The Rise of Bria Kelly

Behind The Scenes Of The Smithfield Singers Wild Top 10 Run On NBC’s The Voice

(page 7 of 7)

THE FIRST MONTH back was pretty rough. Bria had stacks of schoolwork to plow through and skipped tests to make up so she could graduate with her class (which she did). Her nights stretched long with cram sessions, and she found herself dozing off in class. One thing that eased her transition was the relaxed acceptance of classmates.

“No one really freaked out over her,” says her good friend Joey Smith. “We go out sometimes and people will be like, ‘There’s that girl, Bria Kelly.’ But at school things haven’t really changed.”

Smith is such a good friend of Bria’s, their arms bear matching tattoos of a specific sound wave. “If someone were to copy that and play it back [on a digital player],” he says, “they’d hear the two of us saying our names.” Smith was the friend who appeared on TV during Bria’s blind audition. When the camera would cut away from Bria’s performance, it would show him and Bria’s parents cheering like crazy and jumping for joy. That appearance, plus numerous pictures of him and Bria posted to her Twitter account (@BriaKelly), have given Smith a bit of his own following. Fame by association.

Sifting through fan mail in their kitchen, Bria passes him a letter marked “Please give this to Joey.” A dozen-or-so bracelets bunch together on her arm.

“And some came here for Christina, too,” Jan says. “It’s really funny. Christina doesn’t have a PO Box or a mailing address, so people are mailing stuff here and asking us to forward it to her.”
The whirlwind of reality TV has finished spinning Bria in circles, and now she is piecing her life back together and making plans for the future. She graduated but has no immediate plans for college. Her plans involve what to do with all the trinkets and fan mail she’s received. About the few concerts she’s lined up since returning home. And her immediate plans involve heading to the tattoo parlor with Joey to get a fifth tattoo.

When she does pause to consider the future, she thinks about maybe moving out to L.A. Usher is still her mentor, and she sometimes ponders that question he asked her so many months ago: Would you like one of these?

Yes. She would love one of those.

Bria’s six-song CD, Brighter Side, is available for purchase by sending a check or money order for $7 made out to: Bria Kelly, PO Box 313, Smithfield, Va., 23430.

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