Submitted photo from Marlo Bryant

Submitted photo from Marlo Bryant

Time flies when you’re singing

Benicio Bryant, a local teen, went to Germany to compete on The Voice Kids and became a crowd favorite.

As he stood up on stage singing his very last song of the competition, all eyes were on him as they awaited the moment of truth — would he be the winner of The Voice Kids?

Benicio “Beni” Bryant, a student at Summit Trail Middle School, has been living the life for the last few months by competing in The Voice Kids in Germany. He was recruited by the The Voice after they saw him sing on YouTube.

The Voice Kids in Germany is just like The Voice that America has — people sing in hopes of one of three or four celebrity coaches turning their chair to take them on their team to compete in the competition.

When Beni performed for the first time, all of the German celebrity coaches turned for him, competing for him to be on their team. Beni decided to choose Max Giesinger, a singer-song writer from Waldbronn, Germany.

Beni and his family traveled to Germany three times so Beni could compete for a $25,000 record deal.

The first time he performed, Beni said it was a little nerve racking, but by the last song he sang, he felt confident in himself.

“The very first time was probably the most scariest part,” Beni said. “(But) I think the more I performed the more I got used to the stage and stuff, I got used to the lights and lasers and stuff — I think it was a little easier.”

For his last song of the competition, he decided to sing a powerful and uplifting song called “You are the Reason,” by Calum Scott. Beni said this is now one of his favorite songs.

According to Beni’s dad, Jeremy Bryant, the finals were filmed live.

With more than 1,200 people in the crowd watching him and being live on TV, Beni sang his heart out.

Jeremy said he was very nervous for his son.

“The feeling of having your kid up there — there’s nothing you can do. They’re up there and the whole world is watching them and it’s just so nerve racking, especially during the finals,” Jeremy explained.

By the end of it all, it came down to Beni and a German native named Anisa.

To determine the winner, it was up to the people of Germany by online voting.

”I was checking online and Beni was winning the online voting, I mean by a big margin, so I was like he’s got it. I was 100 percent sure that he was going to win,” Jeremy said.

Then it was time for the moment of truth…

“They announced the first place winner and they were like ‘It is Anisa!’ Everybody was like super excited,” Beni said.

Jeremy described it as “chaos” after they announced the winner because everyone was screaming and there was confetti everywhere.

Jeremy said he thought he took it harder than anyone else when they found out Beni got second.

“You know he’s my kid and you’re pulling for him so hard, we came all this way,” Jeremy said.

Beni, even though he is the one who lost, took it like a champ.

“To be honest, I wasn’t really that sad, I was kind of happy because when was I ever going to go to Germany? It was just like such a cool experience and I was happy no matter what and I became friends with who won and she totally deserved to win,” Beni said.

Jeremy said he couldn’t stay sad for long though because 10 year old Anisa came over to him and gave him a great big hug.

“It was so cute, Anisa came up to me and she gives me the biggest hug and she goes — her English is really bad — and she goes ‘Benicio’s dad, I’m so sorry that I won because Beni should have won,’ it was so cute, I just wanted to cry I was like I couldn’t even be mad. Her dad came right over to me and he said ‘Everybody in this place thought Beni was going to win,’” Jeremy said.

Max, Beni’s coach, also came up to Jeremy after the show to give him words of encouragement, because according to Jeremy, he could tell that he was still a little disappointed that Beni did not win.

Jeremy said Max told him, “Dad, don’t worry. I took fourth (and) look at me.”

Max also competed on The Voice a few years ago. Max went on to say, “It’s just a competition, don’t take it so hard.”

Even though he didn’t win overall, Jeremy said Max invited Beni back to Germany in August.

“(He) asked if Beni would like to come back to Germany and basically record some songs. They didn’t really say for what purpose except maybe just practice, you know just see how they ‘gel’ together,” Jeremy said. “You know they never really got to work together just the two of them, but he really seemed to take a liking to Beni and he really believed in Beni. He was kept selecting Beni to keep moving on to represent his team. I talked to him when it was all over and he was really upset. He really thought Beni was going to win. He actually cried during one of the performances just because he was so moved by the singing.”

Now came the hard part — going home.

When the Bryant family got to the airport, things got a little chaotic to say the least.

Jeremy said so many people recognized him from the show, Beni had to wear sunglasses and keep his hat down so people would not see him.

Unfortunately for Beni, his grandma wanted everyone to see him.

“The airport was probably the worst because there were so many people coming up to you and people would take pictures with me and I guess it really didn’t help a lot, because my grandma — I love her to death — but after The Voice Kids, all of the finalists got a picture frame of the contestant saying ‘The Voice Kids,’ it was this really big picture frame. So we had to carry it through the airport, but we put it in this bag so you couldn’t really see what it was, but my grandma’s like ‘Here, Benicio, take out the picture and hold it so they can take a picture with you,’ and I’m like, ‘Dang it…,’” Beni said.

Jeremy said she carried the picture frame onto the plane showing it off to everyone because she was just that excited for her grandson.

Now that Beni is back home in Maple Valley, he has some school work to catch up on. He said he thankfully does not have to go to summer school though and that he is almost all caught up as the school year winds down.

Looking back though, Beni said he wouldn’t change anything.

”My family got to go and it was fun for them and it was fun for me that they got to go. I learned so many new things from it too it was just such a cool experience,” Beni said.

Now, Beni is getting asked from people and organizations in the area to do performances, which Beni gladly accepts because he said he doesn’t ever want to stop singing.

Jeremy said the experience overall, is something that he will never forget.

“(I’ll) put it this way, never in a million years would have traveled to Germany of all places. It’s not a place I ever thought I would have gone and thanks to Beni he took all of us there three times and it was just such a great experience. We (even) got to bring grandmas with us,” Jeremy said.

You become connected to the other contestants while filming the show.

“The experience was something we’ll never forget. Sometimes I feel like the parents are more nervous than the contestants. You get to know the parents there, you’re with each other everyday, and stay in the same hotel, so you’re seeing people walk around and you become friends and you feel bad when people get eliminated,” he said.

The contestants and him were best friends and are still in contact with each other over group chat.

“We were all like one big family and it was such a fun time,” he said.


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