Artist Update: Paulina Cerrilla

String Theory

Remember a while back when I talked to Team Christina’s Paulina Cerrilla about her film String Theory? Well, the movie’s done now and is making its world premiere this Friday. Paulina also filled me in on the ton of other things she has going on as she continues to expand her career, not only in music and acting, but lots of other avenues, too. Click over to Examiner to check out everything she has to say.

Click here to read my interview with Paulina Cerrilla at Examiner.

Artist Update: Nicole Nelson

Dwight and Nicole

We all fell in love with Nicole Nelson when she was part of Team Adam in season 3 of NBC’s The Voice, but as with all the artists on that series, that’s just one part of her story. Nicole and her partner Dwight Ritcher just released their album Shine On last week, and she was kind enough to sit down with BFTV to discuss the record and how the Dwight & Nicole sound compares to what we heard on The Voice.

“I don’t think there’s any difference at all,” she told us. “I don’t know how to be anything other than myself, one hundred percent. My aim is always to be myself and always a better version of myself. I’ve grown from what I’ve learned from the show, and from meeting and meshing with so many incredible people.”

Nicole turned all four coaches’ chairs during her blind audition with her cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which is also one of the tracks that appears on Shine On. We asked her if including the song that introduced her to American TV audiences was a coincidence or on purpose. “It was a conscious decision. I always wanted to record that song and I would have either way,” she explained. “For me, singing a 60 second version on the show to a pre-recorded track, it was a great opportunity. The song actually became a hit on iTunes.

“But I just sort of felt that song, it needs to be alive and be breathing and I wanted to record it with my group. We just did it live, we did two takes and just took our favorite version, which was the second take. There’s a magic in the live thing that’s different from singing to a track that somebody recorded a week earlier. It can breathe and it has our own stamp on it. I was able to relax and let the feeling. It had that energy to it and that’s what we want it.”

You can actually hear the difference in Dwight & Nicole’s version of “Hallelujah,” which we’ve included below so you can check it out for yourself.

So what about the rest of the record? What can those audiences, who may not have looked past the TV show, expect from hearing Dwight & Nicole? “What I love about the album is that it touches on multiple layers of feeling and expression,” Nicole said. “What I feel like has happened in popular music is that things get boiled down and fine-tuned in order to sell them easily to a market. Which makes sense as a business. But what I miss about old records that I love is that they dive deeper than that and tell a 360 degree story. All of these inflections of personality come through.”

The duo is now playing several live shows on the East Coast in support of the record (all of which you can find information about on their website), and Nicole told us she’s looking forward to more. “Absolutely look for touring,” she said. “We’re talking with a few different booking agencies.”

Is there anyone she’d love to share the stage with? “Bonnie Raitt has always been a dream of mine. That’s something I would love to do.”

Of course, appearing on The Voice has raised her profile. “It absolutely still resonates,” Nicole told us. “I think one of the reasons why is because it was actually just over a year ago since they started doubling up seasons. It was like a year and a half ago that I was on the show.”

But that’s just one component to Nicole Nelson as an artist, and to the Dwight & Nicole story. They’ve shared the stage with the likes of Dr. Maya Angelou, B.B. King, Norah Jones, and The Avett Brothers. They’ve played Fenway Park and Symphony Hall. Like many artists who’ve appeared on The Voice, they had many things to be proud of before reality TV became part of their lives, and now with Shine On, they have plenty to be proud of after. For Nicole’s part, she has absolutely no regrets.

“The path that I’ve been on is exactly the right one for me,” Nicole reflected. “[The Voice] was an absolute perfect experience. And when it was time to go home, I left graciously. And I’m making music with the man that I love. I’m just so lucky.”

Shine On is available now on iTunes; for more on Dwight & Nicole, be sure to visit their website (dwightandnicole.com) and follow them on Twitter (@dwightandnicole). You can also follow Nicole herself on Twitter (@nicolenelsong).

(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.

Season 6 Premieres Tonight: Your Catch-Up Guide

The Voice

Tonight begins Season 6 of NBC’s The Voice, but there have been plenty of happenings with past artists – and the coaches – since Season 5 wrapped in December. Before you tune in to the new cycle, read on to find out what you may have missed over the last three months.

The major news is that coach Cee Lo Green announced last week that he will not return for Season 7, marking his second departure from his big red chair. Cee Lo’s best finish on The Voice was having the runner-up (Juliet Simms, season 2) – which Usher has already matched (Michelle Chamuel, season 4). No word yet on who will replace him, whether it’s Usher or anyone else.

In happier coach-related news, Blake Shelton has announced he’ll hit the road for a 2014 version of his Ten Times Crazier Tour; information can be found on his website (blakeshelton.com). And Adam Levine and his Season 4 artist Judith Hill performed on the same stage when both participated in CBS’s February 9 special The Beatles: The Night That Changed America. You can hear some words from Adam and see a clip of Maroon 5’s performance in the below video.

A few The Voice artists have turned out new music since December. Season 1 finalist Vicci Martinez has a new release, Otra Cancion, available via Bandcamp. Season 4’s Melanie Martinez debuted her new single, “Dollhouse,” on iTunes. According to iTunes, Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin will release her record in March.

We’ve also caught up with several former contestants to find out what they’re up to recently. You can check out our interviews with Season 3 finalist Nicholas David, Team Cee Lo’s Kat Robichaud from Season 4, and Team Adam’s Caroline Glaser from Season 4. Kat’s recent music video, as well as a music video from Season 2’s Pip, can be found in our January news roundup.

The Voice also won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Competition TV Show in January, over America’s Got Talent, Dancing With The Stars, MasterChef and the now-cancelled The X Factor.

Lastly, if you missed the various announcements over the last few weeks, we now know the full advisor lineup for Season 6. They are Aloe Blacc (Team Adam, after his appearance performing opposite Team Adam’s Will Champlin in Season 5), The Band Perry (Team Blake), Jill Scott (Team Usher) and Miranda Lambert (Team Shakira, her second go-around after advising Team Blake in Season 2). You’ll see the advisors in a few weeks, when Season 6 heads to its battle rounds.

The Voice premieres tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC. Stay tuned all season for our recaps, interviews and news behind the scenes here and by visiting BFTV’s sister site, Big Red Chairs (bigredchairs.com).

(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.

Artist Update: Nicholas David

Nicholas David

As The Voice gears up for another season, it’s time for us to fill you in on what some of the show’s great artists are up to now. Season 3 finalist Nicholas David has kept pretty busy since being a member of Team Cee Lo, and BFTV snagged some time with him recently to chat about the success of his Say Goodbye EP and the charity work that this awesomely down-to-earth performer has been doing abroad.

Nicholas has racked up plenty of travel miles since the June release of his EP, touring with the Avett Brothers on the West Coast, then visiting the East Coast and Texas. With successful shows behind him, he’s now focused on making even more new music. “We’ve been doing some recording in Los Angeles and Minnesota,” he told us. “When I got back from Mexico, I had my heart just blown wide open by working down there with the kids, and I was just so inspired I just started writing all this music. I came back and I couldn’t not write.”

The work to which he’s referring is the time he spent in Mexico with the Smile Network, a nonprofit organization that organizes groups to travel to third world countries to help those with cleft lips and palates. Nicholas pitched in by doing everything from visiting the homes of these folks in need, to literally carrying children in to surgery.

“It was a huge dose of perspective,” he reflected. “I was down there for like a week with some of the world’s finest surgeons and pediatricians and nursing assistants. And I’m down there like, ‘What am I doing down here?’ But then also I heard spirits like, ‘You’re down here to be yourself and by being you that’s enough.’ I’d play music to the different villagers that were waiting in the hallway. I was playing music for the kids.

“We got to go to one of the villages,” he continued, “and it was crazy. This guy, he has two kids and he makes seven dollars a week. To see that, but then to see in their eyes true happiness, and to hear the translators say they have everything because they have each other, that’s the real treasure. I walked away from that like a new man.”

In addition to working with Smile Network – he’s since been asked to be an ambassador for the organization – Nicholas is also involved with another charitable group, Blessings In A Backpack. Devoting time to helping others is important to him, and that’s no surprise when we’re talking about one of the most humble and kind people ever to have been on the Voice stage. In everything he does, he just radiates warmth and goodwill, and he’s someone that we’re proud to count as part of the show’s family.

Of course, there’s still professional work to be done, too. “I’d like to [tour] the Southeast, and I know we’re slotted to go to the South by Southwest Festival in Texas,” said Nicholas, who also performed at the historic Metrodome prior to its closing. “I’d like to try and get overseas. I’d also like to try to be in a Disney movie.”

And even with everything he’s doing in the world, with making music and playing shows and doing good deeds for the less fortunate, he’s still putting his family first. “With as busy as this has been, I’m trying to spend a lot of time with my kids,” he told us. “We’re playing a lot of Legos.”

You can download Nicholas’s EP on iTunes, visit his official website (thefeelin.com), which contains his personal blog, and follow him on Twitter (@thefeelin).

The Voice returns to NBC on Monday, February 24; for more on the show and all of its past artists, you can visit our sister site (bigredchairs.com) and follow us 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.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael J Media

News Roundup: December 12, 2013

The Voice - Season 4

The Internet is abuzz with the news that The Voice has announced its Season 5 finalists, but that’s not all that’s happening this week. We had several former competitors return to the show, a few more drop by just to say hello, and Blake Shelton crashed someone else’s Christmas special again this year.

On Tuesday, four acts from The Voice‘s past two seasons came back to promote their new music, and we found out what they’ve been up to. Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope performed the next single from her recent album, and discovered that the album has gone gold.

Her successor and Big Machine Records labelmate, Danielle Bradbery, just released her self-titled debut album and has her song being used in a video package for NBC’s coverage of the upcoming Sochi Olympics. You can check that out below.

Season 4 runner-up Michelle Chamuel premiered “Go Down Singing,” her first single since the show, with some help from the USC marching band’s drumline. She revealed that she’s still in touch with coach Usher and working on an album to be released next year. The best place to find more information about that is her website (michellechamuel.com).

As for The Swon Brothers, Zach and Colton dropped their new single “Later On.” They’re signed to Arista Nashville and also working on their forthcoming album. And they have lost none of their sense of fun whatsoever, with Colton joking that Zach still blames him for bad shows.

There were several old friends in the audience on Tuesday that did not perform, all from Season 2. We saw Team Cee Lo’s Jamar Rogers (who is looking much better after his health scare earlier this year!), Team Christina’s Chris Mann, and Team Adam’s Katrina Parker. Jamar is one of the artists featured on Starbucks’ Voice music sampler, which you can download for free online by visiting Starbucks.com. It also includes music from Michelle Chamuel, Terry McDermott, and Nicholas David, among others.

As for Chris and Katrina? He’s continuing his takeover of PBS, as his second special, Home For Christmas, is now airing on stations around the country. Check your local listings for specific channel and airdates, or you can also watch it online via the PBS website. A CD/DVD combo pack is available on Amazon too. Here’s the trailer.

While Chris is still touring and getting ready to work on his second album, Katrina just put on a wonderful Christmas show at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, which she’s bringing online to StageIt very soon; be sure to follow her on Twitter (@katrinapmusic) for more info.

If you watched Kelly Clarkson’s holiday special on NBC last night, you were treated to our very own Blake Shelton in an elf costume. This after he had his own special last year, along with dropping in on Michael Buble’s, as well. Basically, it’s not Christmas on NBC until Blake shows up somewhere.

Oh, and while you were reading this, Blake probably won another American County Award, too. He took home four this week. So, congrats Blake! You may not have an artist in the Voice finale this year, but we think you’re going to be okay.

For more on all things related to The Voice, be sure to check out BFTV’s sister site Big Red Chairs and follow us on Twitter (@bigredchairs).

(c)2013 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: December 5, 2013

The Voice - Season 5

This week’s The Voice news roundup is fitting for the holidays. We’ve got talk of cooking, a lot of giving, quite a few happy returns by some of your favorite artists, and even Santa Claus. Here’s the latest news and notes from around The Voice universe:

When Carson Daly asked Blake Shelton and Adam Levine if they were cooking for Thanksgiving, we might’ve floated the idea of a Blake and Adam cooking show. And after you favorited and retweeted that on Twitter, we might’ve asked Blake about it. His response was typical hilarious Blake Shelton.

“If you want to make a cooking show that involves two guys that make sandwiches,” he quipped, “and slice-and-bake cookies, or Cheez-Its, or Doritos with spinach and artichoke dip that you buy from Ralphs, you might have something on your hands.”

We’re going to take a wild guess here and say Blake won’t be responsible for Christmas dinner.

Several Voice artists are hard at work doing good deeds this holiday season. Both Season 2 finalist Tony Lucca and Season 3 finalist Nicholas David are involved with charitable efforts right now. As previously mentioned in our last interview with him, Tony is currently in Guatemala with his organization The MILE (Music Is Love Exchange). You can visit his Facebook page to check out Tony’s photos and updates from his trip.

Tony also performed during the halftime show of the NFL’s Thanksgiving Day game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions. He was fantastic, of course, but apparently he also inspired some of the NFL on FOX commentating team to sing “Never Gonna Let You Go.” Check out the hilarious video below.

Nicholas is also helping out internationally; he headed to Mexico with the folks from Smile Network. The folks at KTSP in Minneapolis have posted some video of Nicholas’s trip on their website. We want to give our thanks to Tony and Nicholas for being great guys who are doing their part to make the world a better place.

Award of the week goes to Season 2’s Nicolle Galyon, who’s got herself a number-one hit. Nicolle was one of the writers on Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert’s duet “We Were Us,” and this tweet from Nicolle on November 24 shows the song reached the top of the country charts. Congratulations!

Some old friends are coming back to the Voice stage for the holidays. After welcoming back Season 1 semifinalist Xenia this past Tuesday, NBC is rolling out the red carpet for two winners and some finalists during next Tuesday’s show. Season 3 champ Cassadee Pope, Season 4 winner Danielle Bradbery, and Season 4 runners-up Michelle Chamuel and The Swon Brothers are all scheduled to perform during the live semifinal eliminations show on December 10. All will be bringing new singles.

If you’ve lost track of where they all ended up, Cassadee and Danielle are both signed to Big Machine Records and have released albums this year – the latter’s self-titled debut record just arrived last month – while The Swon Brothers are now recording for Arista Nashville. No information was given on if Michelle has a deal with any label, but we’d hope somebody snapped her up following her second-place finish.

And last but certainly not least, Warner Brothers Television – the studio that produces The Voice – is teaming up with the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills to offer Southern California fans a unique Christmas experience. For the next three weekends – December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 – from 11 AM to 5 PM, you can visit the Paley Center and take your pictures with Santa Claus in one of The Voice‘s signature big red chairs. It’s essentially a holiday spin-off of the nationwide Chair Tour that happened awhile back. Click here for all the info you’ll need to plan your visit to the Paley Center.

For more on all things related to The Voice, be sure to check out BFTV’s sister site Big Red Chairs and follow us on Twitter (@bigredchairs).

(c)2013 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: November 7, 2013

The Voice - Season 5

News and notes from around The Voice universe:

Congratulations are in order for coach Blake Shelton, whose album Based on a True Story won Album of the Year at Wednesday night’s Country Music Awards. Blake also nabbed his fourth straight Male Vocalist of the Year trophy. His wife (and one-time Voice advisor) Miranda Lambert was named Female Vocalist of the Year for her fourth straight victory.

We also want to give a shoutout to an extended member of the Voice family: Rodney Clawson, the husband of Team Adam’s Nicolle Galyon (from Season 2), was named Songwriter of the Year at the 2013 BMI Country Awards on Tuesday.

Season 3 runner-up Terry McDermott (Team Blake) has been a really busy dude since leaving the show. Firstly, he and fellow alum Cody Belew have been sighted stepping in to partially fill Christina Milian’s social media correspondent shoes. Terry can be seen interviewing the Season 5 artists after their battle rounds in exclusive videos on Sprint’s new The Voice Unlimited Access minisite (you’ll have to set the filter to “Sprint Exclusives” and scroll back to find them). Our thanks to reader Mariah Skye for pointing out these great videos!

Terry also released his next single, “Lose This Feeling,” on Halloween. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can snag it off of iTunes by clicking here.

Lastly, we accidentally revealed this before it was official (whoops), but now we can officially say it: Season 2 finalist (and one of our favorite folks!) Tony Lucca has joined up with the National Football League for a pair of high-profile gigs. He’ll be playing during the halftime show of this year’s Thanksgiving Day game, which features Tony’s hometown Detroit Lions. He’ll also be taping some material for the NFL’s Play60 campaign, which encourages kids to get outside and play for at least 60 minutes a day.

For more on what Tony’s doing currently, you can click over to our recent interview with him, conducted during his recent West Coast tour. He’s currently on the road with Brendan James and support from Season 1’s Vicci Martinez.

In other new music, Team Cee Lo’s Justin Hopkins (Season 2) has released a new single, “One Heart” featuring Bryan G, to benefit Stop Hunger Now. It’s a great song by a great guy for a great cause. Click here to download it now.

For more on all things related to The Voice, be sure to check out BFTV’s sister site Big Red Chairs and follow us on Twitter (@bigredchairs).

(c)2013 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.