All Four Mentors Revealed for Season 4 of ‘The Voice’

The Voice - Season 4

Fans of NBC’s The Voice now know everyone who will be helping the superstar coaches when the show returns for its fourth season in March.

It was announced today through Access Hollywood that Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott will be the mentor for Team Adam. She and Adam Levine previously collaborated on the song “Out of Goodbyes,” which appeared on Maroon 5′s third studio album, Hands All Over.

Access Hollywood is a production of NBC’s parent company, NBCUniversal.

This follows the previous reveals of the other three mentors. Team Blake has enlisted the services of Sheryl Crow, while Team Usher will have Pharrell Williams, and Team Shakira is joined by Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden – who is himself a coach on the Australian version of The Voice.

The Voice returns on March 25.

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

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.

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: Season 3 Live Shows, Night 7

The Voice Season 3 is now down to eight.

The NBC competition series narrowed down its field by cutting another two vocalists on Tuesday night. Those two were Team Adam’s Bryan Keith and Team Christina’s Sylvia Yacoub, who joined Big Red Chairs on the red carpet afterward to discuss their eliminations.

An emotional Sylvia, who put off attending law school for music, said she had no doubt it was the right decision for her. “It’s scary to put a stop on school to achieve your dreams and I’m really happy. I love music so much that I couldn’t let it go. I don’t regret anything. I’m so happy with everything I’ve done and gone through and how much I’ve grown,” she explained.

“There’s so many things I learned about myself that I never would’ve learned without this show, without meeting these people, without working with my coach. I realize that I can go out there and I have a voice and I can make a difference and I can use music to do that.”

Looking past the show, “I’m really excited to kind of go out now and put out my own music. I write music and I’m really lyric-loving and I love analyzing lyrics. You still want to go out and be an artist and create your own stuff,” she said, adding that fans should keep an eye on YouTube for more from her.

Even though it wasn’t enough to save her, Sylvia doesn’t regret a thing about her performance from Monday night: “I left it all out there and it was the first time I went on stage and didn’t let the nerves get to me,” she said.

You can continue to support Sylvia by following her on Twitter (@sylvsyacoub) and visiting her Facebook page (Facebook.com/SylvsYacoub).

Sylvia’s departure means that Team Christina has only one artist remaining in the competition: Dez Duron.

Team Adam lost its first member of the Top 12 this week, as America sent home Bryan Keith, who turned four chairs during his blind audition and had been a consistently strong performer throughout Season 3.

Like Sylvia, he had no regrets about the way in which he exited the show. “I went out doing something that I love. Singing a Billy Joel song was an honor,” he said. “I’m just happy. I’m going to go home and watch all the videos over again and just enjoy the memories of being here.”

What are some of those memories he’ll treasure from his time on The Voice? “Just everything behind the scenes with my friends, the people that I met,” he continued. “Everyone’s so talented. People that didn’t get to move on in the competition, they had way more to offer than they got to. Those are the things I hold onto the most.”

As for Bryan’s next moves, he told fans to “Just look out for any music I’m going to be putting out, the shows I’m going to be doing.”

You can continue to support Bryan by following him on Twitter (@BryanPeeps) and visiting his Facebook page (Facebook.com/BryanKeithNYC).

The results show featured a performance by Team Christina with their coach – which you can view using the media player attached to this article – as well as a performance by Team Adam with coach Adam Levine, a fan-selected number by Teams Blake and Christina, and a special appearance by country hitmakers Rascal Flatts, who also popped by the red carpet after the show.

What’s next for them? “Sleep’s going to be great,” said lead singer Gary LeVox. Added his bandmate Jay DeMarcus, “We’re actually going to do the CMT Artist of the Year Awards with Hayden Panettiere, and that’s going to be fun co-hosting with her, and then we’re coming back out here to Los Angeles to film our own Christmas special called Home for the Holidays with Rascal Flatts.” The special will air on CBS (specific airdate and time TBA).

The trio are also releasing a new DVD, All Access and Uncovered, that will give fans insight into what makes the long-running group tick. “It’s tough to be in a band. When you have three different guys with three different distinct points of view and opinions, it can be very, very tough,” continued Jay. “Part of what our DVD deals with is how we work out those conflicts and how we keep the band together and how we try to approach everything with mutual love and respect for each other.”

Rascal Flatts’ new CD, Changed, is now available.

The Voice continues 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: 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.

From The Live Show…

Fireworks on the live show last night (figuratively and literally). Erin Willett had literal fire, but the sparks flew when America learned of Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera‘s instant eliminations. You can read my Starpulse article breaking down last night right here. There’s a lot of shock and some harsh words going around on the ‘net already, and I’d like to encourage everyone to focus your energy on supporting Jordis and Jesse, rather than being negative toward their coaches. We can’t change the results, but we can send some “love and light,” as Jesse would say, toward the artists.

In other news, not only did Maroon 5 drop their new single “Payphone,” but Team Adam’s Karla Davis has just released her new single Unbroken. You can download it by clicking on over to the Albums page and looking under “Season 2.” Congrats, Karla!

A Few More Articles…

If you missed it, here’s my Starpulse blog from this week’s eliminations show, with the post-show quotes and analysis of the picks (or lack thereof).

But the one I really love is this article here where I get to talk about the behind-the-scenes stuff I couldn’t get into a news post. I say goodbye to some friends, talk about almost tripping on stage, and thank my coach Adam Levine for doing something very special this week.

From The Results Show…

If you thought Monday was crazy, you didn’t see last night. Click here to read my coverage from the results show, including who went home, what everyone thought about it, and where you can hear the departing artists in the future. It was definitely a tough column to write!

We also learned something: Team Blake’s Naia Kete let us know that there’s only a certain list of songs the artists can choose to perform (ostensibly because of clearances). That explains why James Massone did “Find Your Love” in blind auditions and Sera Hill did it in live rounds, or Brian Fuente sung “Paris” in blinds and then we heard Ashley de la Rosa sing it last night, or how Naia herself sung “If I Were A Boy” which Cheesa Laureta sung at her blind audition, or Moses Stone did “Breakeven” after Xenia sung it in season one. Yep, only two and a half seasons in and the repetition is popping up a little. Let’s get these artists a bigger list!

From The Live Shows!

I know, I’ve been a bit slow in posting…but that’s because I was out all of yesterday working on the first live show! Click here to read my recap and quotes from the artists just moments after they finished the show. Stay tuned, because those interviews were so good, I still have more from them – plus I’ll be talking to the artists and coaches tonight after the elimination!