting asked ‘what’s next?’ and I think it’s the first time in my adult life where I’m kind of OK not knowing.

“I felt like there were so many boxes I was ticking for such a long time, and everyone around me was saying ‘you’re killing it’, but sometimes when you get there you’re kinda like ‘what now’.

“Having a plan can be detrimental… I think for me personally, I was a bit of a victim of my own plan.”

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