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.

Episode Postmortem: Season 3 Live Shows, Night 11

The Voice - Season 3

The Voice may have only one coach standing by the time the show reaches its December 17-18 finale.

Tuesday night, Big Red Chairs talked with the two artists who were eliminated from the NBC singing competition, and with their dismissal another coach was also knocked out of contention. Adam Levine saw both his remaining artists – Melanie Martinez and Amanda Brown – sent home after the results of America’s vote were revealed.

Coaches Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green each have two artists still up for The Voice grand prize, but with two more singers being eliminated next week, it’s possible that either of them could also be left without anyone in the race.

For his part, although he has half the competing field on his team, Shelton isn’t taking it easy. “Even though two coaches are eliminated, I’m not changing anything,” he said Tuesday night. “It’s listening that got Team Blake here and that’s what’s going to keep us here hopefully, is communicating with each other and being sure that when we do pick a song, it’s for a really good reason. It needs to be something that they’re passionate about every time they go on that stage.”

Melanie Martinez said afterward that she wasn’t surprised by her elimination. “Me and Amanda are really close, so we kind of felt it today. We felt that we were both leaving, and we felt really bad because we’re like ‘we’re both on Team Adam and he’s got nobody left,’” she said with a laugh, but added, “I think it’s not really about that. I think it’s just genuinely about being yourself and just showing who you are as an artist on the show.”

She added that she benefited from having The Voice come along at such an early point in her career. “I think that this is an amazing opportunity and I’ve grown as an artist because of the people like Amanda who’ve been through so much,” she said. “They’ve definitely taught me a lot.”

You can continue to keep up with Melanie via Twitter (@MelanieLBBH).

“I don’t feel any kind of negativity in regards to this entire experience,” reflected Amanda Brown. “I made it to the Top 6 and I feel like it was just a tremendous accomplishment for me. There’s nothing but love and positivity and hope for the future.”

“I feel really proud of those performances and really proud of the decisions that I made. I really left my all on the stage last night and so I don’t think I would have changed anything,” she continued. “I’ve definitely learned a lot about myself along this entire journey and I feel like the lessons that I’ve learned I most definitely will take with me.”

What will she take away personally from The Voice? “Definitely being able to work with Cee Lo and Adam was an amazing opportunity,” she said, “and just to be in the company of such talented young artists. I feel both honored and excited for their journey and excited for mine.”

You can continue to keep up with Amanda via Twitter (@Amanda__Brown).

Their coach was philosophical about Tuesday’s results. “You know, you win things and you lose things. If you win everything all the time, then you wouldn’t be human. It’s kind of how you respond to the losing and tweak things and change things and come back that much stronger for understanding the dynamics of whatever failures you make,” Levine said.

“No one failed. That’s what’s really crazy,” he continued. “So they didn’t get the $53,000 after taxes and the really crazy weird record deal that they are already going to get anyway. Those six people are winners and every single one of them should be proud for however much further they make it in the competition.

“I think actually, there are so many amazing allegiances that have been formed on the show that are so great that, that is the saddest thing to see end – the camaraderie amongst artists.

“It’s on to a new chapter for these guys,” he added. “Listen, the winner has to go home too. People don’t realize that. The winner probably experiences the biggest culture shock when they say to themselves, ‘Now what?’ The winner still has to go home. Don’t forget that.”

Cassadee Pope, Terry McDermott, Nicholas David and Trevin Hunte remain.

The Voice continues next Monday at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC.

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.

Episode Postmortem: The Live Playoffs, Night 10

The Voice - Season 3The 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.

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.

Episode Postmortem: Season 3 Live Shows, Night 6

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!

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.

Episode Postmortem: Season 3 Live Shows, Night 4

The Voice‘s Top 12 took the stage on Monday night to secure their spots in the Top 10 – and after the show ended, they spoke with Big Red Chairs to critique their performances and discuss what’s next for each of them.

“I honestly feel like I set out to accomplish what I did,” said Team Blake’s Michaela Paige, who opened the show with her rendition of Pink’s hit ‘Blow Me (One Last Kiss).’ “I picked a challenging song, which most people don’t think of that as a challenging song. I wanted to go out there and really show people that my hair doesn’t define me. I can still be a star regardless of all that jazz. So I really think that I accomplished that.”

If she advances to the next round, “I’m hoping to do a ballad,” she added. “I really want to show people the softer side of me and it’s about time that we do that.”

“I need to watch back my performance and really study it. But just in the moment, I really felt like I nailed it,” said Team Cee Lo’s Cody Belew on his take of Tina Turner’s ‘The Best.’

“I am an artist who has not really given away everything at the beginning. I’m layering it and that’s by design,” Cody explained. “Next round I’ve requested an even bigger, more epic song just because I keep wanting to prove to America that I can hang with the big dogs. I’m a fun guy but I can also bring it.”

Asked if he thought he’s been underestimated, he said, “I do, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It leaves room for surprise, for improvement.” He added with a laugh, “I can do pretty much any song you can throw at me. They’ve tried to get rid of me like four times now with giving me all these crazy songs to do. But I think I’ve consistently proven that I can hang.”

Of her performance of Florence and the Machine’s ‘Spectrum,’ Team Adam’s Amanda Brown said, “It’s in the direction of what my original music sounds like. It’s always difficult when you’re performing covers. It doesn’t represent you one hundred percent like your original music will.”

“I definitely want to continue to do music that maybe will give America a better idea of what my original music will sound like,” she continued. “I think people might be a little surprised but I definitely want to ease more in that direction from this point forward.”

Team Blake’s Terry McDermott characterized his choice of Boston’s ‘More Than A Feeling’ as “deliberately difficult,” and added that he has no concerns about continuing to stay in the classic rock genre that he’s impressed with thus far in the competition. “I know who I am and what I feel I am,” he explained, “and I feel like if I’m going up there, I should be honest and I should put on the kind of show that really, really exemplifies that and I think that’s what I want to stick to.”

Still, he knows that The Voice‘s younger audience might not know classic rock: “I’ve had some messages from people about [his blind audition song, The Who's] ‘Baba O’Riley’ saying, ‘Is that your song?’” he said with a laugh. “No, that is very much not my song and if it was my song, you’d be phoning me on a private island somewhere in the Bahamas.”

“This is what runs in my veins,” he added. “This is what I’ve been doing since I was a child and this is what I’ll be doing when I’m an old man. I would happily die on stage. You’d get spectacular ratings if somebody dies on stage,” he joked.

For Team Adam’s Melanie Martinez, Young the Giant’s ‘Cough Syrup’ was a challenge. “The song wasn’t really in my comfort [zone] I guess, but I’m just happy that I did it and happy that I got it over with in a way. I’m just excited,” she confided.

Going forward, she said that “I just want to show America a different side to me and kind of explore a little bit, but stay within who I am as an artist. The challenge is getting America to like me and vote for me. I’m just hoping.”

Team Blake’s Nicholas David was still processing his performance of the Huey Lewis and the News hit ‘The Power of Love’ as he walked the red carpet. “When I play, I kind of open myself up as a vessel, so it’s kind of hard to recall,” he admitted. “It will take me a little bit to come back.”

He added that he was surprised to have won America’s vote last week “To a certain degree. But this whole adventure never ceases to amaze me. All these turns and twists, I can’t not be surprised. I go into every situation with an open mind and an open heart.”

What would he like to do next? “I really hope to be able to play the piano,” he said. “I’ve been playing the piano for longer than I’ve been singing.”

He added that he’s planning something after the show with his battle round partner, Todd Kessler. “We’ve already spoken about that while we were here,” he explained. “We just gravitated toward each other and became brothers. He calls every day before the shows and stuff. He lives in Chicago and I live in Minnesota, so we’re not too far apart. That’s definitely on the to-do list.”

Fan favorite Trevin Hunte said that the rave reviews of his past performances both gave him confidence and added pressure as he sung ‘When a Man Loves a Woman.’ “It does add a little pressure,” he explained, “but from the time I stepped on the stage in the blind [auditions] I feel like I’ve grown as a person and an artist. I think I’m getting more confident. I strive to just give a good performance so I’m definitely happy and excited with what I did tonight.”

Should he move forward, “I want to show America a different side of me. I feel like I’ve been sticking to the very strong ballads. I want to show America I can do pop or even country.”

Team Christina’s Sylvia Yacoub performed the Celine Dion hit ‘My Heart Will Go On,’ and afterward she said, “I feel like I went out there and I wanted to do something that was a risk and put my voice in it. I feel so good about it. I hope it encourages people to take risks.”

While she played coy with her ideas for the future, she did say that “I just want to be known as a singer that people feel like they can relate with, [that] they feel like they can listen to my music and really feel a connection. I obviously want to put out fun pop music and stuff like that, but I want to be that voice for people.”

Team Blake’s Cassadee Pope left her heart out on the stage with her version of ‘Behind These Hazel Eyes’ by Kelly Clarkson, which she said reminded her of her relationship with her father. “I am so happy,” she said. “I just wanted to pour my heart and soul into it and I felt it. I was on the verge of tears the whole time because I was just so overwhelmed with emotions, happiness and sadness, just all of it. I just went out there and gave it everything.”

Having well established herself as a pop-rock singer, she’s ready to move on: “I absolutely want to try something different. I felt like tonight was the last night to really set in stone what kind of artist I am. Last week Adam [Levine] wasn’t sure and I was kind of afraid that America wasn’t sure. I was like ‘Okay, I’ve gotta stick one last one in there,’ but I’m ready to kind of expand. I feel like I’ve showed everyone who I am and I can move on to something different.”

“I want to definitely take it down a notch and do a ballad,” she added. “I just want people to connect with me. When Christina told me that she understood what I was going through with my father, it made me feel like, okay. That’s one of the biggest reasons I’m doing this is for people to be able to relate to me and connect with what I’m singing. I hope that continues.”

“I wanted to just really have fun with it and perform. I wanted to give a good performance and I think I did,” said Team Christina’s Adriana Louise after her performance of Carrie Underwood’s ‘Good Girl.’

“I’m really, really wanting to show that I can do an epic power ballad,” she added. “I live for those. I want to sing that so bad. I want to show that I’m more than just singing a fun little song. I want to be able to sing my face off.”

“I’m still freaking out about it,” she added, reflecting on Christina Aguilera’s decision to save her last week. “In my head I was going home. I packed that morning. Because I wasn’t entirely happy with my performance last week. And it was me, Devyn [DeLoera] and De’Borah. Devyn’s my best friend and De’borah was my roommate. I totally thought De’borah was going to get saved by Christina. It’s just shocking.”

Adriana’s teammate and fan favorite Dez Duron is enjoying the ride. “I had fun out on stage singing one of my favorite songs in the world so I cannot ask for anything more,” he said after singing ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.’

Having returned to The Voice stage after missing the cut last year, he said that his time on the sidelines proved helpful. “There are a lot of changes this season that I was not ready for. The live playoffs and the knockouts really caught me off guard,” he admitted. “But getting to sit back and watch what the show is about definitely helped me out.”

“I want to learn everything that I can from my coach,” he added. “She is the best coach I could ever ask for. She is even better than I could have imagined. I want to show America everything I’ve got.”

Now his fate, and everyone else’s, is in your hands. 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!

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.

Artist Interview: Meet Team Adam’s Melanie Martinez

You saw her do a fantastic version of “Lights” with Caitlin Michele last week on The Voice – but who is Team Adam’s Melanie Martinez?

“Sometimes people are like ‘You look a lot smaller than the voice that comes out of you,’ [but] only when it’s like certain songs,” she said, referring to advisor Mary J. Blige‘s remark that she was surprised by her depth during rehearsal. Though she looks young, New York native Melanie is both a talented singer and photographer, with her own distinct style.

“I honestly didn’t know how it was with singing shows. I auditioned for American Idol once but I didn’t make it,” she added of her experience so far on The Voice. “I totally did not expect everyone to be like so close. We jam together and eat together. I’ve gained some really close friends.”

Melanie is the fifth contestant on The Voice to have also auditioned for Idol, after Season 1′s Frenchie Davis and Vicci Martinez and Season 2′s Jamar Rogers and Chris Mann, all of whom ended up as at least semifinalists when they appeared on The Voice. She has her sights set on continuing that trend. “I’m just hoping to get a deal out of all of this,” she said. “If I make it to the top four, then I’m completely determined to win. It’s the only thing on my mind right now.”

As for preparing for that astonishing battle round, “It was all a blur to me. You kind of get a little starstruck.” And even though we didn’t get to see that “me and Caitlin were kind of like fooling around during rehearsal,” she added that it still wasn’t easy to compete against a member of her own team. “I was really emotional the whole week of rehearsals and everything. It’s really tough. Ask anybody, the battle rounds are probably the most nervewracking. And Caitlin is amazing. I was so nervous. I did not expect to win at all. I think they covered that I get really emotional and I’m a huge crybaby!”

“I want to get out of my comfort zone. I want to explore a little bit,” she told me, hoping that she’ll get a chance to sing something a little cooler or jazzier while she’s in the competition. “With the songs, you always have to negotiate,” she added, referring to the fact that producers have to find music that’s cleared for use and also not too obscure for the viewing audience.

Yet she’s got the perfect coach for that goal, given that Adam Levine‘s past choices have included not-exactly-mainstream songs like Radiohead’s “Creep” and Sublime’s “Santeria,” and he’s on record as saying that he doesn’t want to change her style.

Speaking of Adam, “I think that I’ve really grown as an artist, being on his team. He’s given me some great advice and I gained a lot of confidence, even though we haven’t had as much time because the show works fast,” Melanie said. “Everybody talks about how he’s really great. He’s a great coach. I definitely think I picked the right coach.”

You’ll see Melanie again in the knockout rounds in a few weeks. Until then, you can follow Melanie on Twitter (@MelanieLBBH) and check her out on Facebook (Facebook.com/MelanieMartinezMusic).

(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Exclusive to Big Red Chairs. No reproduction permitted. All rights reserved.