Hanson native Kristen Merlin appears on NBC's "The Voice."Credit: Getty Images
Kristen Merlin's name was a frequent sight on signs outside bars and lounges across the South Shore.
Now her name can be seen on TV screens across the country.
Merlin, a Hanson native, is the latest Bay Stater to compete on NBC's signing competition show "The Voice."
The 29-year-old Merlin performed "Something More" by Sugarland. The performance prompted Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and singer Shakira to fight for Merlin to be on their teams.
"She's very important to me," Shakira said during Merlin's audition.
Merlin ended up picking Shakira to be her coach and help her make it through the upcoming competition rounds. On March 25 Merlin made it through her song battle and was picked to move on by Shakira.
Merlin said she blacked out when her audition started.
"It's nerve-wracking because you have 90 seconds … Thankfully, I got two of those people to turn around," Merlin said during a recent phone interview.
Watching herself perform on TV later on was "weird," she said.
"I hate listening to myself," said Merlin, adding that "I was pretty happy with what happened."
While away from the show, Merlin has continued to perform at several establishments in the state. She said her fan base has definitely grown since appearing on TV.
"It's been crazy. The support that I have is just incredible," she said. "It's uplifting to know I have such a solid base behind me. It's awesome to reach a whole new fan base from that one airing."
Before competing on TV, Merlin said she worked as her owner manger and did everything herself. Now that she's appeared on a nationally televised singing competition show, it's a little harder.
"It's overwhelming, but great because I spent so many years knocking down doors to get in and now I'm pleased to have people approaching me to have me play at their venues," she said.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.