A version of this story appears in Monday’s Life section of The Oklahoman.
The Swon Brothers ready to compete on “The Voice” finale
Muskogee musicians Zach and Colton Swon are in the Top 3 on the hit reality TV show, which will name its Season 4 winner Tuesday night.
For The Swon Brothers, the past few months become more dreamlike as they have steadily marked off milestone after milestone.
Earn the “Rising Star” award from the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame? Got it. Top the iTunes country chart? Check. Make it to finals of the smash reality TV show “The Voice?” Done.
“We never would have thought that we were going to make it this far. And to know that America’s got behind us and Oklahoma’s got behind us like they have, it’s just a blessing. It really is,” said Colton Swon, half of the sibling duo, by phone Friday from Los Angeles, where he and his brother, Zach, were getting ready for this week’s finale frenzy.
The two-night “The Voice” Season 4 finale airs Monday and Tuesday on NBC. The two-hour performance episode will broadcast live from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, with voting opening by phone, text, Internet and iTunes downloads right after it ends.
The winner will be revealed during the live two-hour season finale airing from 8 to 10 p.m. Tuesday.
The Swon Brothers and 16-year-old Texan Danielle Bradbery, both representing Oklahoma country music star Blake Shelton’s team, and indie pop-rocker Michelle Chamuel, who is competing on Team Usher, are the three finalists vying for the grand prize of a recording contract.
“Right now, I’ll go ahead and say this: it’s looking pretty good either outcome for us,” Colton said, calling from the road as the duo finished a satellite media tour with broadcast press from across the country and headed out to film some special segments for this week’s shows.
“We’re getting a lot of interest from a lot of people, and I think the Top 3 is set no matter who wins. And I think a lot of people from this show … are gonna sell a lot of records, more so than other season.”
Win or lose, Colton, 24, and Zach, 28, already have reached several big goals during their tenure on “The Voice.” For the show’s homecoming episode, the returned to Muskogee, where they were greeted by about 4,000 fans, played a packed house at the Muskogee Civic Center and received the “Rising Star” award from the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, which is based in their hometown.
“There were people from all over the state and all over the nation that came out to support us,” Colton said. “We even had a lady drive from California with six of her children … but you know, our Muskogee crowd really blew our minds. That was too humbling and flattering to know that you got people behind us and actually see it in person.”
The celebration made his older brother more determined to win “The Voice” for his home state.
“I appreciate everything that they’ve done to get us where we’re at, and we’re gonna try to win it for ‘em,” Zach said.
The “Rising Star” award was particularly meaningful for them since the brothers used to work at the hall of fame and because Shelton won it 10 years ago.
“He understands how big that is, so he was just tickled to death,” His intentions and his heart for us is that he wants to see us succeed in life,” Colton said. “Just being fellow Okies and having similar backgrounds and dreams and goals, I think he sees a lot of himself in us.”
A finalist from Shelton’s team has won “The Voice” for the past two seasons, so in that respect the odds are in their favor. But they’ve had to overcome some big odds on the way: The Swon Brothers were the first duo to even make it into the show’s live playoffs, much less the finals.
“It’s a very tough business, and it’s very tough for a duo to break into anything like that,” said their dad, Kelly Swon, by phone after landing in L.A. for the finale. “I think they’re good enough and have the package with their personalities that people will love ‘em. Sure, there’s gonna be some haters, but they are very real. And that’s what people want to see.”
For the past few weeks, The Swon Brothers have been the only men competing against a bevy of big-voiced songstresses. Zach got to show off his own vocal power last week with the duo’s cover of Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page,” which landed them at No. 4 on the iTunes country charts.
“It was more just showing a different side of myself. You know, when we play shows, we do all that kind of classic rock stuff all the time. And it always goes over well. And I think it just ended up being the right song at the right time,” Zach said.
But their version of “Danny’s Song,” the Loggins and Messina ballad that was also a country hit for Anne Murray, put them at No. 1 on the iTunes country chart.
“That’s what we’ve wanting the whole time is to get No. 1 on the country chart, even before the show. And to do it and to see that happen, it’s just unbelievable,” Colton said, adding that Shelton picked the song. “That’s just a dream come true really. … I know it’s corny and cliché, but that’s what it is for us.”
Although contending on the show has been stressful Colton said he is grateful to experience it with his brother — even if they’ve had to share a small hotel room for 80 straight days.
“We have twice the work, but at the same time, we have each other to vent to, we have each other to talk to, and a lot of those people are just in their rooms by themselves. … I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s been great,” he said.
“It’s hard to stand up there every week and go through the ringer. I think I’ve lost almost 10 pounds since I started the show, and my brother’s losing weight. It’s just one of those things that it’s stressful but that comes along with the territory. It’s only that’s stressful because it means so much to us and because we think it means a lot to our home state, too.”