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-An Interview with Siri (Mac) Chaikul by Ms. Elisia Brodeur-
Congratulations, Mac! Tell me about this incredible experience! How many times did you appear on the show?
To audition for the show I first had to send a video of myself singing. After that, I did a live audition in front of other people, but they weren’t the actual judges from the show. Then I did a live audition on TV when I sang “Memory.” Once I was chosen—by Mam Patcharida—I was grouped with two other kids and all three of us sang A Million Dreams in the battle round. There were four “battles” in this round and each coach chose two singers to go through to the semi-finals.
There were 8 singers left, and the winners were decided by audience votes. We were separated into two groups by lucky draw. The first four were in Group A, and the remaining four were in Group B. This meant that singers from the same team could end up battling each other. I was the very last one to sing! After the commercial break, they announced who won in each group. Then there were only 2 singers left, myself and one other. For the Grand Finale, we each sang our original audition song. Then we had to wait for the votes. [You can watch Mac singing “Memory” for the Grand Finale here: https://youtu.be/XQRsN7Gdt6w]
What was it like to be competing on live TV?
It was very scary! Because I was the last one to sing at the semi-final, I had to sit and watch everyone before me. When it was almost my turn, I forgot to ask the makeup artist to put lip balm on my lips, so they were dry and tight. I told myself “You can do this!” [Here is the link to see Mac singing “Chandelier” for the live show: https://youtu.be/e3PlQ0O1P80.]
How long did you prepare?
For about 2 months, altogether. I had lots of singing lessons with several teachers. They chose the song “Memory” for me.
How did you feel leading up to the final?
It was terrifying because I stood there waiting but the coaches don’t react initially. I wondered if it was going to be me or someone else.
What was it like waiting for the result of the finale?
I held my breath and kept my face down. I thought my heart would stop beating. It was so scary!
How did the voting work?
By text. Viewers had to text a code number, mine was TVK8, to a specific phone number during the commercial break. So they only had a few minutes. I found out later that my vote score was higher than the other singer by half.
How did they do the announcement?
I think it was something like… “And the winner of this year’s The Voice Kids 2019 is TVK8, Mac Chaikul, from Team Mam!” There were lots of dramatic pauses!
What went through your mind when you realized you had won?
The other singer was singing in the Thai style, so I assumed that people would choose her.
So I couldn’t believe it when I won. But then I was crying because I was so happy.
How did the show end?
They blasted glitter everywhere. Then the emcee thanked everyone, including the sponsors and the coaches. Then all the coaches came up on the stage as well as the 8 singers who made it to the semi-final.
What did you win?
They gave me a big sign and a trophy. It was a disc with all the signatures of the coaches. I also won 500,000 baht. I will also get a recording contract to make a single.
How has RIS supported you during this time?
All of my friends and the faculty and staff have given me positive feedback and encouraged me. And they also cheered me and voted for me. I was very grateful.
What do you like best about middle school at RIS?
I have a lot of great friends and the teachers are kind. There are lots of fun things to do, especially in our AMPed projects. There are many fun classes I enjoy, like Culinary Arts and PE.
Do you have any tips for other children who want to follow their passions?
Don’t let other people’s opinions stop you from reaching your dreams. For me, what works best is taking deep breaths and close my eyes and focusing on what I’m about to do. I would say just do your best and nail it.
Congratulations, Mac! RIS is extremely proud of you and wishes you much success for whatever comes next.