LOS ANGELES, CA- “And though the course may change sometimes, rivers always reach the sea” – Led Zepplin, Ten Years Gone

After years of changing his course, living in NJ, Boston, Brooklyn, and Charleston, all while singing in small local bars, at open mic nights, and working as a bartender to make ends meet, Randolph NJ’s Brendan Fletcher always believed his river would reach “the sea”.

In Fletcher’s case, NBC’s reality TV singing competition “The Voice” represents the sea; the sea of opportunity in which he sung himself into the top 8 finalists, of what started with tens of thousands of contestants from across the country.

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“It’s a dream come true to be able to work with such great superstars,” said Fletcher, who as part of the competition gets guidance and coaching from famous musicians.  “To perform on the same stage as Dolly Parton ( on last weeks’ show ) was so surreal, and amazing.”

Fletcher is being coached by Adam Levine, lead singer of Maroon 5, while also getting critique and advice from judges Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys, and Miley Cyrus.  From the beginning, Levine has praised Fletchers’ voice, while pushing him to open up and show his personality more on stage.

Fletcher exploded out of his shell on the first live show three weeks ago when he practically blew the roof off with a powerful performance of the Allman Brothers “Whipping Post”.

“I would say my stage presence, and my ability to emote on stage, have definitely improved (working with Levine),” said Fletcher. “My stage fright is nearly gone at this point, and I thank this experience for that.”

After that dominant opening he enjoyed on the live shows, the following week Fletcher channeled energy from NJ’s Bruce Springsteen by singing a soulful, dramatic rendition of “The River”.  Fletcher stepped outside of his comfort zone one week later, and wowed the judges by singing a reworked version of Cindy Lauper’s “True colors”.  After that performance he advanced to the top 8.

“To Randolph, and all of NJ, I just want to say thank you so much for your support,” said Fletcher.  “I can’t wait to come home and play some shows for you guys in and around the NJ area.”

The 2008 Randolph high school graduate, who currently resides in Brooklyn, advanced through the first three stages of competition back in the summer, which were all pre-recorded. Stage four is the live playoff round, featuring the top 20 performers.

Stage five, the final stage Fletcher currently is in, started with the top 12 remaining performers competing live for viewers votes.  That is the group Fletcher finds himself in, whittled down now with only 8 remaining. And Fletcher still stands.

The next live episode airs Monday December 5 at 8 p.m. on NBC.  For a previous TAP interview with Fletcher, in which he discusses growing up in NJ, CLICK HERE