Will Champlin Previews ‘The Voice Tour’

The Voice

I’ve been a fan of Will Champlin ever since his blind audition on The Voice, so I was thrilled to catch up with him to help promote The Voice Tour, which stops in my hometown of San Diego on Sunday. (And yes, I will be at the show.) Click on over to Examiner as Will gave me some hints about the tour and some tidbits about his new album, Borrowing Trouble.

Click here to read my interview with Will Champlin at Examiner.

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Tessanne Chin’s Album Is Out

TessanneChin

Republic Records has finally released Tessanne Chin’s post-Season 5 album, Count On Your Love – though as far as I can tell, they didn’t formally announce it, nor make it available for anything other than digital download. Thankfully, I had it pre-ordered from iTunes, so I gave it a listen and prepared a review. Did the album stand up? Will it hopefully be successful the way someone from this show deserves to be?

Click here to read my review of Count On My Love at Examiner.

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

News Roundup: June 2, 2014

The Voice

It’s only been about two weeks since Josh Kaufman was named champ of The Voice Season 6, but the show’s coaches and alumni are already making offseason moves. We’ve compiled the notable happenings for you below in this first June edition of our The Voice news roundup.

Adam Levine’s Feature Film Debut Is Almost Here

We’re just a few weeks away from seeing coach Adam Levine make his acting debut. Begin Again, in which Adam plays musician Dave Kohl, has its limited release Friday, June 27 and then expands everywhere on July 11.

The cast also includes Keira Knightley as Dave’s jilted girlfriend, Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers) as a music producer, and coach Cee Lo Green as…well, he seems pretty much like a fictionalized version of Cee Lo Green.

You can check out the new trailer for Begin Again below. It includes Adam singing a new track, “Lost Stars,” which we assume will be included on the movie soundtrack that Adam’s own 222 Records is releasing at the beginning of July. You can pre-order your copy now.

Jake Barker Has A New EP

Fresh off being spontaneously added to The Voice Tour, Season 6 alumni Jake Barker – pictured at the top of this article, and probably best known for taking on Maroon 5′s “She Will Be Loved” before being eliminated in the first round of playoffs – has released a new EP. You can download the four-song Stage Fright on iTunes now.

James Wolpert’s Kickstarter Comes To An End

Team Adam’s James Wolpert was one step shy of making it to the Season 5 finals; he’s been working hard to parlay his exposure into the funds needed to release new music. James’s Kickstarter is almost over, but you still have time to donate and help him reach his goal.

As of Sunday night, when we went to press, James was less than $3,000 shy of his $25,000 target. His campaign ends tomorrow, June 3, just before 9 PM PST. To get more information or to donate, go directly to his Kickstarter page (kickstarter.com/projects/584074878/james-wolpert-makes-a-record).

Casey Weston’s Recent Music Video

Season 1 semifinalist Casey Weston recently dropped a new music video, “Back To The Start.” Take a look at it below.

New Tour Dates For Tony Lucca

One of the busiest alumni is Season 2 finalist Tony Lucca, who’s almost always on the road somewhere. This summer, he’s touring with both Tyler Hilton and Tonic’s Emerson Hart.

Tony and Tyler take to the road beginning July 8 in Louisville, KY and they wrap up July 22 in Nashville, TN. Then in August, Tony jets over to the West Coast to join Emerson for a short stint that runs from August 2 in Phoenix, AZ to August 9 in Seattle, WA. For all the tour dates and locations, hit up his website (tonylucca.com).

If you’re on either coast, these are great opportunities to check Tony out live – we’ve been to several of his shows, and he never, ever disappoints.

Blake Shelton Has A Pizza

You’ve probably seen the billion commercials for this, but it’s just too amusing not to mention. Blake Shelton has teamed up with Pizza Hut, and they’ve given him his own “Blake’s Smokehouse BBQ” pizza – which consists of bacon, ham, and pork covered with honey barbeque sauce. We think it should’ve come with a special latte.

The Voice season 7 will begin airing on NBC this fall; The Voice Tour launches in San Antonio, Texas later this month. For more updates on artists after the show, visit our sister site Big Red Chairs (bigredchairs.com) and follow it on Twitter (@bigredchairs).

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Throwback Saturday

Got this sent to me and thought you would all get a kick out of it: here’s me interviewing Adam Levine and Blake Shelton during Top 8 week on May 5. You can enjoy me in a Hawaiian shirt and Adam complimenting my work (though the video misses Adam pointing out that I’m wearing one of his shirts, and Blake interrogating me about Adam’s new hair color). Thanks to my friend Ruben Jay for catching this great moment on film.

An Open Letter To My ‘The Voice’ Family

The Voice - Season 6

Now that we’ve finished season 6 of The Voice, I’ve looked back and been struck by something. We’ve done 6 seasons, and in June, it’ll be 3 whole years I’ve been a part of this show. That amounts to countless moments shared with so many wonderful people, cast and crew, on the show and off. If you’ll allow me, I’d like to address those people right now.

Being a part of The Voice changed my life. It’s not really a secret anymore that my life was in a downward spiral when I started on the show, and what made all the difference was how I was welcomed into this family that embraced me, encouraged me, and made me a better person. I love celebrating each new winner as much as the next person (congratulations again, Josh Kaufman!) but what I think about, what I hold onto, are the people and the little moments we share that often have nothing to do with what you see on TV.

I want to thank Carson Daly, for being a wonderful steward of this The Voice experience. As a producer of the show, Carson’s always been forthcoming in explaining what’s going on behind the scenes so that we understand it. As a member of the music industry, his support of numerous artists after the show is something I’ve always admired, and that I aspired to when I started this blog. And as a friend, he paid me the highest compliment last season when he told me that I was family.

Thank you to so many artists for so many wonderful moments we’ve shared; I’m not going to be able to list you all here because this post would go on for pages, but I love and respect each one of you, and thank you for allowing me along for the ride, not just on the show, but the post-show interviews, the concerts you’ve let me crash, and just the pleasant mayhem. Thank you to Jamar Rogers for being my biggest cheerleader and Paulina Cerrilla for starting my fan club (I still can’t believe I have fans!). Thank you to my first friends from Season 2 – Katrina Parker, Nathan Parrett, and Kim Yarbrough – for proving to me that this wasn’t going to be just a one-and-done experience in my life. Thank you to Chris Mann for always being a stand-up guy and tolerating my numerous quips about how you always look perfect. Thank you to Vicci Martinez for pointing me out during the first tour when I thought nobody would notice I was there. Thank you to the numerous people who’ve tried to smuggle me into the wrap party every year, just because you thought I deserved to be there. And thank you to Jeff Jenkins, who first called me the “sixth member of Team Adam,” a badge of honor I’ve carried with me ever since.

We’ve also shared a lot that goes far beyond The Voice or even in music. You have all been with me through one surgery, numerous hospital visits, a cancer scare, three job changes, and two bouts of bronchitis. Your friendship and support never stopped just with the show. When I got the news during the Season 2 finale that I would need more surgery, it was Justin Hopkins, Pip, Erin Willett and everybody else from the show that I told first, and who rallied around me. It’s Justin who’s been my sounding board when I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I smile when I step onto the set and the stage manager and and the camera guys take the time to say ‘hello’ and ‘welcome back’. I’ve made so many friends from the show’s fan base, like Tara, Jai, and Melissa, who I never would have met otherwise. Thank you, everyone, for your kind words and your Tweets and your Facebook posts. You’re not just friends I knew for a time; you’ve stuck with me, and that’s real friendship.

For me, this has been everything, because this was the place where I gained the support, the emotional strength, and the knowledge to do everything else I’ve done afterward. I had some success with a show called Human Target (which I still love), but when The Voice came calling I was a relative unknown. Now I’ve done so much: I’ve been called out by Criss Angel, rode shotgun in three different race cars, seen my quotes on TV, and met so many fantastic people. All those doors opened because I started on The Voice and became the person you know and hopefully love today.

Now there are some people I do need to thank specifically because they are folks who’ve honestly shaped the woman I am today.  A big thank-you to Tony Lucca, not only one of my favorite musicians, but also a good friend and a continual inspiration. Tony, in addition to the fact that I just love your music, the way you carry yourself and how hard you work drives me to be better. You are the benchmark for what a working musician should be. I have enjoyed every conversation we’ve ever had, and I really appreciate how you’ve always made yourself available for us to have those chats. It was through you that I met Krista, who is now one of my best friends, too. And one of the best moments from The Voice I still hold onto today is how you recognized me at CityWalk that one day from like twenty feet away. I love you, dude.

Thank you to the craziest person I know, Mr. Blake Shelton. Thank you for being exactly what a coach should be, not only supporting your artists after the show but having the courage to stand up for them when other idiots want to tear them down. Thank you for our running rivalry, which always cracks me up every time you mock my choice of shirt or when you asked me about Adam’s hair (with Adam standing right next to you). Thanks for introducing me to country music, which has led me to get to interview awesome folks like Ty Herndon. But mostly, thank you for all the love and support, like how you congratulated me on my NBC job, or how you took time out after that press conference at Mark Burnett’s house specifically to say hello to me. I’m so glad we met.

And thank you, of course, to my coach, my hero, and my guy in all things, Adam Levine. Holy hell, I think I’m running out of superlatives to talk about how awesome you are. Thank you for taking me from literally the worst point in my life and transforming me into the person flying high today. Every hug, every high-five, every few words we share just makes my day and lights a fire under me to keep kicking ass. I’ve learned so much from you (not to mention gained two guitars and a bunch of Hawaiian shirts and joined a Maroon 5 tribute band). You are not only the best musician I’ve ever heard, but you’re the best person I know, and you have always supported me as much as I’ve ever supported you. It’s the most awesome thing to look my hero in the eye and know I can call you an equal as well as a friend three years later. Thank you so much for staying in my corner, and letting me be in yours. I’ll always be your girl, no matter how much it pisses Blake off.

To close, thank you to everybody who’s been a part of this journey in one way or another, because it’s a really special thing we share. We’re not just voting for winners on a reality TV show; the totality of The Voice really is about changing lives, starting careers or giving them a second chance, and forming relationships to last a lifetime. I’ve been so blessed to be a part of that, and I look forward to being a part of it for many more years to come.

With so much love,
Brittany Frederick

What We Learned From The Finale

The Voice

On Tuesday night, The Voice revealed the results of America’s fifth and final vote for Season 6, and showed us which of its three finalists you chose to be The Voice. Here are a few things that we took away from the results show, as you voted for the artists you wanted to see in the final round.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Tuesday’s live eliminations show yet, read no further, because we’re about to tell you exactly who won the competition.

01) Someone picked a bad, bad time to screw up. Host Carson Daly announced at the top of the show that there had been an issue with Josh Kaufman’s single version of “Set Fire to the Rain” – iTunes had listed it as an album, rather than a single, making it difficult for fans to find and download (and therefore vote). The decision was made to scrap all iTunes votes, and viewers were assured that doing so had no bearing on the final results, even though fellow finalists Christina Grimmie and Jake Worthington had multiple songs in the Top 10 on the iTunes singles chart. It’s only the second time in Voice history there’s been an error, but it’s a shame that it happened at the most important time.

02) Adam and Blake can be beaten. For the first time in six seasons, someone other than Adam Levine and Blake Shelton has taken home the Voice trophy. Usher can enjoy his break during Season 7 knowing that he’s made show history, and even Adam and Blake were happy about it. “I think viewers of the show were ready for somebody else to win. If I watched the show, I would be,” said Blake. “You have to change it up at some point.

“To be honest, when I heard that Usher was coming to the show for Season 4, I thought at that moment, I was like, ‘Well, it was fun for a minute.’ Knowing his history with developing artists…I just thought we’re never going to win again,” he continued. “And the fact that we did was a shock to me. If there was ever anybody that I thought could beat us, it would’ve been Usher.”

“Now, I will go on and say that crap ain’t gonna happen again,” he jokingly declared. “Ever.”

03) Who’s going to fill out The Voice Tour’s lineup. It was mentioned on-air that Team Shakira’s Kristen Merlin won the previously announced fan vote to gain the presumed final spot on this summer’s concert roster. What was uncovered later on, via the tour’s website, is that there’s now an eighth member of the tour: Team Usher’s Jake Barker, most famous for performing Maroon 5′s “She Will Be Loved” before going home in the first round of battles. Kristen and Jake will join Josh, Christina, Jake, Tessanne Chin, Jacquie Lee, Will Champlin and Dia Frampton beginning June 21 in San Antonio, Texas.

04) Adam was serious about signing Christina Grimmie to his record label. He declared it on air and backed that statement up at the post-finale press conference. “One hundred percent. As far as I’m concerned, it’s happening,” he told reporters. “She’s incredible. One of the coolest things about Christina is, it’s so hard to have traction as a singer and have the youtube following that she has. All the things that she had in place before she was on The Voice are the hardest things for an artist to get.” If a deal is officially done, Christina would be the second Team Adam member to join 222 Records, following Season 2 finalist Tony Lucca, who’s no longer with the label.

05) What it feels like to be Josh Kaufman right now. You can’t talk about the finale without speaking to the winner, who spoke just minutes after being handed his shiny new trophy. “It feels amazing,” he told us. “It’s been so great working with Usher. And that’s been the story of the show, right, either Adam wins or Blake wins, and that’s how it goes. So you have to change that. And, I think, kind of change more things about the type of music and some different things that we did. It’s amazing.”

The Voice will return for Season 7 this fall on NBC.

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

5 Soundbites From The Top 3

The Voice

Here we are, The Voice fans: the home stretch. By the time you’re reading this, voting for Season 6 will have closed and all that will be left to do is announce which one of the three Season 6 finalists gets this spring’s trophy. On Monday night, all three artists made one final pitch to win America’s votes, and afterward BFTV was able to get just a few words from each finalist, as well as from one of the superstar coaches.

01) Christina Grimmie’s post-show plans: The YouTube sensation from Team Adam shared with us what she’s thinking of doing after tonight. “I really would like to release music, sooner than later, win or lose,” she said. “I’m riding high on being on The Voice. I don’t want to wait until there’s like an awkward lull. So I definitely want to get some music out.”

02) How Jake Worthington approached his final performances: “This time I really just cut back and said, you know what, I’m going to have a good time,” the Team Blake finalist told us. “I went out there and just had a good time. I was very fortunate not have any vocal problems. I really learned the hard way not to go all out in rehearsals!”

03) Does Usher think Adam deserves partial credit if Josh Kaufman wins? The Team Usher finalist was lifted off Team Adam in the second battle rounds, and we asked his new coach if the old one should get points if Josh takes home the title. “I give him credit for letting him go,” Usher quipped.

“I think honestly [Josh's] standout moment was ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ and tonight just reminded me of that conviction where I was able to exist in his performance in a meaningful way. Because if I didn’t make that connection, then I wouldn’t be here. Everybody that started on Team Usher’s gone home and now he is a shining representation of my entire team. So thank you for signed, sealing and delivering Josh to me, Adam.”

04) What Josh will remember the most from his experience: As it turns out, everything. “It’s hard for me to break it down to a moment,” he admitted. “The whole experience has kind of been just one big thing. You have to look at the journey as a whole and I’ll never be the same as an artist or as a person coming away from this.”

05) Jake on experiencing The Voice so early in his music career: He’s one of many teenage artists who have appeared on the show, and others have even made it to the finale, like Danielle Bradbery (Season 4) and Jacquie Lee (Season 5). We asked Jake if he thought it was good to have such a major experience so early on. “I don’t know,” he reflected. “I’ve never experienced anything else besides playing in small places. But I never expected this to happen at all. So of course it’s crazy. It’s new, and I’m excited for what’s about to happen, because it’s game time.”

The Voice reveals its Season 6 winner tonight at the special time of 9-11 PM ET/PT on NBC.

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

News Roundup: May 14, 2014

The Voice

Just in time to promote their new singles – and the recently announced The Voice tour – the three finalists from Season 5 of the hit NBC show came back to its stage this week. BFTV caught up with Jacquie Lee and Will Champlin on Monday, and we’ve included the video of their performances as well as that of Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin in case you missed them. The songs are available on iTunes as well.

Jacquie spoke with us about being reunited with Tessanne and Will for the tour, which begins next month in San Antonio, Texas. “I’ve seen Tess and Will since [the end of Season 5],” she said, “and then I met Dia for the first time the other day…Dia is amazing. We’re both nerds. We get along really well and we’re going to have so much fun on tour. She’s already like a big sister kind of figure.”

About her new single, “It’s my first song that I’m ever releasing,” she told us. “We’ve been working hard on it…I worked my butt off after The Voice, and I’m coming back as a new artist, away from the show as my own person, so it’s a really cool feeling…I’m really honored to be singing it on The Voice stage where it all started.”

What’s been the coolest thing that’s happened to Jacquie since The Voice? “Ed [Sheeran]. Ed followed me on Twitter,” she laughed, but then teased, “I have some exciting news – just keep an ear open. You should just be hearing a lot from me really soon.”

Here’s Jacquie performing “Broken Ones,” which amusingly is just one word off the title of Dia Frampton’s first post-show single, that was called “The Broken Ones.”

Will Champlin was the third-place finisher in Season 5, and we asked him if there’s any one Season 6 artist that he would like to see take home the title – and therefore a guaranteed place alongside him on tour. “I don’t know. It’s hard to say and hard to speculate at this point,” he said. “It’s anybody’s game. I think they’re all talented and I know what it’s like to be in their position.”

Has his career after The Voice gotten the boost he hoped it would? “Yeah,” he told us. “I just know that it set me into a state of priority to work on the music that’s going to work for me as an artist. I’ve been just putting my nose to the grinder in the studio and trying to get this album done before the tour comes out and just try to drive it home.”

Will released his first single “Last Man Standing” a few months ago, and “Eye of the Pyramid” is setting a benchmark for him, too. “it’s going to radio without a label,” he told us, “which is another very cool thing.” That’s extremely cool, although we hope somebody wises up and signs this tremendously talented artist soon.

Here’s Will performing “Eye of the Pyramid.”

Tessanne was unavailable to join us for an interview, but here’s her performance of “Everything Reminds Me Of You.” According to her comments on Tuesday night, her post-Voice album will be available in June.

Thanks to the results of Tuesday night’s semifinal eliminations show, we now know that The Voice Tour will include Tessanne, Jacquie, Will, Season 1′s Dia Frampton, and Season 6′s Christina Grimmie, Josh Kaufman and Jake Worthington.

The seventh and final spot will go to one artist also from Season 6 – either Audra McLaughlin (Team Blake), Delvin Choice (Team Adam), Kat Perkins (Team Adam), Kristin Merlin (Team Shakira) or Sisaundra Lewis (Team Blake) – who receives the most Twitter votes. You can vote at the tour website (nbcthevoicetour.com/pick). Tickets for the tour are on sale now through Ticketmaster, so don’t wait!

In other news that you didn’t see televised on Tuesday, Team Adam has been busy. Fresh off his successful Kickstarter, Season 2′s Tony Lucca will be playing select West Coast tour dates this fall with Tonic’s Emerson Hart, including Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles; you can find more information at his website (tonylucca.com).

Season 1′s Casey Weston also released a new music video, “Back To The Start,” which we’ve included below for you to watch.

And if you’ve missed any of our recent The Voice alumni interviews, we’ve included some links to the last couple of them here: Nicole Nelson (Season 3), Nicholas David (Season 3), Caroline Glaser (Season 4), Kat Robichaud (Season 5).

The Voice finishes Season 6 this week and Season 7 will begin this fall.

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

What We Learned From Top 5 Eliminations

The Voice

On Tuesday night, The Voice revealed the results of America’s fourth vote for Season 6, and narrowed down its Top 5 all to the Top 3 that will be contending for the title next week. Here are a few things that we took away from the results show, as you voted for the artists you wanted to see in the final round.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Tuesday’s live eliminations show yet, read no further, because we’re about to tell you exactly who got knocked out of the competition.

01) NBC really likes the Twitter Instant Save. Last season, when it came time to name the finalists, the social media vote went away. Not this time. For Season 6, Twitter – or at least the East Coast audience on Twitter – was allowed to determine the third finalist. We’re not going to argue with the choice, as Team Adam’s Christina Grimmie deserves to be in the finale, but we will argue with allowing an already questionable method of voting to be used at the most critical juncture. Maybe it’s because they needed to fill time in Tuesday’s show with Instant Save performances, but we’d rather that the finalists be determined the old-fashioned way, by America’s vote…all of America’s vote.

02) Shakira just can’t seem to catch a break. For the second season, the Colombian songstress is shut out of the finale, as Kristen Merlin did not advance. In fact, Shakira finishes exactly how she finished in Season 4: she brought one artist (Sasha Allen) to the Top 5 and had that artist knocked out when it came time to name the Top 3. Is Shakira still figuring things out as a coach, or has she just not had the talent to break through to the last level? Whatever it is, she now has a goal to set her eyes on should she return for Season 8 next spring.

03) This is still the most even playing field we’ve ever had. For the first time since The Voice went to a three-finalist setup, each of the remaining artists is from a different team: Team Adam (Christina Grimmie), Team Blake (Jake Worthington) and Team Usher (Josh Kaufman). That means Usher has another legitimate shot at ending Adam Levine and Blake Shelton’s stranglehold on The Voice championships – possibly the best he’s ever had since there’s no clear favorite amongst this pack the way Danielle Bradbery steamrolled the second half of Season 4. What do you think, America? Are you ready to see someone new hold up that trophy?

04) The right people made it to the finals in Season 5. As we mentioned last night, the trio of finalists from last cycle performed their new singles on Tuesday, and they showed us exactly why we all voted for them last fall. Incumbent champ Tessanne Chin performed “Everything Reminds Me Of You,” while runner-up Jacquie sang “Broken Ones” (just one word off from the title of Season 2 runner-up Dia Frampton’s first single, “The Broken Ones”), and third-place Will gave us “Eye of the Pyramid.” Strangely, Tessanne’s song is the only one that you can’t currently buy on iTunes.

05) Next week, we could make history (more history). Not that Blake Shelton needs another title to brag about, but if Jake Worthington wins, he will be the first returning artist to be named champion. He’s already the first second chance artist to make the finals. Imagine how trippy he must feel right now – unable to even get on the show last season and now one step away from winning the whole shebang. And that’s one of the great things about the show: that artists are not only allowed, but encouraged, to take the coaches’ constructive criticism and come back for another try.

The Voice finals air on Monday at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC, and a winner will be named on Tuesday at 8 PM ET/PT.

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

5 Soundbites From The Top 5

The Voice

Monday night marked the semifinals of Season 6 of The Voice, and so the Top 5 artists really pulled out all the stops. BFTV was on hand after the performances to get the dish, and here are some of the most fun and memorable soundbites from Monday, including Christina Grimmie explaining these balloons and which two alumni will be returning to the show tonight.

01) No, it wasn’t Christina Grimmie’s birthday. Team Adam’s pop star finished her performance of Fun.’s hit single “Some Nights” with balloons raining down from the rafters, leading Usher to exclaim “Happy Birthday!” and Blake to throw balloons at Usher.

Afterward, Christina explained what was up with the balloons in the first place. “Why not the balloons?” she said. “I feel like they needed to be dropped because it was a party. The whole song was just like get up and [dance].”

02) Kristen Merlin consulted Miranda Lambert before performing “Gunpowder and Lead.” It was a gutsy move for the Team Shakira singer to tackle the song – other Voice artists have tried it and not done so well – but she revealed to us that she actually had some input from Mrs. Blake Shelton beforehand.

“I had a conversation with Miranda over the past week and kind of tried to talk about different things,” she told us. “It’s one of her songs and it makes me really nervous to fill those shoes and Blake’s sitting right in front of me…I just wanted to have fun with it and I wanted to command the stage again.”

03) Will Champlin and Jacquie Lee will be performing their new singles. This is usually the point in the season when Voice alumni return, and as they get ready to set out on the show’s official concert tour next month, Season 5 finalists Will and Jacquie will be presenting their new singles, “Eye of the Pyramid” and “Broken Ones” respectively. We got to speak with both of them on Monday, and they’re both busy.

“I’ve been just putting my nose to the grinder in the studio, just trying to get [my] album done before the tour,” Will told us, while Jacquie added, “I worked my butt off after The Voice and I’m coming back as a new artist, away from the show, as my own person, so it’s a really cool feeling.” If you can’t wait to hear them perform tonight, both songs are already available on iTunes.

04) Usher told us how he’s approaching the final week. Once again, Usher is likely to have a finalist, in his second season of coaching. Asked what it feels like for him right now, he told us, “It’s all about staying focused and keeping the course. This season has been full of unpredictability. Who would’ve ever thought that, from a steal, we would be here? I put so much time and effort and focus in the original Team Usher and yet I lost everybody – and Josh [Kaufman] has become a shining star.

“We have to continue to be consistent,” he added. “I think that week by week, we’re introducing different aspects to who Josh really is and really showing America that he has what it takes to be a real artists so that they’ll continue to vote all the way through. You don’t win it until it’s won.”

05) Carson Daly isn’t worried about The Voice producing a commercially successful star. The main criticism of The Voice has been that its artists haven’t caught on after the show, and the artists’ biggest defender has always been host Carson Daly. We asked him Monday night if he thought any of Season 6′s Top 5 might be the breakout artist critics are looking for, and he shrugged off the pressure.

“I’m not worried about it,” he said. “I think making great television is more important. That’s what we do. We’re a network and we’re trying to make a great television show, an entertaining one with great talent, and we do that at the highest level. It’s hard for somebody to break out in the music business anyway. This isn’t American Idol seven years ago; the world’s in a much different place. It’s hard to do that. It’s not even our goal; we would like people to be successful, and we think that they are.”

Tonight’s live elimination show will reveal which three of the Top 5 will make it to next week’s finale, and feature special guest performances from Will Champlin and Jacquie Lee. Tune in tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC to find out who advances and listen to the new music!

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.