The large crowd on hand Tuesday night at Parillo’s Armory Grill to watch NBC’s “The Voice” erupted when the show’s host announced Sawyer Fredericks is advancing to the next round of the competition.
Chants of “Go Sawyer, go,” rang throughout the expansive Bridge Street restaurant as roughly 100 fans cheered on the 16-year-old from the nearby town of Glen.
“Wow, this is so exciting,” said Linda Santoro of Amsterdam. “He is really such a great kid, and we all are so proud of him. I really think he could go all the way.”
The teen who has captured the attention of the entire region advanced and will compete in the semifinals of the competition next week. He is one of four contestants remaining. Dozens at the restaurant Tuesday were sporting Fredericks’ signature fedora, along with necklaces featuring pictures of the teenager.
“We just all wanted to show our support for the kid and show all of the people in his hometown are behind him 100 percent,” said Carol Ianotti of Amsterdam. “What a great story, and I hope it just continues.”
The energy in the restaurant was vibrant as Fredericks’ fans high-fived and hugged each other after it was announced he would remain on the show.
After his February audition, all four members of the star-studded panel of judges made a pitch to lure Fredericks onto their teams. Citing his originality, Fredericks chose singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams.
The judges were again in awe Monday night after he performed Seth and May’s “Shine on” and Al Green’s “Take Me to the River” during the two-hour show.
Large groups have been gathering at Parillo’s every Tuesday night to watch the results of the show, according to owner Jackie Parillo. Each week, the fans have seen a similar result as Fredericks continues to advance.
“This whole thing started just a couple months ago when he started to really go far on the show,” Parillo said. “And we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, and we hope it just keeps on going.”
“As a teacher, he seems like a great kid and he is so humble and a great role model for his family and for all kids in the region,” said Mari Rossi of Amsterdam.
Fredericks has been in Los Angeles for the last several months as he continues his run on the show, but he will return to Montgomery County today for a parade that will begin in the Glen Canal View Business Park and finish at the Fonda Fairgrounds, where he is expected to perform several songs. Later tonight, Fredericks will perform a free show at the Palace Theatre in Albany.
Justin Bottisti of Amsterdam said Fredericks has shown a great deal of courage and has been a tremendous ambassador for Montgomery County.
“He’s amazing, and we just want him to know that we are all behind him and we will support him all the way,” Bottisti said.