McALISTERVILLE - Gabby Fisher, of McAlisterville, can cross an item off of her bucket list.
The 28-year-old married mom of two took a little trip to Philadelphia on Jan. 11, to audition for NBC's "The Voice."
It was during a lengthy Facebook chat among friends that Fisher announced she was going to do what she had always wanted to do.
From left, Geli Losch, Megan Von Fricken, Gabby Fisher and Renee Freed snap a group photo before Fisher’s audition for ‘The Voice’ in Philadelphia.
Fisher waits in line to compete for a spot on NBC’s ‘The Voice’ in Philadelphia.
Photos submitted by Gabby Fisher
Fisher said she hesitated about doing something that would draw attention to herself. Months before the Facebook chat, she and her sister, Geli Losch, talked about how "as moms, we pour ourselves into our family," and "rarely do anything for ourselves," Fisher said.
It was through that Facebook chat, which included Losch and best friends Renee Freed and Megan Von Fricken, that the group decided to head to Philadelphia together.
"I decided before I even registered that I would ask my sister and two best friends to come with me," Fisher said. On the evening of Nov. 13, Fisher went online and registered to audition.
"I personally would never do anything like that," Von Fricken said. "But I was 100 percent behind her. I was impressed with her gumption."
Fisher then spent the next two months fretting over a song choice. She would Facebook her three pals and ask for suggestions. She then gave practice auditions for them.
"It was an adventure from the beginning," Losch said.
At long last, Fisher chose the Sara Evans song "No Place That Far."
Fisher, a 2003 East Juniata High School graduate, sang that same song in high school.
Not long before her audition, she attended a concert by American Idol winner and Christian singer Mandisa. She got to meet Mandisa backstage and told her of her dream to sing on "The Voice."
"I asked her what I should sing. I mentioned I was thinking about 'Amazing Grace,'" Fisher said.
Mandisa's advice? "I wouldn't go there."
Mandisa told Fisher to go with the country song. She also told her to "go big and go loud."
The four friends packed up a car and left for Philadelphia the night before the audition. Philadelphia is one of four locations across the United States where contestants can audition for "The Voice." The other three include Chicago, Nashville and Los Angles.
They arrived for the 7 a.m. audition at 6:15 a.m. The line outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center wrapped around the block.
Once inside, a nervous Fisher was taken into several rooms filled with singers.
The first room held approximately 300 people. The second room held 50 contestants and the final room had less than a dozen men and women.
It was in the second room that the group began randomly singing four-part harmony, she said.
"It was really cool-all of the diversity," she said of the room full of people who broke into songs like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "We Are the Champions," and a round of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."
"I just wanted to take in everyone's face to see if I recognized anyone later," Fisher said.
When she made her way into the room of about 10 people she said it was noted that this would be the audition room.
"The girl next to me in line was so nervous," Fisher said.
Fisher decided to give the girl the advice she was giving herself.
"I told her, 'You have nothing to lose. You can know, "Hey, I did something for myself and that I can do it." There is nothing to lose-but dinner and a tank of gas.'"
To qualify for a final audition, a contestant must receive a pass during the preliminary round of auditions. If a contestant receives a pass, he or she goes to Los Angeles and has a "blind" audition with celebrity judges Blake Shelton, Usher, Shakira and Adam Levine. CeLo Green and Christina Aguilera are out again for this season, according to NBC.com.
But the first round of auditions are not "blind." The Voice has judges who view the contestants during their performances.
Fisher took to the front of the room and gave her song the best she had.
When all of the people in the room sang, the lone judge had this to say, "You should be able to not only stand out as a performer in this room, but in Philadelphia and in L.A. While you were all good-you just weren't good enough. Try again next year."
Fisher said she walked away from that moment feeling accomplished. Even though she did not get a ticket to the LA audition where she could sing to the back of four celebrity-filled chairs, she knew she had been brave enough to try.
Had she moved on to LA, she said she would have liked to be on Team Blake. She even had her photo taken with another contestant holding a "Team Blake" sign.
Fisher said she reflects back on her EJHS yearbook, where friends signed the inside saying they hoped she would be famous one day. Fisher said she finally felt she made the effort.
"It was something I always wanted to do-just to see if I could do it. It was on my bucket list, and now I can cross it off."
What else is on that list?
"To go on a safari. I think that would be fun."
Season six of "The Voice" will premiere on Feb. 24 on NBC.