Interviews From Last Night: Blake Shelton and Cole Vosbury

The Voice - Season 5

TODAY.com has some words from Blake and Cole on Team Blake’s elimination last night. Click here to read my interview, which also features some soundbites from Christina Aguilera and Carson Daly. This one’s missing some pretty interesting stuff that I did not have the space to run, so stay tuned as I’m trying to find somewhere to post that right now. And of course, I have a great chat with James Wolpert as well, but I’m holding on to that in order to do a separate article either later this week or early next week. Just depends on schedule.

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.

Photos From ‘The Voice’ House of Blues Concert

If you weren’t able to catch last night’s The Voice coaches/Top 12 performance at House of Blues Sunset Strip, no worries – I have you covered. Here are photos of each of the Top 12 from House of Blues via the Big Red Chairs Facebook page. You can also see NBC’s photos of the coaches in my Examiner news blast. I have some photos of the coaches that I shot which I’ll be posting over the weekend. Enjoy!

‘The Voice’ News Roundup: Who Has New Music Coming In November?

November is set to be a big month for fans of The Voice! Not only are the Season 3 live shows starting on November 5, but a number of artists have new music set to be in your hands this month. Here’s what’s headed your way, in chronological order:

  • November 4: Coach Blake Shelton is taping his new Christmas special, which will air on NBC in December. Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas will feature appearances by some of Blake’s former Voice advisors, including Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson, and of course, his wife Miranda Lambert. You can put in your request for free tickets to the taping by visiting this website.
  • November 5: The Voice‘s first Season 3 live show airs.
  • November 6: Team Cee Lo’s Justin Hopkins (Season 2) releases his live acoustic CD, This Could Happen Anywhere. Having already had the chance to hear it, I can say this is an album The Voice fans do not want to miss. You can hear Justin talk about it in my recent interview with him from his October show in San Diego.
  • November 7: The Voice‘s second Season 3 live show airs (postponed due to Election Day).
  • November 8: The Voice‘s third Season 3 live show – the first results show – airs on NBC. This show will feature a special live performance by Adam Levine and Maroon 5, as well as the debut of Season 2 winner Jermaine Paul‘s next single. Jermaine’s album will arrive on December 18, the Tuesday before Christmas.
  • November 12: The Voice‘s fourth Season 3 live show.
  • November 13: The Voice‘s fifth Season 3 live show. Coach Christina Aguilera‘s Lotus, which features guest vocals from Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton, arrives. In addition, Team Christina’s Moses Stone (from Season 2) is releasing his mixtape, Resilient, which includes a track with Lisa Scinta (from Season 3).
  • November 20: The Voice‘s sixth Season 3 live show. Team Cee Lo’s Tje Austin (Season 1) drops his new album, Dreamin’ Big.
  • November 21: The Voice‘s seventh Season 3 live show.
  • November 27: The Voice‘s eighth Season 3 live show.
  • November 28: The Voice‘s ninth Season 3 live show.

In other The Voice news, NBC has officially announced a premiere date for Season 4, which will be the first season for new coaches Shakira and Usher. That will start 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, Examiner & Fanbolt with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.

Album Review: Chris Mann, ‘Roads’

Chris Mann was to Season 2 of The Voice what Javier Colon was in Season 1: that artist who was so good you had to stop and listen every time he performed, no matter who else you were pulling for in the competition. He is truly gifted, with impressive power, fantastic clarity, and the ability to convey so much emotion in every song. I am unashamed to say that he brought me to tears numerous times while he was on The Voice, because I was simply awestruck.

Just shy of six months after he placed fourth on The Voice, Chris has released his first post-show album, Roads. The disc sounds and feels like it was put together over much longer than that. This is a beautiful album that deserves the listener’s full attention, because it ought to be experienced and not just heard. In that sense, it’s what music should be – not just the thing we put on while we’re doing something else, but the art form that we stop and enjoy.

Wisely, the musical accompaniment is as unobtrusive as possible, so Chris’s voice is the focal point and shines through at every conceivable opportunity. Whether it’s a big moment or something much quieter, he’s equally as enchanting. His name has been mentioned in the same sentence as Josh Groban, but I’d make a distinction between the two: while both are amazing singers that I enjoy, listening to Josh Groban has never affected me in the way that listening to Chris Mann does.

Roads is put together in such a way that it gives Chris the best possible showcase. The assortment of tracks is a great mix of songs which will appeal to the audience that discovered Chris on The Voice and original material to be enjoyed by new and old fans alike. Two of them, wisely put toward the end of the disc, are selections from the Season 2 live shows – “Ave Maria” and Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida.” Another track, “Falling,” first appeared on Chris’s 2011 self-titled release. While it respects the audience Chris gained from The Voice, Roads also stands on its own merits.

In addition, the selection allows for Chris to show the full range of music that he can perform. His classical training is put to use on tracks like “Ave Maria” and “Cuore,” but he also handles country with a cover of Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” and excels on his version of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” which Paul Anka specifically rewrote for use on the album. He also reteams with his The Voice coach Christina Aguilera for the Damien Rice song “The Blower’s Daughter,” though the selection doesn’t allow them to harmonize together nearly enough. Regardless, it’s clear from the variety of tunes that Chris is not limited to just huge ballads or classical music – he’s as versatile as he is powerful. The only thing Roads doesn’t do is capture Chris’s wit and warmth, but otherwise it’s a close to perfect release.

If you’re a fan of Chris Mann from The Voice, then Roads is an obvious addition to your music collection. Beyond that, however, it should also appeal to those who enjoy exceptional singers, because Chris has a voice that is strong, distinctive and with very few equals. The Voice brought him national attention, and with Roads, Chris Mann should establish himself as one of the most promising male vocalists in music.

You can order your copy of Roads by clicking here.

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, Examiner & Fanbolt with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.