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Boonville native to join fellow “Voice” contestants at state fair


BOONVILLE — After performing at a couple of local fairs, a Boonville native will be taking a slightly larger stage when he joins a couple of other past competitors on “The Voice” at the New York State Fair.

Shawn “Big Sexy” Smith, Utica, son of Robert and Nora Smith and a 1999 graduate of Adirondack Central School, is slated to sing on the Midway Music Series stage at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse at 7:30 p.m. opening night, Thursday, Aug. 21.

Mr. Smith, who was a contestant last year in season 5 of the NBC singing competition, will be joined by fellow season 5 contestant Caroline Pennell and season 3 runner-up Terry McDermott. Following their performances, the trio will hold a meet-and-greet with fans.

“The Midway Music Series stage continues to find compelling personalities and performances. Fans of ‘The Voice’ will enjoy this evening of entertainment, but the stories and songs are sure to appeal to anyone who’s ever dreamed of singing on stage,” State Fair acting director Troy Waffner said in a release.

Mr. Smith last week opened for country singer Jon Pardi at the Lewis County Fair and is slated to perform at 9 p.m. Thursday, July 24, at the Boonville-Oneida County Fair.

The Boonville native served for several years as a combat engineer with the Watertown-based 479th Engineer Battalion, including a one-year tour in Iraq that included 138 missions as part of a personal security detail.

During the deployment, an explosion caused him to lose most of the hearing in one ear.

After returning from the war, Mr. Smith resumed playing in a duo with a friend and played in a second band, than auditioned for “The Voice” last year and made it to Team CeeLo with his rendition of Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried.” In fact, since the other three judges’ teams already were filled, Mr. Smith was the final contestant to make the 48-artist field.

However, he was eliminated in the Battle Round.

The state fair runs from Aug. 21 through Sept. 1.

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