Kristin Chenoweth’s Random Audience Duet Pick Is Actually a Pro Singer

Was she a plant or legit?

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One of your musical idols, Kristin Chenoweth, is onstage performing at a local venue, and at one point she wanders through the audience, asking if anyone knows the song “For Good” from the musical Wicked. Well how about that, you do! Up goes your hand, and then you’re inexplicably onstage with Kristin Chenoweth, who sings her part, then turns to you and…you knock it out of the park, singing the entire thing from memory like a superstar.

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And then you wake up? Not if you’re Sarah Horn, who it turns out not only knew the song, but works as a professional vocal instructor at California Baptist University in Riverside, California.

Chenoweth was performing at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles last Friday evening, but at one point began moving through the crowd, asking people if they knew the song “For Good.” That’s according to Horn, who wrote about her remarkable experience for BroadwayWorld.com.

Toward the end of the second half of the performance, Kristin wanders on to the pasarel. She held a mic up to a lady in front of me and asked if she knew the song “For Good.” Nope. I took the chance, as I was directly behind Kristin, to stand up and wave and say, “I know the song!”

After chatting briefly, Horn says Chenoweth kept moving down the line, asking others if they knew the song, but ultimately came back to her, summoning her onstage to perform the duet. In the video, when Chenoweth discovers what Horn does for a living, she seems startled, but much more so when Horn begins to sing.

“Oh sing it, sing it,” says Chenoweth, beaming and clasping her hands together in apparent astonishment; when the song shifts to trickier vocal lines, both singers weaving, Chenoweth exclaims “Holy crap, harmony!”

Was Horn an audience plant? Watching the near-perfect performance, it’s easy to see why some are wondering. Horn claims no, writing:

Paul Geller, Production Director at both the Hollywood Bowl and the Walt Disney Concert Hall pulled me aside afterward. He said that the production staff is very picky about the quality of performers that they allow on their stage and that what was produced in that song was better than anything they could have planned. He took down my contact information because at some point during the last three songs, he got a phone call from the LA Times wanting to know if I was an audience plant and asked my permission to pass on my contact information for them to speak to me directly, if needed.

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16 comments
ValerieHall
ValerieHall

I don't really care whether she was a plant or not.  to me a very great talent was just discovered and I can't wait until she comes out with a new cd.  I play this over and over, whenever I just want to feel good!!!

mitchellglaser
mitchellglaser

What's your beef? The first thing she did was say that she was a voice coach. Should Chenoweth have picked the person with the worst voice? And in my opinion Sarah Horn's voice is good, but not professional quality. Perfect voice coach material.

vortex100
vortex100

Well, plant or not, I was smiling through the whole thing. Loved it. Seemed authentic to me.

radfahrerwilli
radfahrerwilli

Take the number of people who actually can and do sing in things like high school or college show choirs, and then factor in the popularity of the show "Wicked", and the law of averages kicks in to show you that it is almost a given that at just about every show Chenoweth does there should be at least one audience member who could get up there with her and "knock it out of the park", harmony and all.

JoVonnaNorris
JoVonnaNorris

Hmmm- suspicious. I was watching this performance on YouTube and noticed another video "Kristin Chenoweth for good Detrroit 15-06-2012" ...sure looks and sounds just like the same woman who sang with her then. Am I wrong or was the audience punk'd?

tillzen
tillzen

I watched this 3 times and was deeply moved but at the end of my 4th. viewing when they finished and Ms.Chenoweth yanks her to her in a bear hug I lost it. I sobbed deeply for 30 seconds in what I realize now was my profound joy at the shared humanity this moment defined. Art is love and life and perfect


gracegoinggaga
gracegoinggaga

@iamjennee Touched by their duet. And Sarah is a teacher.. always have a soft spot for teachers <3

asmudge76
asmudge76

The "random pick" at the Saturday show was also excellent. She was studying musical theater at the Boston Conservatory, and like Sarah Horn, was wearing a green outfit. Chenoweth also made the same "Holy crap! Harmony!" crack in the middle of the song. If they were plants they sold the whole scenario very well. I don't think the audience cared either way.

RonyaErvin
RonyaErvin

@mitchellglaser Actually, she didn't say that she was a vocal coach until she was on stage.  When she was in the audience, the only questions asked of her were, 1) her name, 2) who her favorite Broadway star was and 3) if she knew the song "For Good."  Her response to the third, "Yes, it's one of my favorites."  Once she  was on stage she was asked about her occupation.  I guess we're all entitled to our own opinions, but Sarah has had formal training and in my opinion does have a profession quality voice.  

Bencooper
Bencooper

@JoVonnaNorris That's a different woman. Sarah is bigger and taller and sounds better, although the other girl is good too.