Santa Barbara native Lizette Rubio’s yearlong journey on “La Voz,” the Spanish-language version of the hit singing competition “The Voice,” ended last Sunday when she was eliminated just before the semifinal rounds.
“It was an amazing, growing, learning experience that I took so much from,” Rubio said. “I’m still going to keep singing and putting my voice out there as long as I can.”
Rubio said she has always taken a love to singing, having competed in various competitions before “La Voz.“
“Lizette is very shy and humble about her talent. She doesn’t even like calling it a talent,” Rubio’s mother, Elizabeth, told Noozhawk.
Out of nearly 10,000 auditions, Rubio made it to the top 28. It was a long process to get there, with filming temporarily interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the journey was one Rubio said she would not take back.
Rubio began her journey waiting patiently for nearly three months, after attending an open-call audition in July 2019, to hear whether she advanced to the next round. Shortly after she received the news, “La Voz” flew Rubio and her family to Florida to watch the San Marcos High School alum sing live to the backs of four judges.
“I was super nervous. I had never really been on a platform that big before,” Rubio said. “Having the comfort of my family watching from the sidelines was really nice.”
Contestants need only one judge to turn a chair around in order to move on to the next level. All four judges spun their chairs around for Rubio, with her favorite judge, singer Carlos Vives, being the first.
“I can’t really describe that moment. It just happened so fast for me that I couldn’t really process what was happening,” she said. “I really wanted to be on his team, so I took that as a sign.”
After two weeks of “intense practicing” and working with vocal coaches to make melodic changes to the song, Rubio went on to battle fellow teammate Kayson Burgos in the battle rounds.
“The moment Kayson and I met, we hit it off instantly,” Rubio said. “We worked really well together and were very happy with our performance.”
Burgos and Rubio squeezed hands as it came time for the judges to choose who was going to advance to the next round. Burgos was deemed the winner of their battle.
“I was super heartbroken, but I was very happy for my friend. We were rooting for each other,” Rubio said.
Rubio’s journey didn’t end there. As she was hugging the judges and exiting the stage, Vives whispered to Rubio, “Why don’t you press that button yourself?” Vives used his only save of the season to ensure that Rubio still had a chance to win the competition.
Her mom said Rubio’s love for music is recognizable to anyone who hears her sing, something she realized during Rubio’s childhood.
“She just loved singing. Whether she was in the bathroom or in her room playing, you could always hear her just singing and singing,” Elizabeth Rubio said.
Rubio continued on “La Voz” as part of rapper and reggaeton superstar Wisin’s team.
“I will win this competition with her voice,” Wisin said as Rubio vied for a spot in the semifinals.
Although she did not advance further, Rubio said she is going to continue singing for as long as she can. Her next challenge will be auditioning for the English-language version, “The Voice.”
“Her ability to pick herself up and go right back to following her dream is something that I will always admire,” Elizabeth Rubio said.
Lizette Rubio said she loved seeing all the magic that happens behind the scenes of a singing competition of that grandeur, and it “opened her eyes” to the beauty of the process.
“I’m really grateful to have showcased my love and passion for music on such a big platform,” she said.
— Noozhawk staff writer Jade Martinez-Pogue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.