'The Voice' contestant Maelyn Jarmon has Norman connection

NBC's The Voice

Maelyn Jarmon, contestant in the current season of The Voice, sings during the battle round. On Monday, Jarmon will be one of 24 remaining contestants looking to capture 12 available spots in the next round.

Maelyn Jarmon certainly has a Frisco, Texas following for her participation in the later stages of "The Voice." She can count a Norman fanbase, too.

After all, her parents Steve and Rebecca graduated from Norman High School in the 80s. Her grandfather, Gary Jarmon, joined what would be known as the Agar-Ford-Jarmon & Muldrow Insurance Agency in 1964 while studying OU law.

And Maelyn's aunt, Tiffany Clark, is still a resident and her cousins grew up in Norman.

"We have so many friends in Norman and a network there, lots of ties to the city," Rebecca said.

Maelyn is competing as a member of John Legend's team and is one of the remaining 24 contestants in the show. Her rendition of Sting's "Fields of Gold" early in the competition caused all four coaches -- Legend, Oklahoma's own Blake Shelton, "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson and Adam Levine -- to turn their chairs, which on the show symbolizes their wish to have a contestant as a member of their team.

Rebecca was there.

"I make all these crazy noises, which is ridiculous. I don't remember doing any of that," Rebecca said about watching herself on the video clip of Maelyn's audition. "You kind of black out for a minute. It was a long day, and she went last. And the people right before her didn't get any chair turns. It was so fast, and that's what was so shocking. I knew someone was going to turn. We know she's so great. But to see all four of them, it's overwhelming."

The Jarmons moved away from Norman when Maelyn was only four months old, Rebecca said. She grew up in the Dallas metro area, and they eventually landed in Frisco.

Rebecca said Steve is also a musician -- a talented guitarist -- and Maelyn would sing for him while he played since about the time she was 3 years old. By the time she was 5, she was being cast in local plays, particularly with the Plano Children's Theatre in Plano, Texas.

"She had big parts all through high school," Rebecca said. "She competed in classical music, sang at Carnegie Hall twice; all before she was 17."

That year, Maelyn landed a role in a workshop production of a play that was destined for Broadway. So the family relocated to New York, where Maelyn has resided since.

She started doing more music, covering pop songs with her father accompanying her on guitar -- just like old times -- and they landed a residency performing at a club in the city.

And then, Maelyn started writing her own songs, Rebecca said.

"When she was about 21 she really started to focus on her own music," she said. "Really, her passion is expressing herself and connecting with an audience."

The Jarmons had watched The Voice together before, off-and-on, and they were sure to watch it ahead of Maelyn trying out. The show actually invited her to come audition, Rebecca said, and after a few initial sessions, Maelyn came back to Dallas for a big tryout.

After she was picked for Team Legend, Maelyn performed a duet with fellow contestant Savannah Brister, "When We Were Young" by Adele, in the Battles round portion of the show. Brister was eliminated and Maelyn advanced.

Then came the Cross Battles round, in which Maelyn was paired up against someone from another team in a head-to-head solo performance. The television audience was the decider at this stage, and they put Maelyn through once again for her rendition of Tears For Fears' hit song "Mad World."

It was at this stage of the competition, April 15, that the whole family was able to go out and see Maelyn perform, Clark said.

"We were just all waiting on pins and needles to see if we should make flight arrangements," Clark said. "It's very challenging to get tickets to 'The Voice.' That was a huge challenge to get tickets. Miraculously, all of us that wanted to go got to go."

That show happened to be on Rebecca's birthday, as well.

"It's surreal," Rebecca said. "You're looking at it and thinking, I always knew she could do this, but would it actually happen? It's almost like riding a roller-coaster and your stomach is dropping. And I'm so proud. We're so proud that she's doing what we knew she should be doing."

The next show, which airs live today, is a big one. Maelyn and her fellow contestants will all perform and have the studio audience decide which eight will advance.

Four additional slots will be filled by contestants who are "saved" by each of the coaches, meaning a total of 12 move on.

Contestants also use social media to build a relationship with would-be voters, and more followers can lead to more success. That's why Maelyn's family are encouraging everyone, from Frisco to Norman, to follow @maelynmusic on Twitter and Instagram.

Rebecca said that while there are nerves, it's more of an exciting feeling. Sure, one of these weeks, Maelyn could be sent home, but there's also the chance she'll move on.

And, at the very least, this experience has been valuable.

"We have hopes for her, and she's very realistic," Rebecca said. "She's going to put the best performance out there, but you can't control what people like or whether it's well received. All you can control is the performance you put out there. We're cheering on and getting our friends to vote, but still, it's out of our hands.

"This has been a great experience. Whatever happens, happens. Every new week she stays on, it's just crazy. The goal is to build a platform where she can reach more people."

As for Gary, his hopes are high.

"Her three performances on YouTube have been viewed by over 7 million people, so she's known now," he said. "Hopefully, this will be a tremendous boost to her career. She's already won, in a way."

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