‘Capable of taking it to the next level’: Conway teen lands spot on ‘The Voice’

THE VOICE -- “Blind Auditions” Episode 1606 -- Pictured: Cecily Hennigan -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)
THE VOICE -- “Blind Auditions” Episode 1606 -- Pictured: Cecily Hennigan -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC) Tyler Golden/NBC

It took one of “The Voice’s” judges about 50 seconds to push the button and choose Conway native Cecily Hennigan during Monday evening’s blind auditions.

The 16-year-old, whose viral video of singing her McDonald’s order in the drive-thru last year, performed “Foolish Games” by Jewel to score a place in the show’s 16th season. Hennigan landed on Blake Shelton’s team after singing on the last night of blind auditions.

“When I saw him turn around, I could just relax, I could breathe,” she told The Sun News on Tuesday. “It was definitely a dream come true.”

Throughout the song, Shelton kept saying, “Woah. Woah. Wow,” followed by a shocked reaction of, “What in the hell just happened?” after the performance.

“I don’t know that you know that you’re capable of taking it to the next level,” Shelton told Hennigan. “Cecily’s voice is pitch perfect.”

Though she isn’t the biggest country music fan, Hennigan said she is ready to get a new perspective from Shelton.

During the blind auditions, four judges — Shelton, Adam Levine, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend — each start the competition with a team of 12 they pick during blind auditions. Each judge’s chair faces the audience, away from the performer. If the judges like what he or she hears, they push the button on their chair to turn around toward the stage.

Cecily Hennigan.jpg
THE VOICE -- Season: 16 -- Contestant Gallery -- Pictured: Cecily Hennigan -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC) NBC Chris Haston/NBC

Levine said he was ashamed he did not push the button on his chair. Legend told the Conway native, “You’re going to do great on the show.” And Clarkson said she can’t wait to see what Hennigan accomplishes with Shelton as her coach.

The next performance is the “battle round” and Hennigan will be paired with another person on her team for a duet. She said she looks forward to collaborating and giving it her all.

Hennigan is a junior at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. She previously went to Conway High School. Hennigan is the daughter of Chris and Connie Hennigan.

She said her life is “zooming” by, but she’s cherishing every moment of being on the show.

“My biggest thing is to continue to have fun,” she said. “This whole experience so far has been the most incredible thing ever.”

After high school, Hennigan said she wants to be a vocalist, and she plans to go to college to study music.

“All I know is that music is what I’m supposed to do, what I’m called to do,” Hennigan said.

In September, Hennigan made an appearance on ABC’s Steve Harvey show after her McDonald’s drive-thru video went viral.

Hennigan marks the second person from Horry County who is on “The Voice” this season. Jimmy Mowery’s audition aired in February, landing him on Levine’s team. Mowery, 31, sees this as perhaps his big break after 10 unsuccessful attempts to get on a show like “The Voice” or one of its competitors.

The Sun News Reporter Hannah Strong is passionate about making the world better through what she reports and writes. Strong, who is a Pawleys Island native, is quick to jump on breaking news, profiles stories about people in the community and obituaries. Strong has won four S.C. Press Association first-place awards, including one for enterprise reporting after riding along with police during a homicide. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Winthrop University.