You saw her do a fantastic version of “Lights” with Caitlin Michele last week on The Voice – but who is Team Adam’s Melanie Martinez?
“Sometimes people are like ‘You look a lot smaller than the voice that comes out of you,’ [but] only when it’s like certain songs,” she said, referring to advisor Mary J. Blige‘s remark that she was surprised by her depth during rehearsal. Though she looks young, New York native Melanie is both a talented singer and photographer, with her own distinct style.
“I honestly didn’t know how it was with singing shows. I auditioned for American Idol once but I didn’t make it,” she added of her experience so far on The Voice. “I totally did not expect everyone to be like so close. We jam together and eat together. I’ve gained some really close friends.”
Melanie is the fifth contestant on The Voice to have also auditioned for Idol, after Season 1′s Frenchie Davis and Vicci Martinez and Season 2′s Jamar Rogers and Chris Mann, all of whom ended up as at least semifinalists when they appeared on The Voice. She has her sights set on continuing that trend. “I’m just hoping to get a deal out of all of this,” she said. “If I make it to the top four, then I’m completely determined to win. It’s the only thing on my mind right now.”
As for preparing for that astonishing battle round, “It was all a blur to me. You kind of get a little starstruck.” And even though we didn’t get to see that “me and Caitlin were kind of like fooling around during rehearsal,” she added that it still wasn’t easy to compete against a member of her own team. “I was really emotional the whole week of rehearsals and everything. It’s really tough. Ask anybody, the battle rounds are probably the most nervewracking. And Caitlin is amazing. I was so nervous. I did not expect to win at all. I think they covered that I get really emotional and I’m a huge crybaby!”
“I want to get out of my comfort zone. I want to explore a little bit,” she told me, hoping that she’ll get a chance to sing something a little cooler or jazzier while she’s in the competition. “With the songs, you always have to negotiate,” she added, referring to the fact that producers have to find music that’s cleared for use and also not too obscure for the viewing audience.
Yet she’s got the perfect coach for that goal, given that Adam Levine‘s past choices have included not-exactly-mainstream songs like Radiohead’s “Creep” and Sublime’s “Santeria,” and he’s on record as saying that he doesn’t want to change her style.
Speaking of Adam, “I think that I’ve really grown as an artist, being on his team. He’s given me some great advice and I gained a lot of confidence, even though we haven’t had as much time because the show works fast,” Melanie said. “Everybody talks about how he’s really great. He’s a great coach. I definitely think I picked the right coach.”