Pittsburgh Teen Survives Knockout Round on 'The Voice'

On Monday's episode, Mia Zanotti cinched her spot in the next round by delivering a powerhouse performance.


Mia Z, known locally as high-school sophomore Mia Zanotti, once again has advanced on NBC’s “The Voice.”

The 16-year-old Kiski Area student cinched her spot with a powerhouse performance of “Hold on, I’m Comin” by the ’60s soul duo Sam & Dave.

So far, Zanotti has made it through the blind audition, where R&B artist Pharrell Williams selected her for his team; the battle round, where she competed against one of her teammates; and now the knockout round (all of which have been prerecorded). Typically, two singers compete head-to-head in the knockout round; however, “The Voice” yesterday debuted its first three-way knockout, where two members of Team Pharrell (including Zanotti) moved on.

Pardon the cliche — but only time will tell if Zanotti is following in the footsteps of fellow Pittsburgher Chris Jamison, who made it to last season’s “Voice” finale.


#Props: Local teen receives gold medal — for her writing chops

Speaking of talented local teens: A 17-year-old from Pittsburgh could become the next Sylvia Plath or Lena Dunham.

Alexis Payne, a senior at creative- and performing-arts magnet school Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, now is a gold medalist in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the national nonprofit that hosts the competition, selected the works based on three criteria: originality, technical skill and personal voice.

Payne’s writing stood out from more than 300,000 other student submissions in 28 categories, including poetry, architecture, short story and others. After multiple rounds of judging nationwide, Payne is one of only 16 students who won the portfolio gold medal and a $10,000 cash prize.

This summer, Payne and her peers will travel to the New School’s Parsons School of Design in New York City. Parsons and the Pratt Institute will celebrate the young artists in the Art.Write.Now.2015 National Exhibition. Capote, Plath, Dunham and other artists — including Andy Warhol and Stephen King — are graduates of the program.

“Year after year, we see more of the nation’s most talented and innovative teens emerge from different parts of the country, and it is our privilege to provide them with a platform to share and amplify their unique voices with a national audience,” Virginia McEnerney, executive director for the Alliance, said in a news release.

New York’s Carnegie Hall will honor this year’s winners at an awards ceremony in June.


Categories: The 412