He did it.
Sawyer Fredericks, the 16-year-old from a farm in the town of Glen, won NBC’s singing competition “The Voice” on Tuesday night after garnering the attention of the entire region for the last several months and becoming a national celebrity in the process.
“I knew he would win from the very first time I heard him sing,” said MaryLou Schultz while holding back tears at Parillo’s Armory Grill. “These are tears of joy, I am so happy.”
Deborah Trimarchi of Amsterdam said Fredericks has put Montgomery County and Amsterdam on the map.
“We are all celebrities now,” she said. “This is great for everyone. I can’t believe a hometown kid actually won.”
The crowd on hand at Parillo’s jumped and hugged when the show’s host, Carson Daly, announced Fredericks as the winner.
“We all won. This is for all of us,” shouted one fan.
Parillo’s hosted a block party on Bridge Street that featured face-painting, trivia and prizes, including an original Fredericks record. In addition to the three televisions inside that were tuned to the finale, a large television and a set of booming speakers were set up outside the Bridge Street restaurant.
Hundreds of Fredericks’ fans began to gather around the South Side restaurant hours before the show’s 8 p.m. start. Many were eating and drinking as fans waited for the results to be released. Large groups of fans have been watching the show every Tuesday at Parillo’s for the last several months.
Before the results were announced, Fredericks performed “Please,” a song written for him by his musical idol, Ray LaMontagne, and “Old Man” by Neil Young.
Linda Santoro, an event organizer, believes Fredericks has an extremely bright future, one that will lead him far from the 88-acre farm he grew up on.
“No matter what happens, he’s going to be fine,” said Santoro, of Johnstown, before the show. “He’s so talented. All he needs is his guitar and his voice, and he will be fine wherever he goes.”
The Glen teen’s run on the show has captured the attention of the entire region, and after performances at the Fonda Fairgrounds and the Palace Theatre in Albany his popularity continued to grow. After several of his performances on “The Voice,” the Montgomery County teen’s name was trending on various social media platforms.
“We have all gotten behind him,” said Rosalie Walker of Amsterdam. “He is such a humble kid and he embodies everything that we are about in Montgomery County. He’s a down-to-earth kid with a really bright future ahead of him. He’s going to do amazing things.”
After his February audition, all four members of the star-studded panel of judges made a pitch to lure Fredericks to their teams. Citing his originality, Fredericks chose singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams.
The judges have lauded Fredericks throughout the show. One judge last week told Fredericks he was “clearly the frontrunner.”
Jim Glorioso of Amsterdam said Fredericks has brought the community together in an extremely special way.
“This has been so positive for everyone in the whole region, and Sawyer has really become such a great role model,” Glorioso said. “I think we should all continue to praise what he has done and what he will do for the next several years.”
Kris Lasky of Amsterdam said she gets chills every time she hears Fredericks sing.
“He leaves me in awe every time,” she said. “Even though the show is over I know I will be hearing a lot more of his voice in the future.”