News Roundup: November 7, 2013

The Voice - Season 5

News and notes from around The Voice universe:

Congratulations are in order for coach Blake Shelton, whose album Based on a True Story won Album of the Year at Wednesday night’s Country Music Awards. Blake also nabbed his fourth straight Male Vocalist of the Year trophy. His wife (and one-time Voice advisor) Miranda Lambert was named Female Vocalist of the Year for her fourth straight victory.

We also want to give a shoutout to an extended member of the Voice family: Rodney Clawson, the husband of Team Adam’s Nicolle Galyon (from Season 2), was named Songwriter of the Year at the 2013 BMI Country Awards on Tuesday.

Season 3 runner-up Terry McDermott (Team Blake) has been a really busy dude since leaving the show. Firstly, he and fellow alum Cody Belew have been sighted stepping in to partially fill Christina Milian’s social media correspondent shoes. Terry can be seen interviewing the Season 5 artists after their battle rounds in exclusive videos on Sprint’s new The Voice Unlimited Access minisite (you’ll have to set the filter to “Sprint Exclusives” and scroll back to find them). Our thanks to reader Mariah Skye for pointing out these great videos!

Terry also released his next single, “Lose This Feeling,” on Halloween. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can snag it off of iTunes by clicking here.

Lastly, we accidentally revealed this before it was official (whoops), but now we can officially say it: Season 2 finalist (and one of our favorite folks!) Tony Lucca has joined up with the National Football League for a pair of high-profile gigs. He’ll be playing during the halftime show of this year’s Thanksgiving Day game, which features Tony’s hometown Detroit Lions. He’ll also be taping some material for the NFL’s Play60 campaign, which encourages kids to get outside and play for at least 60 minutes a day.

For more on what Tony’s doing currently, you can click over to our recent interview with him, conducted during his recent West Coast tour. He’s currently on the road with Brendan James and support from Season 1’s Vicci Martinez.

In other new music, Team Cee Lo’s Justin Hopkins (Season 2) has released a new single, “One Heart” featuring Bryan G, to benefit Stop Hunger Now. It’s a great song by a great guy for a great cause. Click here to download it now.

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.

Countdown to ‘The Voice’ Season 4: What Have You Missed?

The Voice - Season 3We’re just shy of a month from a brand-new season of NBC’s The Voice, and only about two months removed from America crowning Team Blake’s Cassadee Pope the winner of the show’s third cycle. What’s been happening with the show and its artists since Cassadee won the title?

As has been heavily publicized, Season 4 will be the first with new coaches Shakira and Usher, who were introduced in the fall. You can read some of their early thoughts on joining The Voice here. This may also be the only season for the new arrivals, as previous coaches Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green – who are on a break this time around – have expressed interest in returning for Season 5 this fall. However, it’s worth noting that nothing has been finalized yet beyond Season 4.

The guest mentors this year will be Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum (Team Adam), Sheryl Crow (Team Blake), Joel Madden (Team Shakira) and Pharrell Williams (Team Usher).

Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope officially signed her recording deal with Universal and has been hard at work writing and recording ever since, according to her Facebook. Universal released a CD version of her Voice performances here. Cassadee posted a video update on her progress here.

Runner-up Terry McDermott hasn’t slowed down since leaving the show, either. In fact, he recently released a new single “Pictures” via SoundCloud, which he co-wrote with Dave Burman. His performance of “Baby, I Love Your Way” with Peter Frampton from the Voice finale was retroactively released on iTunes here.

Here’s a short list of major developments with other Voice artists, past and present.

Team Adam: Season 3’s Amanda Brown appears on the soundtrack to the recent Universal release Identity Thief, starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. Her teammate Bryan Keith brought some new music to his live show at the Gramercy Theater; you can watch the video here. Season 2’s Pip released his EP No Formalities; you can get it here. Tony Lucca is hard at work on his new album, and performing some new originals on the road, like “Reckless Love.” Kim Yarbrough is preparing for the release of her single “Brand New Day” (here’s a teaser video), guested on CBS’s Vegas, appears in the March 6 episode of TNT’s Southland, and her Nickelodeon project has been ordered to series. Katrina Parker is working on new music of her own after the successful funding of her Kickstarter project. Season 1’s Tim Mahoney released his next CD, Shine Through, which includes his Voice-related tune “Hey Adam Levine.” Casey Weston has a new album on the way; you can pre-order it here and stay tuned for an upcoming interview.

Team Blake: Season 3’s Suzanna Choffel released her new single “Guardians.” Season 2’s winner, Jermaine Paul, postponed the release of his post-show album Finally until sometime later this year; you can pre-order it at Amazon, although there’s no specific street date listed there. Season 2 alum Jordis Unga is in the home stretch of putting together her new album, and also won a Grammy this year for her work on Jimmy Cliff’s Rebirth, which took the trophy for Best Reggae Album. Erin Willett has recently posted a new cover.

Team Cee Lo: Season 3’s MacKenzie Bourg has dropped his debut single. Season 1’s Nakia is releasing his next EP, Drown In The Crimson Tide, and is playing a few tour dates in his home state of Texas. His battle round partner Tje Austin put out his new CD, Dreamin’ Big. Also, Paste Magazine wants to help you make your own Cee Lo Green.

Team Christina: Season 3’s Devyn DeLoera released a music video with Ready Revolution that you can find here, along with several covers on her Facebook page. She has new music coming your way on March 4. The busiest Voice alum by far is Season 2’s Chris Mann, who recently taped Chris Mann in Concert for PBS to be aired in March. Also next month, Chris will be announcing tour dates, one of which is New York’s Highline Ballroom. Lindsey Pavao put out her new single “No Revelation.” Moses Stone released new music; you can find “Beautiful Nightmare” here.

Season 4 of The Voice begins March 25. For the latest on all things related to NBC’s hit singing competition, you can visit Big Red Chairs.

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

January News Roundup

Howdy, The Voice fans! You might have noticed things got a little quiet around here in January, and for that I apologize. As some of you know, I work as a full-time TV reporter, which means I had to go off and cover all the new shows coming out this month. On top of that, I got sick. So, I’ve condensed all the news from January into this one handy post.

Here’s some of the important stuff that happened this month:

  • We learned who some of the mentors are for Season 4 of The Voice. Team Blake has Sheryl Crow (good choice, but will she be as funny as Michael Buble?!). Team Shakira has Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden (who is also a coach on The Voice Australia). Team Usher has Pharrell Williams. Team Adam, we’re looking in your direction…
  • Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope officially signed her record deal with Universal, and gave us a video update on what she’s been doing – find that here.
  • Blake Shelton put out a new single, “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” and announced spring tour dates. Go here for all your Blake info.
  • Pip‘s EP No Formalities is now available on iTunes, and Tje Austin has released his new album, Dreamin’ Big. Still to come is Tim Mahoney‘s new album, Shine Through. Stay tuned for reviews of all three coming this weekend!
  • Mathai is working on her new EP, tentatively set to release in February. Stay tuned…
  • Terry McDermott posted a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and some of his original music on SoundCloud.
  • Adam Levine hosted Saturday Night Live. You can find links to almost all the sketches Adam was in, over here.
  • Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera took home some People’s Choice Awards.
  • Katrina Parker launched a Kickstarter effort to fund her next release – go here for that.
  • Kim Yarbrough is busy acting: she’s got a guest spot on the upcoming season of TNT’s Southland and her Nickelodeon pilot was just picked up to series! Congrats, Kim!
  • Lots and lots of tour dates. Be sure to check out the tour calendar to see if your favorite artist is back on the road in January or February.
  • And congratulations to new coach Shakira on the birth of her son Milan!

Is there anything that I missed over the last month? Shoot me a comment and I’ll get it added to the site!

Episode Postmortem: Season 3 Finale

The Voice - Season 3NBC has crowned its third ‘The Voice’ in just over a year – and on Tuesday evening, the winner, the runners-up and the coaches joined Big Red Chairs on the red carpet to give their final thoughts about the junior season of the hit series.

Team Blake’s pop-rocker Cassadee Pope was named the winner of the competition at the end of Tuesday night’s season finale, joining previous winners Javier Colon from Team Adam in Season 1 and Jermaine Paul from Team Blake in Season 2.

Her win was expected by most of America – and also by her fellow finalists, teammate Terry McDermott and Team Cee Lo’s Nicholas David. “Absolutely,” said Terry when asked if he had thought Cassadee would take home the title. “I think the biggest reason we had that feeling was because her songs had been reaching such a large cross-section of the public. Her continually crushing iTunes speaks volumes for itself.”

“She deserves it,” he continued. “The right person’s won.”

Added Nicholas, “I had a feeling i was going to go a long time ago – but I never looked at it like a competition. I’ve always just been blessed to be here.”

Even Cassadee, who previously stated that she tried not to be affected by the buzz, said she felt confident in her chances. “At one point I felt like ‘Okay, this could become a reality,'” she said. “I actually felt that back when ‘Over You; got to number one. I was like, ‘If this keeps happening I might have a shot.'”

It proved to be just one of her many charting iTunes hits that helped deliver her the title – as those iTunes downloads which were in the Top 10 singles chart at the close of each round of voting had their total number of downloads (which then translated directly into votes) multiplied by ten.

Her coach, Blake Shelton, had plenty to say about Cassadee’s victory and how he would continue to support her after the show, as he has done with many of his artists throughout the history of The Voice. “She knows that this doesn’t end with the finale of The Voice, [our] relationship,” he told reporters. “I don’t want to make one dime off of her in my life, but i do want to see her go on to be a superstar and end up in relationships in this business that are the best for her.

“If I’ve got to get in the way of something that she doesn’t like or she doesn’t agree with, then I will because I’m her friend,” he continued. “I’m her friend, I’m Terry’s friend, and I will be until the day I die. I just want to see them do whatever it is they dream of doing because they’re good people and they deserve it.”

His fellow coaches Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera – who celebrated her birthday on Tuesday – also weighed in on Team Blake taking the title for the second straight season. “It’s not about did the right person win,” said Christina. “I just think that she kept improving week by week and I think we all recognized that.”

Agreed Adam, “It was her moment. Cassadee excelled at the best times. We’re really happy, even though it’s not our team, we’re happy for Cassadee.

“We chose Cassadee, too, she just didn’t choose us,” he quipped. “We all chose the winner, damn it.”

The coaches closed the season with one final performance reflecting on their three seasons together. As previously revealed in September, Christina and Cee Lo will not be part of The Voice Season 4. They will be replaced by Shakira and Usher respectively.

However, both Christina and Cee Lo are on record as saying they want to return for Season 5, as the series has been renewed through that fifth cycle, which is expected air in the fall of 2013.

What’s next for each of the three finalists? “I’m going to release something quick,” said Cassadee, who asked her fans to support the new music she’ll put out.. “I have to, and it’s going to be great.” You can keep up with her on Twitter at @CassadeePope.

“I’m going home,” said Minnesota native Nicholas, who has family time and Christmas shopping on his to-do list, as “I haven’t really had time to do anything except the show.” He can be found on Twitter at @thefeelin.

“I’ve always been motivated by new music and being part of it and creating it,” said Terry, who added that he has “an idea and direction” for what he wants to do next. His Twitter handle is @TerryMacMusic.

All three artists reflected on the many accomplishments they’d achieved through being part of The Voice‘s third season. “There’s so many, from the chair turning to meeting all the people,” said Nicholas. “Meeting Cee Lo, to sing with Cee Lo, meeting Bill Withers, to sing with Smokey Robinson. it’s a freaking adventure of a lifetime and that’s the truth.”

“I’ve been lucky enough to meet some wonderful people along this ride and really form relationships with some great people,” concurred Terry. “It’s made it such a pleasurable journey. there’s been nothing negative about this experience.”

Cassadee was able to perform with her musical idol, Avril Lavigne, and remarked that “I met her and she just blew my mind with how nice she was and how thankful she was to have me there.”

Still, she added, she’s ready to see what the music world has in store for her next. “I’m absolutely happy to move onto the next chapter,” she added.

The Voice returns in just over three months – Season 4 premieres on March 25, 2013.

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

(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.

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.

Interviews: A Few Minutes with Season 3’s Terry McDermott, Devyn DeLoera, Bryan Keith, Daniel Rosa and Joe Kirkland

You know that they can sing – but who are these artists who make up the new class of The Voice? I recently talked with some the first performers to make it through blind auditions: Terry McDermott (Team Blake), Devyn DeLoera (Team Christina), Bryan Keith (Team Adam), Daniel Rosa (Team Cee Lo) and Joe Kirkland (Team Adam). Here’s a little more from each of them.

“The flight home was actually going through my mind,” admitted Terry (@TerryMacMusic), who was the first artist to make a team in Season 3, but it came down to the wire. “I think you kind of see it on the television I go for the last note on the track and I look up,  and at that point the last thing I’ve seen is that there are no chairs turned around. I’m like ‘Oh well, that’s it then. Free flight home leaving tomorrow.’ I finished the note and I looked down and there’s three chairs turned around. I’m like ‘Okay, I’ll just put the bags on hold then!'”

As for why he chose to join Team Blake? Chalk that up to “Blake’s approach – he’s very supportive and he’s very hands-on. I got that impression from watching the previous season. There’s a very encouraging atmosphere when he’s working with his artists, a very positive, nurturing sense. That really carried over with me. I wanted to embrace that, I wanted to grab that if I could.”

With a laugh, he added, “Plus my wife’s an enormous country music fan and has worked on converting me, so she would have been mad at me if I hadn’t gone with Blake!”

Speaking of fans, Devyn (@DevynDeLoera) spoke of how her coach, Christina Aguilera, was an influence on her and how she reflected that influence in her choice to perform Christina’s “Ain’t No Other Man” in her blind audition. “Christina has inspired me,” she explained. “She’s a very strong woman and she stands up for what she believes in. She’s a strong vocalist. And I think she’s a very admirable celebrity because she keeps her personal life personal and she does her business. That was really inspiring. I’ve always looked up to her since I was a little kid.

“And that’s a song off of my favorite album of hers. I chose that song because I figured she would either love me or hate me, but I was willing to take the risk in case she loved me.” Now that Devyn is a pround member of Team Christina, we know the answer to that question.

“I was watching the show and I was like ‘I don’t even remember half the things that happened,’ confessed Daniel (@DanielRosaMusic), who made The Voice history by being the first artist to be turned down in one season, then come back and make it to the blind auditions a second time. This time, he was luckier and made Team Cee Lo. Asked what he was thinking when he saw chairs turn around, he said “I completely forgot what I was singing at that point. After that, it was just memories from then on.”

He reiterated a point he made on the show Monday, which is that he has no hard feelings from his experience before – in fact, he saw it as something positive and took the coaches’ constructive criticism to heart. “The greatest thing that ever could have happened to me was to not make it on the show last season,” he explained. “I know that last season helped me so much to get here. I feel like a completely different person from last season, so I think that’s really going to help me through.” Would that we all could take rejection as well as Daniel did.

Having also faced rough times with his band, Artist vs. Poet, Team Adam’s Joe (@joekavp) agreed that sometimes the negative can become a blessing in disguise. “The industry is extremely, extremely cutthroat,” he said, “and it was honestly a very difficult time just because we honestly were given  everything. We were a favorite on the label, and once everything went down it was just like ‘Who are you again?’ It literally went from love to like nothing.

“It’s extremely, extremely ruthless, but being told no is probably the best thing that can happen to someone in their career, because it straightens you up and it makes you figure out what you need to do. That’s what happened to us and we couldn’t be more grateful.”

He also explained why he chose Adam as his coach: “I know a lot about his history; he actually used to not be a front man, and I kind of really enjoyed the thought of him helping me figure out how to exactly be that front man. He comes from the same music-style background that I do. I felt like he’s the one who could teach me the most, so it honestly seemed like a perfect fit.”

Joe’s teammate on Team Adam is Bryan Keith (@BryanPeeps), who was the first Season 3 artist to have all four coaches want him on their team. Of having the entire panel vying for his talent, he said, “I kept picturing it to happen that way and it happened that way. It felt like a dream really coming true  right in front of me. Watching it with my family and friends just really put things into perspective and made me feel like I reached my goal.

“We knew what we were getting ourselves into by joining the show. And we started to just realize that this is like us leaving our mark; this is our chance to go out there, and this could be our last shot and we would just go for it.”

It was Joe who reaffirmed a sentiment many, many artists have spoken when it comes to The Voice: that this isn’t like any other singing competition before or since. “I checked it out and I noticed that the show was more unique than any of the shows I’d seen because it actually kind of held true to us as artists; it didn’t really try to make us seem any different than what we really are,” he explained, “like they were very open to the fact that I was in a band and I was trying to lead that band, and they didn’t try and just make me who they thought I could be. [We're] all unique individual artists, and The Voice promotes that instead of tries to hide it.”

Stay tuned to see how Terry, Devyn, Daniel, Bryan and Joe develop on their respective teams – and find out who joins them when we resume Season 3 blind auditions next Monday, September 17 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.