NBC hosted a premiere for The Voice Season 4 in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, and pretty much everyone from the past three seasons joined the coaches on the red carpet. Scroll down to see pictures of familiar faces, from coaches Blake Shelton and Usher to Dia Frampton, Terry McDermott and Pip, just to name a few!
We’re just shy of a month from a brand-new season of NBC’s The Voice, and only about two months removed from America crowning Team Blake’s Cassadee Pope the winner of the show’s third cycle. What’s been happening with the show and its artists since Cassadee won the title?
As has been heavily publicized, Season 4 will be the first with new coaches Shakira and Usher, who were introduced in the fall. You can read some of their early thoughts on joining The Voice here. This may also be the only season for the new arrivals, as previous coaches Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green – who are on a break this time around – have expressed interest in returning for Season 5 this fall. However, it’s worth noting that nothing has been finalized yet beyond Season 4.
The guest mentors this year will be Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum (Team Adam), Sheryl Crow (Team Blake), Joel Madden (Team Shakira) and Pharrell Williams (Team Usher).
Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope officially signed her recording deal with Universal and has been hard at work writing and recording ever since, according to her Facebook. Universal released a CD version of her Voice performances here. Cassadee posted a video update on her progress here.
Runner-up Terry McDermott hasn’t slowed down since leaving the show, either. In fact, he recently released a new single “Pictures” via SoundCloud, which he co-wrote with Dave Burman. His performance of “Baby, I Love Your Way” with Peter Frampton from the Voice finale was retroactively released on iTunes here.
Here’s a short list of major developments with other Voice artists, past and present.
Team Adam: Season 3′s Amanda Brown appears on the soundtrack to the recent Universal release Identity Thief, starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. Her teammate Bryan Keith brought some new music to his live show at the Gramercy Theater; you can watch the video here. Season 2′s Pip released his EP No Formalities; you can get it here. Tony Lucca is hard at work on his new album, and performing some new originals on the road, like “Reckless Love.” Kim Yarbrough is preparing for the release of her single “Brand New Day” (here’s a teaser video), guested on CBS’s Vegas, appears in the March 6 episode of TNT’s Southland, and her Nickelodeon project has been ordered to series. Katrina Parker is working on new music of her own after the successful funding of her Kickstarter project. Season 1′s Tim Mahoney released his next CD, Shine Through, which includes his Voice-related tune “Hey Adam Levine.” Casey Weston has a new album on the way; you can pre-order it here and stay tuned for an upcoming interview.
Team Blake: Season 3′s Suzanna Choffel released her new single “Guardians.” Season 2′s winner, Jermaine Paul, postponed the release of his post-show album Finally until sometime later this year; you can pre-order it at Amazon, although there’s no specific street date listed there. Season 2 alum Jordis Unga is in the home stretch of putting together her new album, and also won a Grammy this year for her work on Jimmy Cliff’s Rebirth, which took the trophy for Best Reggae Album. Erin Willett has recently posted a new cover.
Team Cee Lo: Season 3′s MacKenzie Bourg has dropped his debut single. Season 1′s Nakia is releasing his next EP, Drown In The Crimson Tide, and is playing a few tour dates in his home state of Texas. His battle round partner Tje Austin put out his new CD, Dreamin’ Big. Also, Paste Magazine wants to help you make your own Cee Lo Green.
Team Christina: Season 3′s Devyn DeLoera released a music video with Ready Revolution that you can find here, along with several covers on her Facebook page. She has new music coming your way on March 4. The busiest Voice alum by far is Season 2′s Chris Mann, who recently taped Chris Mann in Concert for PBS to be aired in March. Also next month, Chris will be announcing tour dates, one of which is New York’s Highline Ballroom. Lindsey Pavao put out her new single “No Revelation.” Moses Stone released new music; you can find “Beautiful Nightmare” here.
Season 4 of The Voice begins March 25. For the latest on all things related to NBC’s hit singing competition, you can visit Big Red Chairs.
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.
Howdy, The Voice fans! You might have noticed things got a little quiet around here in January, and for that I apologize. As some of you know, I work as a full-time TV reporter, which means I had to go off and cover all the new shows coming out this month. On top of that, I got sick. So, I’ve condensed all the news from January into this one handy post.
Here’s some of the important stuff that happened this month:
- We learned who some of the mentors are for Season 4 of The Voice. Team Blake has Sheryl Crow (good choice, but will she be as funny as Michael Buble?!). Team Shakira has Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden (who is also a coach on The Voice Australia). Team Usher has Pharrell Williams. Team Adam, we’re looking in your direction…
- Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope officially signed her record deal with Universal, and gave us a video update on what she’s been doing – find that here.
- Blake Shelton put out a new single, “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” and announced spring tour dates. Go here for all your Blake info.
- Pip‘s EP No Formalities is now available on iTunes, and Tje Austin has released his new album, Dreamin’ Big. Still to come is Tim Mahoney‘s new album, Shine Through. Stay tuned for reviews of all three coming this weekend!
- Mathai is working on her new EP, tentatively set to release in February. Stay tuned…
- Terry McDermott posted a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and some of his original music on SoundCloud.
- Adam Levine hosted Saturday Night Live. You can find links to almost all the sketches Adam was in, over here.
- Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera took home some People’s Choice Awards.
- Katrina Parker launched a Kickstarter effort to fund her next release – go here for that.
- Kim Yarbrough is busy acting: she’s got a guest spot on the upcoming season of TNT’s Southland and her Nickelodeon pilot was just picked up to series! Congrats, Kim!
- Lots and lots of tour dates. Be sure to check out the tour calendar to see if your favorite artist is back on the road in January or February.
- And congratulations to new coach Shakira on the birth of her son Milan!
Is there anything that I missed over the last month? Shoot me a comment and I’ll get it added to the site!
NBC has crowned its third ‘The Voice’ in just over a year – and on Tuesday evening, the winner, the runners-up and the coaches joined Big Red Chairs on the red carpet to give their final thoughts about the junior season of the hit series.
Team Blake’s pop-rocker Cassadee Pope was named the winner of the competition at the end of Tuesday night’s season finale, joining previous winners Javier Colon from Team Adam in Season 1 and Jermaine Paul from Team Blake in Season 2.
Her win was expected by most of America – and also by her fellow finalists, teammate Terry McDermott and Team Cee Lo’s Nicholas David. “Absolutely,” said Terry when asked if he had thought Cassadee would take home the title. “I think the biggest reason we had that feeling was because her songs had been reaching such a large cross-section of the public. Her continually crushing iTunes speaks volumes for itself.”
“She deserves it,” he continued. “The right person’s won.”
Added Nicholas, “I had a feeling i was going to go a long time ago – but I never looked at it like a competition. I’ve always just been blessed to be here.”
Even Cassadee, who previously stated that she tried not to be affected by the buzz, said she felt confident in her chances. “At one point I felt like ‘Okay, this could become a reality,’” she said. “I actually felt that back when ‘Over You; got to number one. I was like, ‘If this keeps happening I might have a shot.’”
It proved to be just one of her many charting iTunes hits that helped deliver her the title – as those iTunes downloads which were in the Top 10 singles chart at the close of each round of voting had their total number of downloads (which then translated directly into votes) multiplied by ten.
Her coach, Blake Shelton, had plenty to say about Cassadee’s victory and how he would continue to support her after the show, as he has done with many of his artists throughout the history of The Voice. “She knows that this doesn’t end with the finale of The Voice, [our] relationship,” he told reporters. “I don’t want to make one dime off of her in my life, but i do want to see her go on to be a superstar and end up in relationships in this business that are the best for her.
“If I’ve got to get in the way of something that she doesn’t like or she doesn’t agree with, then I will because I’m her friend,” he continued. “I’m her friend, I’m Terry’s friend, and I will be until the day I die. I just want to see them do whatever it is they dream of doing because they’re good people and they deserve it.”
His fellow coaches Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera – who celebrated her birthday on Tuesday – also weighed in on Team Blake taking the title for the second straight season. “It’s not about did the right person win,” said Christina. “I just think that she kept improving week by week and I think we all recognized that.”
Agreed Adam, “It was her moment. Cassadee excelled at the best times. We’re really happy, even though it’s not our team, we’re happy for Cassadee.
“We chose Cassadee, too, she just didn’t choose us,” he quipped. “We all chose the winner, damn it.”
The coaches closed the season with one final performance reflecting on their three seasons together. As previously revealed in September, Christina and Cee Lo will not be part of The Voice Season 4. They will be replaced by Shakira and Usher respectively.
However, both Christina and Cee Lo are on record as saying they want to return for Season 5, as the series has been renewed through that fifth cycle, which is expected air in the fall of 2013.
What’s next for each of the three finalists? “I’m going to release something quick,” said Cassadee, who asked her fans to support the new music she’ll put out.. “I have to, and it’s going to be great.” You can keep up with her on Twitter at @CassadeePope.
“I’m going home,” said Minnesota native Nicholas, who has family time and Christmas shopping on his to-do list, as “I haven’t really had time to do anything except the show.” He can be found on Twitter at @thefeelin.
“I’ve always been motivated by new music and being part of it and creating it,” said Terry, who added that he has “an idea and direction” for what he wants to do next. His Twitter handle is @TerryMacMusic.
All three artists reflected on the many accomplishments they’d achieved through being part of The Voice‘s third season. “There’s so many, from the chair turning to meeting all the people,” said Nicholas. “Meeting Cee Lo, to sing with Cee Lo, meeting Bill Withers, to sing with Smokey Robinson. it’s a freaking adventure of a lifetime and that’s the truth.”
“I’ve been lucky enough to meet some wonderful people along this ride and really form relationships with some great people,” concurred Terry. “It’s made it such a pleasurable journey. there’s been nothing negative about this experience.”
Cassadee was able to perform with her musical idol, Avril Lavigne, and remarked that “I met her and she just blew my mind with how nice she was and how thankful she was to have me there.”
Still, she added, she’s ready to see what the music world has in store for her next. “I’m absolutely happy to move onto the next chapter,” she added.
The Voice returns in just over three months – Season 4 premieres on March 25, 2013.
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.
The Voice is less than 24 hours away from crowning a Season 3 winner. As they waited for America’s votes, finalists Terry McDermott, Cassadee Pope and Nicholas David joined Big Red Chairs on the carpet to share their thoughts.
The evening started with a touching tribute to the victims of the recent Newtown, CT school shooting, as the Voice coaches joined their live show finalists, host Carson Daly and social media correspondent Christina Milian for a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” while holding placards with the names and ages of the victims. If you missed that opening performance, you can view it here.
The tragedy also affected Cassadee later in the evening, during her repeat performance of Blake Shelton’s hit “Over You,” as the artists were asked to reprise their top renditions of the season. “I connected with it even more now because I was thinking about Connecticut and how horrible that is and losing people,” she said afterward. “I was thinking about that.”
The show had to go on, however, and the artists made the most of it with a trio of new performances as well as duets with their coaches. “[The night] started off on a somber note but we’ve got to celebrate life while we have it,” said Nicholas. “I was excited to end [my run on] the show like that. [A] piano was on fire, things were blowing up, people were hanging from trapezes, there’s a mini Cee Lo. It was too cool.”
Going out on a big note was definitely his intention. “After last week’s performance being so stripped down and emotionally raw, I was like ‘Let’s just blow some stuff up,’” he continued. “Let’s go for it.”
Another surprise on Monday night was Adam Levine guesting on Blake Shelton and Terry’s performance of Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like A Lady” – with the shirtless Maroon 5 front man channeling Axl Rose. According to Terry, Adam’s wardrobe choice (or lack thereof) wasn’t part of the plan.
“I have no idea,” he said when asked where it came from. “All the way through rehearsals, he had a shirt on. There was no headband. There was nothing. So that was a surprise to us. That’s why when I looked over, Blake is laughing his ass off, and I’m like ‘Really, what the hell’s going on here?’”
“We had great fun with that,” he added. “It was just a nice little touch. we were having great fun in rehearsal but that just finished it off.”
Terry was shocked when Blake revealed that his father, Terry McDermott Sr., had flown to Los Angeles to support his son in the finale. “To have him in the room to feel the atmosphere, to see the action, it was wonderful,” he said, though he added that his heart might be a little weak after all the surprise appearances from his loved ones over the season. “I was like, you could just put me through an assault course or an endurance test, you don’t have to keep wheeling out family members,” he quipped.
With their final performances in the books, all the three artists can do is wait for America to vote and crown a winner. Cassadee is the favorite to win if you listen to Internet buzz, but not necessarily if you ask her. “I try not to let it affect me because I feel like the moment you get comfortable in this situation, the moment it bites you in the ass a little bit,” she explained. “It’s been a great encouragement and it makes me feel good, but I’ve always kind of been my worst critic.”
Never having looked at the series as a competition, Nicholas was just enjoying the experience. “This has been the adventure of a lifetime,” he reflected, “but I’m excited to close the chapter on this adventure and start a new book. I felt this was a good way to end it.”
Teammates Cassadee and Terry are now head-to-head, but Cassadee added that it’s not an uncomfortable experience to compete against her friend. “It’s not weird at all because we’re individuals,” she said. “Our coach makes us feel very special individually. He doesn’t do favoritism or anything like that. There’s never been a weird moment.”
“Frankly, we’ve never really been that competitive,” agreed Terry, who could have summed up the entirety of the Voice season as he said, “We get on so well, and the way we’ve always viewed it is you just leave it on the stage and then other people decide. Nobody’s trying to sabotage or be negative. We want the best for each other and if you win, it’s because you deserve to.”
The season 3 winner will be revealed as The Voice wraps up its two-night Season 3 finale Tuesday at the special time of 9 PM ET/PT on NBC.
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.
The Voice has narrowed its Season 3 field down to 6 artists, and after they once again performed for America’s vote on Monday night, they spoke with Big Red Chairs about their songs and what they’re hoping for going forward.
“I definitely think it’s close. I feel like it could really be anybody that could move forward,” said Team Adam’s Amanda Brown, who sung Aretha Franklin’s ‘You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman)’ and Whitesnake’s ‘Here I Go Again.’
The latter was her coach Adam Levine’s idea, and of the song choice Amanda reflected, “I was just like, ‘Okay, let’s do it.’ I was excited. I like to do songs that allow me to have fun and kind of be myself and not have to worry about the fact that this is a competition. I feel like the two songs I did tonight allowed me to do that.”
In past seasons, the finalists have done duet performances with their coaches and celebrities, so who would she like to share the stage with? “There’s so many people on my list,” she explained. “I would love to perform with Paul Simon, I’d love to do a song with Dave Grohl, I’d love to do a song with Peter Gabriel, I’d love to do a song with Prince. There are a lot of people.”
Her teammate Melanie Martinez had the most unique performances of the night, with a tiny piano on the set for her rendition of Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’ and a colorful, school play-esque backdrop for Lenka’s ‘The Show.’ These interesting ideas were the result of collaboration between Melanie and her coach.
“I definitely asked for the tiny piano. I thought that’d be cool,” said Melanie of her take on ‘Crazy,’ crediting another Voice artist with the song choice. “Mackenzie Bourg actually suggested that song to me. I kind of just went with it and I was really happy I got to show both sides to me. ‘The Show’ was very lighthearted and ‘Crazy’ was creepy.”
Part of her performance of ‘The Show’ involved a stagehand pretending to row a boat, and he was particularly enthusiastic about his job. “During rehearsals he was like that too, so it wasn’t just for camera,” Melanie confided. “He was always just really excited to row that boat.”
So after tiny pianos, rowboats and fake dolphins, what would Melanie bring to the table next? “Real dolphins,” she quipped, before saying that she’d love to duet with “Regina Spektor, Ed Sheeran, Kimbra, Lana Del Rey, all my faves.”
Team Cee Lo’s Nicholas David and Trevin Hunte got a surprise this week as their coach fell under the weather and Train lead singer Pat Monahan was brought in to fill his spot during rehearsals. “It was different from working with Cee Lo because we’ve definitely established a relationship with each other,” said Nicholas, “but it was cool to [have] a fresh perspective that kind of shook things up a bit.”
“It was a great experience working with Pat,” agreed Trevin. “I loved it because I actually got different advice and a different spin on how to approach the song. I was definitely happy for that. I love Cee Lo to death and Pat is amazing.”
Of his choice to perform ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ on Monday, Nicholas said, “I’ve tried to do songs that kind of speak a little bit deeper message and so I’ve tried to remain consistent with that. I think that was a fun choice and also a way to just say thank you to my mom, who’s been a huge support. She’s believed in me from the get-go.”
Cee Lo handed Trevin the Katrina and the Waves song ‘Walking on Sunshine,’ and Trevin admitted afterward that “I was very skeptical about that performance. It was kind of out of my realm. But I think I gave it my best shot.”
If he gets the chance to do a celebrity duet, he added that “I have so many people I want to sing with…Fantasia, Beyonce, Celine Dion. The list goes on.”
Team Blake’s Cassadee Pope, who sang Rascal Flatts’ ‘Stand’ and Avril Lavigne’s ‘I’m With You,’ said that her coach choosing the former for her was a bit intimidating. “It scared the crap out of me because it’s a song that, on its own, doesn’t really showcase my vocals and I needed to bring that this week,” she explained.
The latter song was her idea, and she added that “I see that song as such a dramatic song. This show is all about the drama and the theatrics and how you connect with songs, and I’ve connected with that song since I heard it.”
Cassadee’s choice for a celebrity duet partner was fairly close to home. “For my moral values and just wanting to kind of tip the hat to her, I would have to sing with Miranda Lambert,” she said. “Letting me sing her song, such a special song to her, and also for her to show so much support to me and Terry [McDermott] throughout this whole thing. It means a lot to me that she supports us so much. She’s one of the nicest people.”
Her teammate Terry was upbeat after his performances of ‘Stay With Me’ by Rod Stewart and ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ by Foreigner. “See what I did there? Foreigner?” quipped the Scottish-born rocker.
How did his rendition of the classic love song come together? “When me and Blake were talking, we actually were earmarking another track,” Terry explained. “But I wasn’t as keen on it and I think at the time I was sitting with Melanie’s dad, Jose, and he had Foreigner on YouTube.
“It was just one of those moments where everything happened the way you want it. I was like ‘Hang on, Blake, I’ve an idea.’ I suggested Foreigner and he was like, ‘I love that tune, let’s do that!’ We’d been talking about stripping down the other song so we said ‘Let’s just do it on this one then.’”
“The cello player was fantastic on it,” he continued. “That was a piece of inspired genius on the part of the band. That arrangement, I think, absolutely fueled the whole emotional side of the track.”
As for Blake picking the Rod Stewart tune for him to perform, Terry said that he was thrilled as it was a song he would have chosen for himself. “It says a lot about how well we’re getting on that he’s apparently reading my mind on a daily basis, or he has enough money that he can buy a device to read my mind, which is possible. I know how they roll in Oklahoma,” he quipped, before adding seriously, “I’m very happy with the song choice.”
Who would he bring back to the Voice stage? Rather than a celebrity guest, Terry would prefer to reunite with some of his colleagues. “I was such good friends with Rudy Parris – I still am – and I love Rudy’s voice,” he said. “He’s got great energy, he’s a very kind guy. I would love to get on stage with him and actually share the stage with him.
“Bryan [Keith] would be another one. Bryan’s voice is so unique. I would love to bring Bryan back. “
Trevin confided that waiting for America’s vote isn’t going to be easy for the artists. “I feel like everybody did a great performance tonight,” he said, “and we all know that this time in the competition is hard because everyone is different and everyone is great.”
One person who’s not worried over the results is Nicholas. “I have never really looked at it like a competition,” he said. “I’ve always looked at it like it’s an opportunity and an experience to be lived in. Everyone’s so gifted and so themselves. Everybody has something to give. I’ve just felt blessed to share this time and space with such a colorful cast of characters.”
The Voice reveals its Final 4 Tuesday night at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC.
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.
The Voice wouldn’t be the show it is without Blake Shelton. There are many great country music artists, but there’s only one Blake: talented, but also a capable and dedicated coach, a great person, and so hilarious that it’s impossible not to smile around him. Recently, Blake talked with me about what Season 3 has been like for him, and how he’d describe himself as a coach.
There are only two of Blake’s artists remaining in the running this season – Cassadee Pope and Terry McDermott – meaning that under Season 3′s new rules, the entirety of Team Blake could go home in one night and leave him without a finalist. Asked if that increases his stress level, “Damn right it does,” Blake said. “No coach wants to be a douchebag sitting there with nobody left in this competition, just sitting in a chair for no reason. I don’t want that to happen. That’d be a crushing blow to my ego,” he added with a laugh.
He has plenty to have an ego about, especially after he won three CMA Awards earlier this month, including his third straight Male Vocalist of the Year trophy and the top prize, Entertainer of the Year. But the hardware isn’t going to Blake’s head. Before our interview, he pulls me into a hug and tells me that he’s glad to see me. That’s a kindness many artists wouldn’t extend, but it’s typical for Blake.
He’s not coasting through the competition, either. Each season of The Voice has seen significant changes to the rule book, from Season 2′s instant eliminations at the end of performance shows to Season 3′s steals during the battle rounds, and Blake thinks it’s a good thing that the show has evolved. “I like that they change it up. I don’t know, as a viewer, how people feel about it. I know that they tell me ratings-wise this is the biggest season that we’ve ever had, so something’s got to be working,” he reflected.
“When you raise the stakes and you put us in that situation, the coaches, there’s a part of people that want to see us be humbled,” he continued. “And it’s humbling when you’re sitting there, going ‘Oh my God, I could be not having anybody in this thing, just sitting here like an idiot?’ It makes me step up my game and make sure there’s no stone unturned. I think of everything I can.”
Whatever he’s thinking, it’s working. Blake has proven that he’s an excellent coach, not only in that he’s the reigning champion after his finalist Jermaine Paul won Season 2, but also because his artists have thoroughly praised how he supports them not just as artists but also personally.
“I get on tremendously well with Blake,” said Terry McDermott of his coach on the red carpet earlier this season. “I like him as a person, I think he’s a great coach. It turns out that Scottish country and American country really aren’t that far apart. They’re very straight talking, down to earth and I think there’s a connection there that really made it easy for me to get on and enjoy being on his team.”
Added Season 2 semifinalist Erin Willett: “Blake and I have a really great personal relationship, through all the things that we’ve been through. After I was eliminated, I ended up getting together at Blake’s house and we had a great conversation, and it wasn’t even about the show. I’m so thankful and lucky that I got to be on his team.”
It’s clear that the artists he’s worked with admire him, but how does Blake evaluate himself as a coach? “I’ve never had really a style of coaching,” he explained. “I just kind of approach it with each artist is a different artist, and they have different things they need to work on. Some artists just need me to stay out of their way, and some of them maybe need a little guidance here and there. But I’m not a music teacher. I’m just a guy that has some advice for them and hopefully it’s right and hopefully they listen.”
If you’re not getting enough of him on The Voice, there’s even more Blake on NBC this season as the network airs his first holiday special, Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas, on December 3 (10 PM ET/PT, right after The Voice) with an encore on December 14 (9 PM ET/PT). The hour-long show includes an appearance by Christina Aguilera, as well as three of Blake’s Voice advisors – Reba, Kelly Clarkson and Miranda Lambert – and, if that wasn’t enough for you, Blake’s mother. The special ties in with the release of his recent CD, Cheers, It’s Christmas.
You should also be following Blake on Twitter (@blakeshelton). He’ll be back in his big red chair tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC, as The Voice prepares to cut its Top 8 to Top 6 this week.
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Excerpts appear at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.
The Voice‘s Top 10 artists again sung to stay in the competition on Monday night, and after their performances, they joined Big Red Chairs to discuss what went into their songs and what they’ll do while waiting to see if America votes them through into the Top 8.
“I found out today,” said Team Christina’s Sylvia Yacoub when asked when she heard that her performance of Alicia Keys’ ‘Girl on Fire’ would open the show. “It definitely adds more nerves because that’s kind of the note the whole show starts on and then you kind of have to make your performance memorable enough that people want to vote for you by the end of the show.”
The choice put her back behind the piano, something that worked very well for her when she previously sang Katy Perry’s ‘The One That Got Away,’ but Sylvia said that wasn’t an intentional choice on her part. “It just happened. I was feeling the song and Christina was like, ‘I really want you to start in front of the piano again,’ and I thought it was a really good idea,” she explained, adding, “I’m so glad I got to do a song that reached out to a lot of people.”
“I felt pretty good,” said Team Blake’s Terry McDermott after his take on Bryan Adams’ ‘Summer of ’69.’ Talking about his use of the microphone stand throughout the performance, he explained that “I think it’s a throwback to my days in touring. I just love to get the Freddie Mercury on and kind of carry that thing around the stage like I’m going to whack somebody with it. It’s not as light as it looks either, because it’s not counterbalanced right. Don’t grab it in the right place, you’re going to make a fool of yourself pretty quickly.”
“I get on tremendously well with Blake,” he said of his coach. “I like him as a person, I think he’s a great coach. It turns out that Scottish country and American country really aren’t that far apart. They’re very straight talking, down to earth and I think there’s a connection there that really made it easy for me to get on and enjoy being on his team.”
Having performed American rock classics and now a song by a Canadian, Terry added that he just might keep broadening the audience’s musical horizons. “Who knows?” he said. “Maybe I’ll take it back home, go back to the UK.”
His teammate Cassadee Pope did some emotional heavy lifting with her take on ‘Over You,’ the song that Blake and his wife Miranda Lambert wrote about the passing of Blake’s brother. Asked how she held herself together during the tear-inducing tune, she said, “I kind of just told myself that if I started to cry, that it wouldn’t sound good. I just composed myself and I told myself ‘It’s the difference between staying here and going home, and I want to stay.’”
It was the second time she’d handled an emotional song, after her take on Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Behind These Hazel Eyes,’ which she previously said reminded her of her relationship with her father. “It takes a toll, definitely,” she continued. “I feel emotionally drained after every performance. But I know that’s something I want. If people are going to pick up the phone and vote for me, they need to feel emotionally attached to me.”
“I’m kind of ready to go balls to the wall now,” she added. “I want to show that I can put on a good show and run around and go crazy like that.”
Another person for whom things were personal was Team Adam’s Bryan Keith, whose performance of Billy Joel’s ‘New York State of Mind’ meant a lot to the New York native. “It was all just heart and soul. That’s why I looked so comfortable up there. It just came out of me the way I wanted it to,” he said afterward. “I’m from New York and I love New York, so I feel like I brought the spirit of New York to the stage and into people’s homes, and that’s something for me to be proud of and I am proud of it.”
“I just love being in the streets and like meeting so many people who come to New York and it’s a dream come true for them when they’re there,” he continued. “I have a lot of friends there. It’s all I know. I grew up there. It’s this whole spirit, it’s just very different about New York. People are stronger, I feel like especially with what happened recently with the hurricane, we always bounce back from things and we have this spirit of trying to lend a helping hand to each other. I’ve always been that way. That’s what it is for me. That’s what New York means.”
“I feel like I’ve been doing something different every week and I like the way tonight went. I felt really good,” he added. “This is the kind of stuff that runs through my veins.”
Team Cee Lo’s artists got to bring more of themselves to their performances on Monday. Nicholas David brought a choir to support his version of ‘Lean on Me,’ and called the result “awesome.” Of his relationship with his coach, he said, “There’s a mutual respect, there’s a mutual admiration. It’s really neat how amazing he is but then like how human he is. We bounce ideas off each other, we laugh, we joke, we just respect each other.”
Trevin Hunte convinced Cee Lo to let him perform Usher’s ‘Scream.’ “I ran through the song one time and he was kind of on board with it. He wasn’t a hundred percent at first but I sung it to him and he kind of liked it,” he said, adding that “I feel like song choice is more of a collaborative effort. Cee Lo is always there to support me with whatever decision I make and I’m always there to support him with the decisions he makes for me.”
Of the resulting performance, he explained that “I set a goal for myself and I told myself that I just wanted to have fun. I felt like this was more of a current song and a modern song that people could relate to, and that was my main objective. I know it wasn’t my best performance vocally but I would have to say that I had fun.”
Cody Belew called his energetic version of Beyonce’s ‘Crazy In Love,’ complete with costumes and background dancers, “all me. This is me being realized finally and I’m just trying to give everyone at home a little taste of the artist they’re going to get after this is over.”
What was the best part of his big number? “Throwing the mic,” he said. “We practiced the throw but I didn’t even ask where it ended up [during the performance]. I wasn’t even aware.”
Team Adam’s Melanie Martinez also had a big hand in her performance, not only choosing her song – The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” – but having her photography featured. “I definitely feel like I was being me on stage and that’s what I really wanted to do,” she reflected. “I’m really happy I did the song because I pushed for it. I’m really happy that Adam trusted me with it and just let me be me.”
She revealed that it was production’s idea to feature her photography in both her backdrop and the dress she wore during the performance. “Wardrobe came to me with the idea for my dress and stuff. When they told me about it, I was so excited,” she said, adding that she didn’t know if they’d let her keep the dress itself but that “It’s kind of irrelevant for anyone else!”
Her teammate Amanda Brown was looking to improve on her performance from last week’s live show. with her rendition of ‘Stars’ by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. “In general last week I wasn’t feeling well, and so I definitely wanted to give my best. I just knew that I could do better,” she explained. “When Adam presented this song to me, I instantly was like, ‘Yes. This song is right for me.’”
Also looking to expand was Team Christina’s fan favorite Dez Duron, who set himself the high bar of performing ‘Feeling Good’ and then promptly cleared said bar. “We definitely wanted to show some depth this week,” he explained. “Sinatra and Buble, they’re legends so to go after them was definitely scary for me, but Christina believed in me enough so I just was like, ‘I’ll roll with it,’ and it ended up being great.”
Asked if he was concerned that his strong appeal with the female audience might shift focus away from his vocal ability, he said, “If anybody will listen to my music, I’m happy. I appreciate all the support. But we wanted to pick a song that was all about the voice. That’s why I stayed with the mic stand the whole time. I was trying to make people listen. I hope we did that.”
Some of the artists got additional help from ‘guest mentors’ this week: Jennifer Hudson assisted Team Cee Lo (which also allowed NBC to cross-promote Season 2 of Smash, in which she appears), while Team Blake and Team Christina called in producers Scott Hendricks and Ron Fair respectively. Surprisingly, Team Adam did not have a ‘guest mentor.’
“I was so shocked. I didn’t know,” said Trevin. “It was the best feeling in the world to have Jennifer Hudson across a piano from [me]. I definitely wasn’t ready for it when I stepped in the room but she gave me great words of advice.”
“Practice had a very different feel this week with me and Christina and Ron,” added Dez. I was so glad Ron was there. He was an amazing coach.”
What were the Top 10 going to do while waiting for America to cast their votes?
“I go home and I’m probably going to have a cheeseburger and then go straight to bed,” said Amanda with a laugh. Added her teammate Melanie: “I just sleep and hope that people will vote for me.”
Nicholas summed it up best: “Right now I’m just here and in the moment and truly grateful,” he said. “We’ll deal with tomorrow, tomorrow but I’m here today.”
In addition to the Top 10, the show featured a performance by coaches Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera, singing their duet “Just A Fool” from her recently released album Lotus.
Voting for The Voice is open until 10 AM EST tomorrow – and which two artists will be sent home is revealed tomorrow night at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC!
There’s been a lot going on for The Voice fans this weekend! Here’s all the news that couldn’t wait till Monday:
- Wednesday night, Team Adam’s Tony Lucca and Team Cee Lo’s Justin Hopkins visited San Diego on their “Chapter Two” tour. Stay tuned tomorrow and Tuesday for my exclusive interviews with the guys, but you can check out all my event photos from the show by visiting the Big Red Chairs Facebook page.
- Team Christina’s Moses Stone celebrated a birthday by releasing a new song, “Pray For Them.” It’s free for download – you can snag it here.
- Another Team Christina album, Lisa Scinta, has posted a new video. Click here to check that out, don’t forget to visit her Kickstarter if you haven’t yet, and stay tuned in the near future for my post-show interview with Lisa!
- Team Blake’s Charlie Rey has put together a Kickstarter effort to fund his post-show efforts. That link can be found here for those of you interested in helping him make some new music.
- A few Voice birthdays this week: Team Christina’s Celica Westbrook, Moses and Justin all turned one year older recently. If you haven’t already, wish them a happy birthday!
And now, for some Twitter business:
- The folks at @Fans_AdamLevine would like me to let you know they’re putting together a project for fans to thank coach Adam Levine. The deadline is this Wednesday morning (EST), October 25. You can send your notes, fan art and other submissions to them directly at email@example.com and contact them via Twitter for any questions.
- Speaking of fans, writing my piece on identifying official The Voice Twitter accounts made me interested in compiling a similar list to recognize the best and most active fan Twitter accounts. If you would like to see your Twitter handle listed, or nominate a great fan account you know of, go here to read what I’m looking for. If I get at least ten (10) submissions, I’ll add them to the site.
- A reminder: if you want to reach me with any tips, questions, or concerns, I respond to fans via @bigredchairs on Twitter and I also answer my emails at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You know that they can sing – but who are these artists who make up the new class of The Voice? I recently talked with some the first performers to make it through blind auditions: Terry McDermott (Team Blake), Devyn DeLoera (Team Christina), Bryan Keith (Team Adam), Daniel Rosa (Team Cee Lo) and Joe Kirkland (Team Adam). Here’s a little more from each of them.
“The flight home was actually going through my mind,” admitted Terry (@TerryMacMusic), who was the first artist to make a team in Season 3, but it came down to the wire. “I think you kind of see it on the television I go for the last note on the track and I look up, and at that point the last thing I’ve seen is that there are no chairs turned around. I’m like ‘Oh well, that’s it then. Free flight home leaving tomorrow.’ I finished the note and I looked down and there’s three chairs turned around. I’m like ‘Okay, I’ll just put the bags on hold then!’”
As for why he chose to join Team Blake? Chalk that up to “Blake’s approach – he’s very supportive and he’s very hands-on. I got that impression from watching the previous season. There’s a very encouraging atmosphere when he’s working with his artists, a very positive, nurturing sense. That really carried over with me. I wanted to embrace that, I wanted to grab that if I could.”
With a laugh, he added, “Plus my wife’s an enormous country music fan and has worked on converting me, so she would have been mad at me if I hadn’t gone with Blake!”
Speaking of fans, Devyn (@DevynDeLoera) spoke of how her coach, Christina Aguilera, was an influence on her and how she reflected that influence in her choice to perform Christina’s “Ain’t No Other Man” in her blind audition. “Christina has inspired me,” she explained. “She’s a very strong woman and she stands up for what she believes in. She’s a strong vocalist. And I think she’s a very admirable celebrity because she keeps her personal life personal and she does her business. That was really inspiring. I’ve always looked up to her since I was a little kid.
“And that’s a song off of my favorite album of hers. I chose that song because I figured she would either love me or hate me, but I was willing to take the risk in case she loved me.” Now that Devyn is a pround member of Team Christina, we know the answer to that question.
“I was watching the show and I was like ‘I don’t even remember half the things that happened,’ confessed Daniel (@DanielRosaMusic), who made The Voice history by being the first artist to be turned down in one season, then come back and make it to the blind auditions a second time. This time, he was luckier and made Team Cee Lo. Asked what he was thinking when he saw chairs turn around, he said “I completely forgot what I was singing at that point. After that, it was just memories from then on.”
He reiterated a point he made on the show Monday, which is that he has no hard feelings from his experience before – in fact, he saw it as something positive and took the coaches’ constructive criticism to heart. “The greatest thing that ever could have happened to me was to not make it on the show last season,” he explained. “I know that last season helped me so much to get here. I feel like a completely different person from last season, so I think that’s really going to help me through.” Would that we all could take rejection as well as Daniel did.
Having also faced rough times with his band, Artist vs. Poet, Team Adam’s Joe (@joekavp) agreed that sometimes the negative can become a blessing in disguise. “The industry is extremely, extremely cutthroat,” he said, “and it was honestly a very difficult time just because we honestly were given everything. We were a favorite on the label, and once everything went down it was just like ‘Who are you again?’ It literally went from love to like nothing.
“It’s extremely, extremely ruthless, but being told no is probably the best thing that can happen to someone in their career, because it straightens you up and it makes you figure out what you need to do. That’s what happened to us and we couldn’t be more grateful.”
He also explained why he chose Adam as his coach: “I know a lot about his history; he actually used to not be a front man, and I kind of really enjoyed the thought of him helping me figure out how to exactly be that front man. He comes from the same music-style background that I do. I felt like he’s the one who could teach me the most, so it honestly seemed like a perfect fit.”
Joe’s teammate on Team Adam is Bryan Keith (@BryanPeeps), who was the first Season 3 artist to have all four coaches want him on their team. Of having the entire panel vying for his talent, he said, “I kept picturing it to happen that way and it happened that way. It felt like a dream really coming true right in front of me. Watching it with my family and friends just really put things into perspective and made me feel like I reached my goal.
“We knew what we were getting ourselves into by joining the show. And we started to just realize that this is like us leaving our mark; this is our chance to go out there, and this could be our last shot and we would just go for it.”
It was Joe who reaffirmed a sentiment many, many artists have spoken when it comes to The Voice: that this isn’t like any other singing competition before or since. “I checked it out and I noticed that the show was more unique than any of the shows I’d seen because it actually kind of held true to us as artists; it didn’t really try to make us seem any different than what we really are,” he explained, “like they were very open to the fact that I was in a band and I was trying to lead that band, and they didn’t try and just make me who they thought I could be. [We're] all unique individual artists, and The Voice promotes that instead of tries to hide it.”
Stay tuned to see how Terry, Devyn, Daniel, Bryan and Joe develop on their respective teams – and find out who joins them when we resume Season 3 blind auditions next Monday, September 17 at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC.
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Appears at Starpulse, Examiner & Fanbolt with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.