, Muskogee, OK

June 19, 2013

Disappointment, then applause

Crowd at OMHOF shows support for Swon Brothers

By Travis Sloat
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Zach and Colton Swon’s grandmother left the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame on Tuesday night with her head held high.

“Those boys are my grandkids,” Helen Swon said. “And they are still No. 1 to me. It’s been so exciting, and I couldn’t be happier for them. We’re thankful they got to where they are, and we’re thankful people cared this much.”

Approximately 300 people showed up at the OMHOF for the “Swatch Party.” The Swon Brothers made the final round of the television show “The Voice,” a singing competition in which the winner receives $100,000 and a record deal.

As the contestants stood in a row on stage, members of the crowd in the OMHOF held their breath, and some even gripped hands, waiting for the announcement from Carson Daly.

“In third place, the Swon Brothers!” Daly said.

As soon as the news was announced, a brief groan rose from those attending the Swatch Party, followed immediately by cheers, wild waving signs and a standing ovation.

Paige Hadley, 9, who used to take guitar lessons with Colton Swon, said she thought the third- place finish “wasn’t right.”

“They are really good, and they should have gotten first,” Paige said. “But I want to tell them I miss them, and I am really proud of them for making it as far as they did.”

The OMHOF rearranged chairs for the event to accommodate more people, and those chairs started filling up the minute the doors opened at 7 p.m. As the crowd watched the brothers perform, the adults sang along and some children danced in the aisles.

Sonja Pennington, who attends church with the Swon Brothers, said she thought the boys did fantastic.

“They are great and good Christian kids as well,” Pennington said. “I can remember when they put on a Christmas show in Wagoner, and they picked my granddaughter to go up and sing with them. Zach told her she could play his guitar, and then after the show he signed it and gave it to her. Now, she tells people one day she’ll be their backup singer.”

As a special part in the show’s finale, the Swon Brothers got to perform with Bob Seger, who had not previously released his songs to be used on the show.

Jermaine Mondaine, who emceed the event, told the crowd he sent Kelly Swon, the brothers’ dad, a text message in reference to the brothers playing with Seger, saying “They better not let you down.”

“I just got a text message back,” Mondaine said. “He said they didn’t.”

Mike Miller, an avid watcher of the show, said he’d known the brothers for a long time.

“They’re great guys,” Miller said. “I’m disappointed because they didn’t win, but so proud of them. They’re great musicians, and they really represent Muskogee well. It’s been a blast watching them every week.”

Reach Travis Sloat at (918) 684-2908 or