While she was kidding, the "all about me" vibe was very much in evidence among the majority-female crowd. One could imagine them all as little girls singing tearfully into hairbrushes in the bathroom mirror as parents pounded on the door to get in.
"I've got a big, soulful voice with a diva-ish sound," said Maria Lawson, 37, of Essex County, N.J., pretty much summing up the style of lots of the folks.
But don't worry, they say. Fame, should it come, won't change them.
"I'm a nice person and won't get snobby," insisted Victoria Cuevas, 25, a waitress and bank worker from Northeast Philadelphia. She was there to sing Ashanti and to prove to her 4-year-old daughter that "dreams come true."
To get to the audition, one of four major U.S. regional tryouts that drew East Coasters from Maine to Florida, people went online to register, then showed up prepared to sing two songs a cappella.
Apparently ignoring the voice-only admonition, red-headed Mark Bradley, 48, brought his saxophone. A singing bureaucrat from the Office of Children and Family Services in Rochester, N.Y., the 6-foot-4 Gen- X-er stood out in a sea of Millennials. "I'm older than most here," he acknowledged.
But with music in his genes, Bradley had to take a shot. "My parents met at my dad's trumpet-playing gig," he said. "Mom played piano. And I think I'm pretty good."
Family played a big part in motivating people to audition, it seems.
Nathan Weaver, 26, a DJ from State College in a straw cowboy hat, came to this "nerve-wracking" event to honor his grandmother, who died two years ago.
Asked whether the woman had imparted a warm and inspirational inducement to fire Weaver up to get here, the country singer nodded and said, "She told me, 'Stop being such a sissy and do it!' "
Show officials would allow no one but singers into the auditions, so it was tough for an outsider to judge the talent.
Still, small swirls of music eddied out of the closed sessions, making ringing vibratos and flat-out bravura belting audible for seconds at a time. In the audition rooms, judges sat at computers and listened. Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, and the gang don't weigh in at the open-audition level. More auditions were scheduled for Sunday.
After her chance to sing portions of Adele's "One and Only," Isabelle Hernandez walked out of her audition shaking. In her hand was that rarest of treasures in big-time show-biz: a red callback sheet saying she had advanced to the next round of tryouts.
Asked whether secreting hormones worked, Hernandez stared, smiled, and continued to shake, saying nothing.
"Oh, God, I'm going to cry," was all her mother could manage.
Will Isabelle be a star? We'll have to watch The Voice when it returns to air at 8 p.m. on Feb. 24, to find out.