Episode Analysis: Blake Shelton and Meghan Linsey

THE VOICE -- "Live Semis" Episode 817A -- Pictured: Meghan Linsey -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

This week on The Voice, I take you behind the scenes to meet another prime partnership: Team Blake’s Meghan Linsey and her coach, Blake Shelton. Head on over to Starpulse as we find out who’s coaching who in this excellent working relationship.

Click here to read my The Voice interview with Blake Shelton and Meghan Linsey at Starpulse.

(c)2015 Brittany Frederick. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC

Artist Update: Gwen Sebastian

I had the opportunity last week to catch up with Gwen Sebastian, the fabulous Voice alumni who went from our show to singing with Blake Shelton and being nominated for an American Country Countdown Award. Click above to check out Gwen’s new music video, “Small Town Soul,” then click on over to Examiner to find out what Gwen’s up to now and into 2015.

Click here to read my interview with Gwen Sebastian at Examiner.

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Artist Update: Terry McDermott

The Voice

One of my favorite people from season three of The Voice was Terry McDermott. Terry’s been so busy, however, that we hadn’t spoken since he’d left the show – until now. So it’s my pleasure to bring you the latest and greatest from our fantastic Mr. McDermott as he and his band Lotus Crush prepare to bring out their new album. And yes, Terry is still as awesome as ever.

Click here to read my interview with Terry McDermott at Starpulse.

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

‘The Voice Tour’ Review

The Voice Tour

I had the opportunity to check out the new iteration of The Voice Tour in San Diego last week at one of its final stops, and now I can weigh in with my verdict. Was it as good as the first tour? Does it have what it takes to last more than one round? I weigh in on those issues, and spotlight some of the best performances, in my review at Examiner.  (It does not include  reference to when Will Champlin and Jake Worthington made me sing Taylor Swift. Sorry, America.)

Click here to read my The Voice Tour review at Examiner.

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Photo Credit: Melissa Borgmeyer for BFTV

5 Soundbites From The Top 10

The Voice

The Voice had a wild Monday night as the Top 10 performed hoping to reach the Top 8, while there were celebrity guests at hand and the coaches got into some shenanigans off-stage. Here are some of the interesting and amusing soundbites from the artists, as well as Shakira’s insight into getting her team back on the right track after a difficult first week of live playoffs, and Usher’s important advice to singers.

01) Delvin Choice didn’t know who Graham Nash was prior to rehearsal. Each of the coaches was permitted to bring in a new advisor, and Adam Levine chose Graham Nash, of the legendary trio Crosby Stills and Nash. But Team Adam’s Delvin didn’t know he was in the presence of a rock superstar until he looked Nash up online. “Once I realized who he was, I knew his name by the end of the night,” he quipped, going on to say, “He had a lot of great things to say. A lot of words of wisdom. He’s a legend. He can tell you how to rewrite your ABC’s and you’ll go back.”

02) Some people double-checked their microphones this week. After the snafu that caused half of Kristen Merlin’s performance to go unheard last Monday, there was some extra precaution when it came to making sure the equipment worked. “I think I checked it twice,” said Delvin. “During rehearsal, I think I checked it three times, because it really wasn’t on.”

The one singer who wasn’t fazed was the person the glitch actually happened to. Kristen told us, “I was just throwing it in their hands and hoping for the best.”

03) Shakira was very careful about picking the right guest mentor. With Team Shakira already down an artist, the Latin superstar brought in producer Busbee – who worked on her recent self-titled album Shakira as well as with Christina Aguilera and Season 1 runner-up Dia Frampton – to help them rebound. She told us why she thought he was the best choice for her duo.

“He’s an amazing producer with a great resume; he’s worked with Pink and Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum and me and Blake. So I thought that his opinion would be very valuable,” she said. “He’s very smart and very direct as well. And I needed that. I needed someone who would not beat around the bushes but deliver straight advice to my contestants. And he did. He did amazingly well.”

04) The artists don’t think that they’re as good as you think they are. We asked two frontrunners, Team Blake’s Sisaundra Lewis and Team Adam’s Christina Grimmie, if they feel like they’re at the top of the competition. They don’t. “I appreciate all the positive comments and everything, but there’s so much amazing talent on the show that there’s no way I would take it for granted that ‘Oh, God, you got this.’ No,” said Sisaundra. “Every single day I live in the moment and just try to practice and present excellence.”

“Tere are nine other incredible artists here and I would be foolish to think that I’m a solo frontrunner. That’s just a very arrogant way of going about it,” concurred Christina. “Everyone here is incredibly talented and any one of us could be going home at any time. I just keep telling myself, just work hard. Just do your thing.”

05) Usher’s tips for balancing everyone else’s opinions. How do you balance your opinions as an artist with those of your coach, your guest mentor of the week, and the social media feedback from America? Usher gave us his thoughts on keeping it all straight. “You know what you do?” he told us. “You go out there and you realize there’s no right or wrong. There’s just the hard work that you put in. Everyone’s going to have an opinion. Do your best, and walk away from it knowing that you gave it your all. That’s the one thing that I tell each and every person about life, period. Someone’s going to have an opinion, whether it’s art, whether it’s a conversation, whatever it may be… But you have to honestly be connected to what you’re doing.”

The Voice narrows down its Top 10 to the Top 8 tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC.

(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.

Blake Shelton Defends Holly Tucker On Twitter

The Voice - Season 4

Blake Shelton finally saw one of his singers sent home on this week’s The Voice elimination show. He also became the second coach to stir up some buzz in two weeks, as the country superstar had a few choice words for someone who made some unkind comments about the unlucky eliminee.

The Voice whittled its Top 6 down to the Top 5 on Tuesday night, and it was Holly Tucker, the Baylor marching band standout, who was sent home. Tucker was visibly upset when host Carson Daly revealed that America’s final save went not to her but to her teammates, The Swon Brothers.

Yet as emotional as she was, her reaction paled in comparison to Shelton’s Twitter speech after he caught wind of one blogger’s comments about Tucker late Tuesday night.

Houston Chronicle music critic Joey Guerra posted a link to his article regarding the results on Twitter, with the text “The Voice sends one singer back to Texas. Don’t worry, it’s not the one we care about.”

Whether it was that comment or the content of the article (or both) that irked Holly’s coach, we don’t know, but Shelton had some strong words for Guerra via his own Twitter account, some of which aren’t fit for print.

“It’s people like you that make me sick,” read Shelton’s first tweet of several on the subject. “Holly is not only a talented singer but a great person that’s simply chasing a dream.”

Later, he tweeted, “I swear to God I can’t understand the mentality of a grown man ripping on young kids over and over again for just trying their hardest. Kids!”

It’s not the first time that the Based on a True Story singer has stepped up to the plate to defend one of his The Voice singers. During season two, when teenage hopeful Raelynn was the subject of some rude remarks from another blogger, Shelton spoke out publicly to support her.

Shelton’s willingness to stand behind the singers on his team is a breath of fresh air in the often cynical entertainment business. It shows that he really does care about them, not just as reflections of him but for who they are as individuals, both on and off the show.

He also backs those words up with actions. As mentioned on-air this week, he keeps in touch with many of his former team members, including season one’s Xenia and season three’s Cassadee Pope, who performed on The Voice Tuesday night. Season two Team Blake member Gwen Sebastian is now one of Shelton’s backup singers and has toured with him almost since her departure from the competition.

While he might be on the verge of winning his third straight Voice title, what’s more impressive is that Shelton’s principles are everything America should want from a reality-competition coach: one who treats their artists as artists, not just TV acts, and who is there for them even when the cameras aren’t rolling. He understands that for these singers, it’s not just entertainment, but it’s them putting their real selves and career hopes out on display for a national audience.

He’s not the only coach on The Voice who’s emotionally invested in their performers. Last week, Adam Levine’s emotional reaction to the loss of two artists set off a controversy, as well. Given that, it might not have been the best time for Shelton to speak out so vehemently, but it’s understandable that he’d be protective of an artist he’s worked with for months.

What do you think of Shelton’s reaction? Do you believe reality-show judges should be more supportive of their artists? Should we hold critics and bloggers as responsible for their comments as we do celebrities? Sound off with your thoughts below.

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Excerpts appear at Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @bigredchairs.