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The Voice of the Black Community

Arts and Entertainment

‘Duets’ is local’s big break
Charlotte vocalist enjoying the experience
 
Published Thursday, June 21, 2012
by Ebony Shamberger

Charlotte has its very own star on ABC-TV’s hit show “Duets.”

ABC-TV
Olivia Chisholm of Charlotte (left) performs with Robin Thicke on ABC-TV’s “Duets” competition.


Olivia Chisholm, 21, is one of two contestants to sing with R&B singer-songwriter Robin Thicke and she’s enjoying the thrill – and the pampering – of the show.


“I am a very girly girl,” she said. “I love the short dresses and long hair and makeup … and being around all those clothes. It’s like playing dress-up.”


On the stage, Chisholm has worn glistening dresses and glittery makeup with long curly locks. Viewers can also see her mother’s Polynesian facial features and her African American father’s competitiveness shine through. In addition, she appreciates the “opportunity to shine” with Thicke.


Fans should expect to see more chemistry between Chisholm and Thicke in week six. Past performances have included “Where is the Love” by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, “Lost Without You” by Thicke and “Dangerously in Love” by Beyoncé. The last song was also accompanied by a little rump-shaking and shimmying.


And to think, Chisholm did not seek out the show. It found her.


In the process of picking duet partners, the “Duets” staff saw a YouTube video of Chisholm singing Thicke’s “Pretty Little Heart” and contacted her to apply for the show.


Despite all of the work the weekly performances require, she is happy to be able to advance her music career.


“When I would have to get up early in the morning and go to a 9-to-5 job I would just hate it,” Chisholm said. “Just being able to get up every morning and do something that I love and something that I want to do as a career long term” is her favorite thing about performing.


Similarly, Chisholm said support from loved ones keeps her going, especially when she and Thicke are trailing other duos.


“My biggest source of motivation would have to be my parents and my family, and even Robin,” she said.


Chisholm’s grandmother, Christine Carelock, 71, said she always knew “Ollie” would be successful in music because of her persistence. It was just a matter of which talent she would pursue a career in.


Chisholm began her music journey in the fifth grade when she learned how to play the flute. She also knows how to play the piano, violin and guitar.


On the big screen, you can tell her smooth, jazzy vocals were the right choice.


 “It’s just unbelievable, exciting and joyful to see Chisholm on national TV,” Carelock said, adding that she is praying for her to stay focused and avoid the trappings of show business.


Regardless of whether “Duets” leads to future opportunities, Chisholm said it has taught her a lot.


“I just want people to know that I’ve grown so much during this experience,” she said. “I’m just thankful that I get to go on stage everyday and do something that I love.”

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