Serenity Arce’s Teenage Dream

Jupiter teen Serenity Arce sang her way to fame on season 25 of The Voice, making it to the semifinals’ top nine

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Serenity Arce, shot on location at Echo Beach Studios in Jupiter. Photo by Tracey Benson
Serenity Arce, shot on location at Echo Beach Studios in Jupiter. Photo by Tracey Benson

Within minutes of sitting down at Crux Coffee Roasters in Abacoa with 17-year-old Serenity Arce, a man approaches. “Are you on The Voice?” he asks excitedly. Arce shyly replies, “Yes,” and the man points at a smiling woman seated nearby. “My wife loves you!” he says. Arce smiles and gives a polite “Thank you,” clearly still getting used to her new celebrity status.

This was in April, while the then Jupiter Community High School junior was back home waiting to find out if she had made it to the “lives,” the part of the NBC competition show where the top 12 singers perform live for votes. Shortly after that day in the coffee shop, she found out she’d made it and was off to Los Angeles to continue her journey. She earned enough votes from America to make it all the way to the semifinals—the top nine contestants—before being cut May 14.

The experience and the connections she made along the way have afforded Arce more opportunities in the pursuit of her dream, and she hopes there are still more to come. She cites past young winners of The Voice as inspiration, like pop country singers Danielle Bradbery and Cassadee Pope, who went on to successful careers in the music industry.

Serenity Arce, shot on location at Echo Beach Studios in Jupiter 2. Photo by Tracey Benson
Serenity Arce. Photo by Tracey Benson

Arce started singing, dancing, and acting at ArtStage Performing Arts Center in Jupiter at age 7. “I was doing ballet, hip-hop, jazz, and musical theater,” she recalls. “I was always humming or dancing, so my parents encouraged me.” At 14, she began pursuing competitive dance, eventually joining the South Florida–based Off-Set Crew and competing with the hip-hop group at the acclaimed World of Dance competition in 2022.

In 2021, one of her dance teachers sent her an ad on Instagram looking for contestants for the upcoming season of The Voice, and Arce decided to give it a shot.  She did her first casting call online, and it snowballed from there. “I was straight out of eighth grade, and I was freaking out,” she says. “It was the biggest thing I’d ever done.” She went through numerous rounds of casting, submitting videos of her singing, and interviewing with casting agents—and that summer, she was invited to Los Angeles for the show’s blind auditions, where the contestants perform with their backs to the stage so they are judged solely on their singing voice without the judges seeing what they look like. If a judge likes what they hear, they turn their chair.

“It was very surreal because I still wasn’t processing the fact that I was going to L.A. to audition for a TV show that I’d watched incredible singers perform on,” says Arce. She stepped on stage in front of the four celebrity judges—Blake Shelton, Ariana Grande, John Legend, and Kelly Clarkson—and sang “I See Red” by Everybody Loves an Outlaw. When the song ended, she felt good about her performance, but none of the judges turned their chairs to indicate their interest in having her on their team. “Blake [Shelton] was the most critical,” recalls Arce. “He said that if they moved me forward, I wouldn’t make it very far. But he also said he could see me doing well in another two years.”

Arce performing on The Voice. Photo by 2024 NBCUniversal Media LLC
Arce performing on The Voice. Photo by 2024 NBCUniversal Media LLC

She took those words to heart, and for the next two years, she worked hard to hone her craft. “I started writing my own music and doing my own vocal warm-up training at home, periodically going to a professional vocal trainer,” she says. “That period of time was me figuring out what type of artist I wanted to be and what type of music I wanted to make.” She explored different music genres, gravitating toward R&B. When the auditions for season 25 came around in 2023, Arce was ready.

“I reached out [to The Voice team], and they said they would love to have me back,” she says.

So last summer, she once again found herself stepping on stage for the blind auditions, this time in front of judges John Legend, Reba McEntire, Chance the Rapper, and Dan + Shay. She chose to sing “This City” by Sam Fischer, a song much closer to her heart. “[In my mind], I kind of dedicated the song to Jupiter, my city,” says Arce. “It’s like, I don’t know where I’m going yet, but I will always have my city.”

Echo Beach Studios in Jupiter. Photo by Tracey Benson
Echo Beach Studios in Jupiter. Photo by Tracey Benson

Less than 20 seconds into her audition, all four judges turned their chairs. “They all turned at the same time, and they were all staring at me,” says Arce. “It was scary! But I just told
myself to keep going and stay in the song.”

Now Arce had a big decision to make—which star should she choose as her coach? She was torn between Legend and Chance. Legend was one of the judges who didn’t turn for her in 2021—and Chance happily reminded her of that. “If I was here two years ago, I would have turned,” Chance told her. In the end, Arce chose Team Chance. “I felt he was more up my alley with his hip-hop background,” she says. “I just felt more connected to him as an artist.”

Arce says being coached by a huge star like Chance the Rapper was an amazing experience. “When you’re talking to him, it feels like you are talking to a normal person,” she says. “He is so down-to-earth and chill. He gave me constructive feedback and helped me find my voice.”

Arce at her old dance studio, ArtStage Performing Arts Center in Jupiter. Photo by Tracey Benson
Arce at her old dance studio, ArtStage Performing Arts Center in Jupiter. Photo by Tracey Benson

With Chance’s help, Arce beat out Nashville artist Bri Fletcher in the battle rounds. She moved on to the knockouts and bested singer-songwriter Dani Stacy, advancing to the playoffs. Then it was time for each of the coaches to select the three artists they wanted to keep on their team for the live performance shows—the top 12. Arce remained on Team
Chance and flew back to L.A. to compete in the lives.

With viewers now voting for their favorite performances, Arce made it through week one, finding herself in the semifinals’ top nine. But when America voted for the top five finalists the following week, she didn’t make the cut.

Arce looks back on her experience fondly. “I’m proud of the performances I gave and the emotion in them,” she says. “I chose the path of vulnerability, and I made some people cry.” One of those people is her mom, Tammie. “My mom cried at every episode,” says Arce. “Both of my parents are very proud of me, and my little brother told everyone about me. I have all these third graders following me now. It’s really cool.”

Arce with coach Chance the Rapper and fellow contestant Maddie Jane in L.A. Photo by 2024 NBCUniversal Media LLC
Arce with coach Chance the Rapper and fellow contestant Maddie Jane in L.A. Photo by 2024 NBCUniversal Media LLC

She is now focused on putting some of the songs that have been floating around in her head on paper. “I have scraps of different songs I’ve thought of,” she says. “I want to take writing more seriously.” Her dream is to one day land a recording contract, and she hopes her experience on The Voice will help her get there.

Her professional career recently hit another milestone after artist Sam Fischer saw her performance of his song, “This City,” on Instagram and commented on the post. Arce says she was blown away that a celebrity noticed her performance—and it led to her being invited on tour with Fischer in June! Says Arce: “I just hope more doors continue to open for me.” Follow Serenity on Instagram: @serenity.arce

Serenity Arce, shot on location at Echo Beach Studios in Jupiter 1. Photo by Tracey Benson
Serenity Arce, shot on location at Echo Beach Studios in Jupiter 1. Photo by Tracey Benson

Fast Talk

Favorite musician: “Probably Olivia Rodrigo or SZA. They’re super relatable and in the genre of music I want to pursue.”

Music idol: “Rihanna. She’s iconic in the music industry and has the same attitude I usually bring to the stage.”

Memorable celebrity encounter: “During the playoffs, I got to meet Meghan Trainor. She’s one of the celebrities I looked up to when I was younger, and I absolutely adore her, so that was such a cool moment.”

Favorite performance on The Voice: “‘Lose You to Love Me’ by Selena Gomez. This song was right in my alley, and I loved my outfit, hair, and just everything about it.”

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