Entertainment
5:20 pm
Tue June 28, 2011

Vicci Martinez from Tacoma in finals of "The Voice" tonight

A woman who was born and raised in Tacoma will perform in the last round of reality TV singing contest “The Voice” tonight. The competition has made the local rocker a familiar face to millions of people around the world.

Vicci Martinez might have just hit the radar of TV viewers, but her success is likely no surprise to the people she grew up with.

Her girlfriend, Kate Monthy, has heard all the stories, including one from her middle school teacher. 

“He definitely recalls Vicci being very clear about what she was going to be when she grew up, which was a rock star," she says. "And that maybe school didn’t matter quite so much or whatever he was teaching didn’t matter quite so much."

He actually taught music, which Monthy says was a tough subject for Martinez. That didn’t stop her from peddling CDs of her own music to classmates at Stadium High School with the help of her friend Leah.

"I think they sold them for $5 or $10 and they made a ton of money," says Monthy. "Leah still talks about that as something that helped Vicci’s career start off.”

Her career has led to shows at venues like Seattle’s Triple Door and Tacoma’s Jazzbones. She’s also been on Star Search. 

Ever since she became a finalist on the reality TV show “The Voice,” she hasn’t had time to talk to reporters or even really her girlfriend.

The premise of “The Voice” is to focus on vocal talent. In the first episode, it disregarded the contestants' looks by having judges sit backwards until they heard something they liked. That took less than a minute for Martinez, who belted out her version of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep."    

To win, Martinez needs to get the most votes from TV viewers. If she does, she'll come home to the Northwest with a major record deal.