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: 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.

News Roundup: October 3, 2013

The Voice

News and notes from around The Voice universe:

As mentioned in last week’s roundup, Cassadee Pope’s CMT series Cassadee Pope: Frame by Frame debuts tomorrow night. Check your local listings to find the specific channel and airtime in your area. It leads right into the arrival of Cassadee’s first post-show album, Frame by Frame, which hits stores on Tuesday, October 8.

On Monday, we posted our interview with Chris Mann, who had a lot of news to share with us prior to his concert at the City National Grove of Anaheim last Friday. That included the fact that he’ll have a second PBS special airing in November or December for Christmas, with an accompanying album – his fourth since leaving the show! To get all the details on what Chris has been up to, click here to read the full interview.

This week also saw some new videos from Voice alums on YouTube. Pip posted a cover of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” which you can find here. And we’ve finally located Purrfect the Cat – in this video from our friends at the show, who have dug up the “lost auditions” to be coach Cee Lo Green’s pet. Thanks to our Voice family for the laughs!

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: September 26, 2013

The Voice - Season 3

There’s a lot more happening than just the Season 5 premiere! News and notes from around The Voice universe:

The show won its first Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality Competition Program on Sunday night in Los Angeles. It had been previously nominated in the same category last year, but lost to CBS’s The Amazing Race.

In addition to its category victory, The Voice took home a trophy for Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Series, and earned nominations for Outstanding Art Direction For Variety or Non-Fiction Programming and Outstanding Hairstyling For A Multi-Camera Series or Special.

Overall, in two years, The Voice has won two Emmy Awards and been nominated nine times. Congratulations to all the show’s Emmy nominees!

Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope is gearing up for the October 8 release of her post-show album Frame by Frame. That includes a related CMT event, Cassadee Pope: Frame By Frame, which premieres on October 4. Check your local listings for specific channel and airtime in your area. If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of the album yet, you can still do so here.

Season 2 finalist Tony Lucca announced on Monday that Season 1 finalist Vicci Martinez will be joining him and Brendan James on select dates of their upcoming tour. Visit Tony’s official website to check out show details and find out if you can catch these two talented musicians in your area this fall.

Tony is also finishing up the live performances in support of his recent EP With The Whole World Watching, concluding with a series of West Coast shows. The final segment begins with an October 9 show at The Griffin in San Diego. You can click here to read our recent interview with Tony about the tour, and here to download With The Whole World Watching if you haven’t already.

In new music, Season 2’s Chris Cauley dropped his EP My Turn earlier this month, which you can find here. Season 2’s Katrina Parker has her new CD In and Out of the Dark, which is here. And Season 3’s Cody Belew has released a new record, What You’re Looking For, which you can download here. Adanna Duru has a new music video, “Throwback,” which you can view at the end of this article.

Have you seen all of our off-season artist updates? While we were waiting for Season 5, we also checked in with Nicholas David (Season 3), Nathan Parrett (Season 2). and Katrina Parker (Season 2).

(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.

Countdown to ‘The Voice’ Season 4: What Have You Missed?

The Voice - Season 3We’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.

January News Roundup

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!

Episode Postmortem: Season 3 Finale

The Voice - Season 3NBC 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.

For more from Brittany Frederick on The Voice, visit Big Red Chairs and follow me on Twitter (@bigredchairs).

(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.