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: Caroline Glaser

CG - Press Photo 2

It’s only been just over two months since we last talked to Caroline Glaser, but she’s been busy launching the next phase of her career. This Tuesday, she released her first EP, Caroline Glaser: Vol. 1, and she’s spending the winter on tour. BFTV snagged a few minutes yesterday with Caroline to catch up on these latest developments.

Caroline called us in the middle of touring; she’s been opening for the a cappella group Straight No Chaser since mid-October, and will be with them through the end of the year. “We share managers, so that’s kind of how this gig happened,” she explained, adding that it also motivated her to release new music, because “We wanted to get something recorded and out so I’d have something [available].”

That became the three-song EP, which is a truly collaborative effort. Caroline co-wrote the first track, “Rosalee,” with Angaleena Presley of the country group Pistol Annies, who also provided background vocals on the song. And “Money Tree,” the EP’s surprise hit that’s currently number nine on the iTunes singer-songwriter singles chart, was co-authored with her accompanist, Donnie Reis. In that sense, the album is a real reflection of Caroline, not just in that it’s original material, but in that she’s genuinely a people person.

The release also includes her rendition of Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Follow You Into The Dark,” which Caroline’s fans have heard her perform previously in a video you can check out below.

How do the three songs on Caroline Glaser: Vol. 1 compare to the covers that endeared her to an audience on The Voice? “Obviously it’s different because it’s my own music, but there are some similarities I’d like to think,” she explained. “Like that singer-songwriter type of genre. That’s definitely the type of genre that I want to go into – the indie-folk singer-songwriter.” Now she’s sitting on the charts alongside the likes of Ed Sheeran, whose hit ‘The A-Team’ she covered in the competition. Not bad when you’re 19.

Has Caroline set any goals for what she expects out of her first post-Voice release? “There’s not like a specific number. Obviously I want it to be successful,” she told us. “I was not expecting to be on the charts – and to be up there with Ed Sheeran and Passenger, that was wild, because I listen to them like every day. It’s already been past my expectations. I just want to take it and run with it.”

Running with it means making even more new music and staying on the road into next year. “I’m already working toward my second EP. I’m going to get back in the studio in March,” Caroline told us, revealing that “I just booked a tour in February. It’s with Kris Allen, one of the American Idol winners. It’ll be cool because I’m playing a 40-minute set.” For your chances to catch Caroline with either Straight No Chaser or Kris Allen – or even at a few select solo dates – be sure to keep your eyes on Caroline’s website.

Would Caroline want to bring her new music back to the Voice stage? “I’d love to. Absolutely,” she enthused. “That’d be amazing. I definitely would not say no!” Memo to the fine folks at NBC?

You can download Caroline’s EP Caroline Glaser: Vol. 1 now on iTunes. You can also keep up with her by following her on Twitter (@carolineglaser) or visiting her website (carolineglaser.com).

(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.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Catie Monck

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.

Artist Update: Caroline Glaser

Caroline Glaser

Caroline Glaser charmed a national audience during Season 4 of The Voice, and now she’s determined to carry that success into an off-camera career. BFTV chatted with Caroline during a recent West Coast stop to ask her about her favorite experiences from the hit NBC show and what it’s like to step away from the television spotlight.

“I’ve had like so many opportunities after the show. I really lucked out in that way,” she explained. “I signed with a booking agent like right after I got eliminated from the show. He’s awesome [and ]started booking me shows. Things have been going amazing.”

When we spoke to Caroline, she was days away from heading into the recording studio as well. As far as the specifics of hearing new music from her, “It’s kind of up in the air,” she continued. “I know I’ll have something released within the end of the year [or] the next couple of months. It’s going to be like a three or four song EP.”

But she’s got a perfectly good reason to take her time with the music – starting this Wednesday, Caroline will be joining the famous male a cappella group Straight No Chaser on the road, serving as their opening act on select tour dates. You can find out if she’ll be in your city and get tickets to a show by visiting the group’s website.

As far as her own career, she told us that she got what she was hoping for and then some out of her experience on The Voice. “I got so much more,” she enthused. “It was kind of a shot in the dark for me to audition. All I’d done was open mic nights at a coffee shop before that. Every level that I passed, I was like ‘Oh my gosh, how am I still here?’ Coming out, being able to play shows and have a fan base and be in the middle of making an EP, it’s so exciting. It’s completely changed my life.”

She had the uneviable task of singing against eventual season winner Danielle Bradbery in the battle rounds, but Caroline earned a special place in our hearts with her soulful renditions of selections like “The A Team” by Ed Sheeran – who ironically is now an advisor for Team Christina in Season 5. Wonder if he’s seen this wonderful take on his song?

Caroline had the opportunity to work with both parts of The Voice‘s famous bromance, as she began the show as a member of Team Blake but joined Team Adam after the battle rounds. So naturally, we asked her to tell us her favorite story about either of her coaches.

“I actually have a Blake and Adam story,” she laughed. “It was during the live playoffs. It was right before Blake and Shakira went up to perform. They were on stage and Adam went over to Blake’s chair. He grabbed Blake’s coffee cup and he took a big gulp – and he started like dry heaving. He’s like ‘It’s whiskey!'” Now you know what might be in Blake Shelton’s cup, kids.

Being exposed to a national audience was a game-changer for this talented performer, who never quite expected this level of attention. “I’ve been like a bit ordinary before the show. I’ve always had a passion for music, but I wasn’t doing anything crazy with it. Kind of like your average student,” Caroline reflected.

Now she’s looking at life as a professional musician. “I just want to make a living touring and making music. I don’t want to be a huge superstar,” she told us. “I want to be successful. Where I’m at, I’m on a good road for that.”

Check out Caroline’s latest cover video below and follow her on Twitter (@carolineglaser). New episodes of The Voice continue tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC.

(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: October 11, 2013

The Voice - Season 3

News and notes from around The Voice universe:

Cassadee Pope’s first post-show album, Frame By Frame, was released Tuesday. Most of it you’re probably familiar with, as “Wasting All These Tears,” “You Hear A Song,” “11,” “Good Times” and “Champagne” were put out as singles beforehand – meaning that die-hard Voice fans have already heard about half of the eleven-song record. Since you’ve already had the opportunity to listen to those cuts, let’s talk about the previously unreleased material.

Frame by Frame completes Cassadee’s transition from pop-punk rocker back to country singer, and she makes that genre shift pretty smoothly. There’s a certain sound to her voice that works well with country music, and there are still some pop sensibilities to be had, most obviously on radio-friendly lead single “Wasting All These Tears,” where the pop element makes sense. Conversely, the pop injection makes absolutely no sense on “Everybody Sings,” which involves a portion that sounds like it’s lifted from Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” in the middle of an otherwise okay country song.

This record serves as an effective midpoint between the Cassadee Pope we met on The Voice and her post-competition career. Audiences expecting every song to have a big moment like the ones she had so often on the show are likely to be disappointed, but that also proves that she’s not relying solely on the same thing over and over.

There are songs here that have those moments, but there are also the up-tempo numbers (“Good Times,” “This Car,” “Proved You Wrong”) and the requisite somber tracks (“One Song Away,” “11”). Frame by Frame shows that Cassadee can perform a variety of songs, even if she’s not necessarily breaking any new ground with them. That doesn’t make this a bad album, far from it; just one that’s playing it fairly safe.

Overall, this is a record that ought to please The Voice‘s sizeable country fan base, and likely attract curious fans of the show. It re-establishes Cassadee Pope as both a solo performer and a country artist, and that’s the most important part. The pressure is on for the series to produce a commercially successful artist, and it’s clear that’s what this album is geared toward doing.

Hopefully, the fans who voted so overwhelmingly for Cassadee on The Voice will support the record, and then we’ll get to see her do some more unique things with the next one.

Cassadee also has a CMT series of the same name, which airs its second episode tonight at 10 PM ET/PT. And NBC aired the music video for Frame by Frame‘s first single, “Wasting All These Tears,” during Tuesday’s recap episode of The Voice. If you missed that, you can watch it below.

Two other show alums have put out new music this week. Season 2’s Jamar Rogers dropped his new single “Drink Of You” on Tuesday; you can read our interview with Jamar about the single and forthcoming music video here. Season 4’s Sarah Simmons also put out her first post-show track, “Fall,” which is now available on iTunes. Congratulations to Cassadee, Jamar and Sarah on your music debuts!

Season 5 of The Voice returns Monday at 8 PM ET/PT.

(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.

Season 4 Finale Interviews

The Voice - Season 4

The rest of my Season 4 finale interviews are now posted across the interwebs:

Artist Update: Josiah Hawley

The Voice - Season 4Josiah Hawley is not only returning to The Voice for the finale – but he’s also got new music of his own to reveal today! BFTV caught up with the Team Usher singer to talk about his now-available EP, plus returning to the hit NBC series and how he plans to make the most of his national exposure.

“I’m really happy exactly as it happened,” said Josiah, who left The Voice after his live show performance of Coldplay’s “Clocks,” and will be returning to sing with the rest of Team Usher for the finale. “I feel like it’s been a great stepping stone for me to step into the next phase of my career. It’s helped me to be seen and be known enough to have meetings with some very cool people.

“The good thing is too, because I got [voted] off when I [did], it also helps not to be pigeonholed,” he added. “I’m super-grateful for the show, but at the same time, you don’t want to be known as ‘the reality show person’ for the rest of your life.”

He told us that after you leave the show, “Two things happen. The first thing is, you can just kind of breathe for a second. You don’t have the stress. And then it hits you real quick that ‘Now I’ve got to do this on my own, and I’ve got to get out there and make something of myself, because that was just step one.’ Then it becomes real. And it’s exciting.”

Step two for Josiah is the release of his EP, plus a corresponding YouTube web series. “I definitely had some music in the works already, but I finished a brand new song that I’m really excited about,” he revealed. “It does have influence because of the show and what went well, and the response I got on certain songs. It’s one that I think will have good reception with people.” That song is called “Beautiful To Me” and you’ll be able to get it on Noisetrade for free, along with his other new tracks, starting today.

“It’s kind of a love song and it just highlights my musical influences. I’m a pop-rock artist,” Josiah explained. “We stuck a little bit of jazz in there. It’s just a smooth song and it’s really fun.”

He has a plan to keep connected with the new fans he made through his TV exposure, staying active on social media including YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, so that you can see fresh videos and behind-the-scenes photos. “Twitter, I wasn’t very huge on it before the show,” he admitted with a laugh. “I had 700 some followers and now I have over 61,000. The same with Instagram. The goal was, I spoke with my lawyers right after the show and they’re like ‘Your social media’s blown up, that’s great. You’ve just got to keep going, get yourself out there in front of everybody.'” Now he’s definitely in the spotlight, and he’ll hopefully stay there.

Although he found himself as the heartthrob of The Voice, Josiah wants fans to know that he’s more than just a good-looking white guy with a guitar. “When the show started, they always have a story that they want to start with, to reveal a little bit about the artist,” said Josiah, whose on-air story focused on his modeling career.

“What I wanted people to really see is I grew up in a huge family – I’m the second of six kids – and it wasn’t a small town but it wasn’t a big town. I grew up doing concrete construction. That was my whole life. Every time I go back home to visit, that’s what I do. [I'm] just a hard worker in that sense, and an athlete, and I’ve been able to take those principles and apply them to music. If you want to be successful in music, you’ve got to work hard every day, all day.”

You can check out Josiah’s new music on his YouTube channel and download it on Noisetrade today. Also be sure to follow Josiah on Twitter (@JosiahHawley). The Voice crowns its season-four winner tonight on NBC.

(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.

Pre-Finale Debate: What’s Your Opinion?

The Voice - Season 4

We now know our three finalists for season four of The Voice – Danielle Bradbery, The Swon Brothers and Michelle Chamuel – and that’s raised a number of interesting points for debate before we head into next Monday’s final performance show. What do you think, Voice fans? Here’s my take (with a disclaimer that I’m critiquing the show and not coming out for/against any particular artist).

I’m disappointed that the finals are not only once again slanted in favor of one coach, but that this season they’re also leaning toward one genre of music. In my opinion, that’s made the show less interesting, because I enjoy The Voice‘s musical diversity and I also like it when all the coaches are involved (which means therefore all the fans are involved).

I’ve also long been against the strong hold that iTunes has on the results. Last season, it was easy to predict that Cassadee Pope would win because of her iTunes charting. This season, it’s been the same deal (with the exception being that Amber Carrington charted on Tuesday but didn’t advance). While NBC has done a smart thing in limiting iTunes downloads to one this season (as opposed to 10 before), it still hasn’t fixed the issue. Holly Tucker made a point of telling people to buy their favorite artist’s single because she knew she was being eliminated based on iTunes. Having the results determined so heavily by one method has never felt right to me.

Having said that, I find it hard to get too angry at the show itself, because it really is in the hands of America. Fans know what the rules are by now and we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves if we don’t like the results. I wonder how many of the people complaining about Blake’s team taking over the finals again voted for the artists they did like. Or how many people will vote for Michelle just because she’s the one non-country singer in the final. (Weirder things have happened: it’s strongly suspected that the results of season two were affected by the feud between Adam and Christina.)

So what do you think, readers? Do you want to see any changes in the Voice rulebook? Or do you think the burden is on us as fans? Or is it “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Sound off in the comments.