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: Nicholas David

Nicholas David

As The Voice gears up for another season, it’s time for us to fill you in on what some of the show’s great artists are up to now. Season 3 finalist Nicholas David has kept pretty busy since being a member of Team Cee Lo, and BFTV snagged some time with him recently to chat about the success of his Say Goodbye EP and the charity work that this awesomely down-to-earth performer has been doing abroad.

Nicholas has racked up plenty of travel miles since the June release of his EP, touring with the Avett Brothers on the West Coast, then visiting the East Coast and Texas. With successful shows behind him, he’s now focused on making even more new music. “We’ve been doing some recording in Los Angeles and Minnesota,” he told us. “When I got back from Mexico, I had my heart just blown wide open by working down there with the kids, and I was just so inspired I just started writing all this music. I came back and I couldn’t not write.”

The work to which he’s referring is the time he spent in Mexico with the Smile Network, a nonprofit organization that organizes groups to travel to third world countries to help those with cleft lips and palates. Nicholas pitched in by doing everything from visiting the homes of these folks in need, to literally carrying children in to surgery.

“It was a huge dose of perspective,” he reflected. “I was down there for like a week with some of the world’s finest surgeons and pediatricians and nursing assistants. And I’m down there like, ‘What am I doing down here?’ But then also I heard spirits like, ‘You’re down here to be yourself and by being you that’s enough.’ I’d play music to the different villagers that were waiting in the hallway. I was playing music for the kids.

“We got to go to one of the villages,” he continued, “and it was crazy. This guy, he has two kids and he makes seven dollars a week. To see that, but then to see in their eyes true happiness, and to hear the translators say they have everything because they have each other, that’s the real treasure. I walked away from that like a new man.”

In addition to working with Smile Network – he’s since been asked to be an ambassador for the organization – Nicholas is also involved with another charitable group, Blessings In A Backpack. Devoting time to helping others is important to him, and that’s no surprise when we’re talking about one of the most humble and kind people ever to have been on the Voice stage. In everything he does, he just radiates warmth and goodwill, and he’s someone that we’re proud to count as part of the show’s family.

Of course, there’s still professional work to be done, too. “I’d like to [tour] the Southeast, and I know we’re slotted to go to the South by Southwest Festival in Texas,” said Nicholas, who also performed at the historic Metrodome prior to its closing. “I’d like to try and get overseas. I’d also like to try to be in a Disney movie.”

And even with everything he’s doing in the world, with making music and playing shows and doing good deeds for the less fortunate, he’s still putting his family first. “With as busy as this has been, I’m trying to spend a lot of time with my kids,” he told us. “We’re playing a lot of Legos.”

You can download Nicholas’s EP on iTunes, visit his official website (thefeelin.com), which contains his personal blog, and follow him on Twitter (@thefeelin).

The Voice returns to NBC on Monday, February 24; for more on the show and all of its past artists, you can visit our sister site (bigredchairs.com) and follow us on Twitter (@bigredchairs).

(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.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael J Media

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: Nicholas David

The Voice - Season 4

Nicholas David is coming back to Los Angeles. The singer-songwriter, who captured America’s attention as the third-place finisher in Season 3 of NBC’s The Voice, has been on a roll ever since his time on the series ended. He’s released an EP (produced by Voice bandleader Paul Mirkovich), toured steadily, and even returned to the hit reality show’s stage for an encore performance. BFTV caught up with Nicholas on Monday to preview tonight’s gig at the El Rey Theater, and look forward to the future.

Fans who come to the show can expect “a lot of new material,” Nicholas told us. “We’re getting ready to work on a new album. [There are] some of the things from the EP. [Also] touching on some of the stuff from The Voice. We pay tribute to that – but we add a little spice on some of those songs.”

He’ll be supported by his own band, The Feelin. “I’m so excited to bring them out here,” he gushed. “I’m super-excited to be back, back in California, back in LA, back in Hollywood. But it’s fun to be back with my band. This is a dream come true not only for myself but for a lot of them too.” Fellow Voice alum Mackenzie Bourg (who, like Nicholas, was part of Team Cee Lo Green in Season 3) and Amber Rubarth will also be joining him on the bill.

The performance at the El Rey is just step one for Nicholas, with the announcement coming earlier this week that he would be joining The Avett Brothers on tour from October 4 through October 20. He’s also still enjoying the positive reception to his EP, Say Goodbye, which arrived in June. “How the majority of people got to know me was kind of like soul music. So putting out some of the more folky stuff, I didn’t know how people were going to take it,” he said. “It’s been really good. A lot of people have been commenting on it. It’s really cool just to see that people are responding to it in a positive way.”

Yet while he appreciates his present situation, he’s wasting no time looking towards his future. “I’m already kind of on to the next music project. I love recording and I love that process and I love creating. I like to say the tunes, they’re born and then they age,” he explained. “We’re actually doing some recording with the band while the band’s out in Hollywood. Recording some new material and getting that ready to go for the new record. We’re working up some stuff for September, but it’s not solidified yet.”

Here is Nicholas performing the title track from his EP in June.

The buzz has multiplied since Nicholas’s time on The Voice last fall, during which he surprised America by making it all the way to the finals, behind only Terry McDermott and eventual winner Cassadee Pope. Looking back on the experience, “I didn’t really have any expectations going into it, because I never really knew what to expect from it,” he told us. “I really didn’t know how to take it. It was a total leap of faith. I remember before the chairs turned [during his blind audition], I was like ‘If the chairs turn, awesome. If they don’t, awesome.’

“It just kept going [and] I just kept that open mentality. It was more an opportunity which turned into an adventure,” he continued. “People still recognize [me] and say thank you, and say they loved it and this and that. It’s cool to get recognized and I love that stuff. Without any of that. I wouldn’t be going on these adventures.”

“I give back as much as I can. I believe we’ve all been given gifts and we’ve got to use them,” Nicholas added. “What’s really important is that these people, [I'm] touching their hearts. Sometimes they have tears in their eyes when they speak about it. I definitely say I’m enjoying the ride.”

Nicholas David performs at the El Rey Theater tonight, August 14; you can purchase tickets here. You can also find out more about Nicholas by visiting his official website (thefeelin.com) and following him on Twitter (@thefeelin). His new EP, Say Goodbye, is available on iTunes by clicking here.

(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.

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.

Episode Postmortem: Season 3 Performance Finale

The Voice - Season 3The Voice is less than 24 hours away from crowning a Season 3 winner. As they waited for America’s votes, finalists Terry McDermott, Cassadee Pope and Nicholas David joined Big Red Chairs on the carpet to share their thoughts.

The evening started with a touching tribute to the victims of the recent Newtown, CT school shooting, as the Voice coaches joined their live show finalists, host Carson Daly and social media correspondent Christina Milian for a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” while holding placards with the names and ages of the victims. If you missed that opening performance, you can view it here.

The tragedy also affected Cassadee later in the evening, during her repeat performance of Blake Shelton’s hit “Over You,” as the artists were asked to reprise their top renditions of the season. “I connected with it even more now because I was thinking about Connecticut and how horrible that is and losing people,” she said afterward. “I was thinking about that.”

The show had to go on, however, and the artists made the most of it with a trio of new performances as well as duets with their coaches. “[The night] started off on a somber note but we’ve got to celebrate life while we have it,” said Nicholas. “I was excited to end [my run on] the show like that. [A] piano was on fire, things were blowing up, people were hanging from trapezes, there’s a mini Cee Lo. It was too cool.”

Going out on a big note was definitely his intention. “After last week’s performance being so stripped down and emotionally raw, I was like ‘Let’s just blow some stuff up,’” he continued. “Let’s go for it.”

Another surprise on Monday night was Adam Levine guesting on Blake Shelton and Terry’s performance of Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like A Lady” – with the shirtless Maroon 5 front man channeling Axl Rose. According to Terry, Adam’s wardrobe choice (or lack thereof) wasn’t part of the plan.

“I have no idea,” he said when asked where it came from. “All the way through rehearsals, he had a shirt on. There was no headband. There was nothing. So that was a surprise to us. That’s why when I looked over, Blake is laughing his ass off, and I’m like ‘Really, what the hell’s going on here?’”

“We had great fun with that,” he added. “It was just a nice little touch. we were having great fun in rehearsal but that just finished it off.”

Terry was shocked when Blake revealed that his father, Terry McDermott Sr., had flown to Los Angeles to support his son in the finale. “To have him in the room to feel the atmosphere, to see the action, it was wonderful,” he said, though he added that his heart might be a little weak after all the surprise appearances from his loved ones over the season. “I was like, you could just put me through an assault course or an endurance test, you don’t have to keep wheeling out family members,” he quipped.

With their final performances in the books, all the three artists can do is wait for America to vote and crown a winner. Cassadee is the favorite to win if you listen to Internet buzz, but not necessarily if you ask her. “I try not to let it affect me because I feel like the moment you get comfortable in this situation, the moment it bites you in the ass a little bit,” she explained. “It’s been a great encouragement and it makes me feel good, but I’ve always kind of been my worst critic.”

Never having looked at the series as a competition, Nicholas was just enjoying the experience. “This has been the adventure of a lifetime,” he reflected, “but I’m excited to close the chapter on this adventure and start a new book. I felt this was a good way to end it.”

Teammates Cassadee and Terry are now head-to-head, but Cassadee added that it’s not an uncomfortable experience to compete against her friend. “It’s not weird at all because we’re individuals,” she said. “Our coach makes us feel very special individually. He doesn’t do favoritism or anything like that. There’s never been a weird moment.”

“Frankly, we’ve never really been that competitive,” agreed Terry, who could have summed up the entirety of the Voice season as he said, “We get on so well, and the way we’ve always viewed it is you just leave it on the stage and then other people decide. Nobody’s trying to sabotage or be negative. We want the best for each other and if you win, it’s because you deserve to.”

The season 3 winner will be revealed as The Voice wraps up its two-night Season 3 finale Tuesday at the special time of 9 PM ET/PT on NBC.

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.