Now that we’ve finished season 6 of The Voice, I’ve looked back and been struck by something. We’ve done 6 seasons, and in June, it’ll be 3 whole years I’ve been a part of this show. That amounts to countless moments shared with so many wonderful people, cast and crew, on the show and off. If you’ll allow me, I’d like to address those people right now.
Being a part of The Voice changed my life. It’s not really a secret anymore that my life was in a downward spiral when I started on the show, and what made all the difference was how I was welcomed into this family that embraced me, encouraged me, and made me a better person. I love celebrating each new winner as much as the next person (congratulations again, Josh Kaufman!) but what I think about, what I hold onto, are the people and the little moments we share that often have nothing to do with what you see on TV.
I want to thank Carson Daly, for being a wonderful steward of this The Voice experience. As a producer of the show, Carson’s always been forthcoming in explaining what’s going on behind the scenes so that we understand it. As a member of the music industry, his support of numerous artists after the show is something I’ve always admired, and that I aspired to when I started this blog. And as a friend, he paid me the highest compliment last season when he told me that I was family.
Thank you to so many artists for so many wonderful moments we’ve shared; I’m not going to be able to list you all here because this post would go on for pages, but I love and respect each one of you, and thank you for allowing me along for the ride, not just on the show, but the post-show interviews, the concerts you’ve let me crash, and just the pleasant mayhem. Thank you to Jamar Rogers for being my biggest cheerleader and Paulina Cerrilla for starting my fan club (I still can’t believe I have fans!). Thank you to my first friends from Season 2 – Katrina Parker, Nathan Parrett, and Kim Yarbrough – for proving to me that this wasn’t going to be just a one-and-done experience in my life. Thank you to Chris Mann for always being a stand-up guy and tolerating my numerous quips about how you always look perfect. Thank you to Vicci Martinez for pointing me out during the first tour when I thought nobody would notice I was there. Thank you to the numerous people who’ve tried to smuggle me into the wrap party every year, just because you thought I deserved to be there. And thank you to Jeff Jenkins, who first called me the “sixth member of Team Adam,” a badge of honor I’ve carried with me ever since.
We’ve also shared a lot that goes far beyond The Voice or even in music. You have all been with me through one surgery, numerous hospital visits, a cancer scare, three job changes, and two bouts of bronchitis. Your friendship and support never stopped just with the show. When I got the news during the Season 2 finale that I would need more surgery, it was Justin Hopkins, Pip, Erin Willett and everybody else from the show that I told first, and who rallied around me. It’s Justin who’s been my sounding board when I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I smile when I step onto the set and the stage manager and and the camera guys take the time to say ‘hello’ and ‘welcome back’. I’ve made so many friends from the show’s fan base, like Tara, Jai, and Melissa, who I never would have met otherwise. Thank you, everyone, for your kind words and your Tweets and your Facebook posts. You’re not just friends I knew for a time; you’ve stuck with me, and that’s real friendship.
For me, this has been everything, because this was the place where I gained the support, the emotional strength, and the knowledge to do everything else I’ve done afterward. I had some success with a show called Human Target (which I still love), but when The Voice came calling I was a relative unknown. Now I’ve done so much: I’ve been called out by Criss Angel, rode shotgun in three different race cars, seen my quotes on TV, and met so many fantastic people. All those doors opened because I started on The Voice and became the person you know and hopefully love today.
Now there are some people I do need to thank specifically because they are folks who’ve honestly shaped the woman I am today. A big thank-you to Tony Lucca, not only one of my favorite musicians, but also a good friend and a continual inspiration. Tony, in addition to the fact that I just love your music, the way you carry yourself and how hard you work drives me to be better. You are the benchmark for what a working musician should be. I have enjoyed every conversation we’ve ever had, and I really appreciate how you’ve always made yourself available for us to have those chats. It was through you that I met Krista, who is now one of my best friends, too. And one of the best moments from The Voice I still hold onto today is how you recognized me at CityWalk that one day from like twenty feet away. I love you, dude.
Thank you to the craziest person I know, Mr. Blake Shelton. Thank you for being exactly what a coach should be, not only supporting your artists after the show but having the courage to stand up for them when other idiots want to tear them down. Thank you for our running rivalry, which always cracks me up every time you mock my choice of shirt or when you asked me about Adam’s hair (with Adam standing right next to you). Thanks for introducing me to country music, which has led me to get to interview awesome folks like Ty Herndon. But mostly, thank you for all the love and support, like how you congratulated me on my NBC job, or how you took time out after that press conference at Mark Burnett’s house specifically to say hello to me. I’m so glad we met.
And thank you, of course, to my coach, my hero, and my guy in all things, Adam Levine. Holy hell, I think I’m running out of superlatives to talk about how awesome you are. Thank you for taking me from literally the worst point in my life and transforming me into the person flying high today. Every hug, every high-five, every few words we share just makes my day and lights a fire under me to keep kicking ass. I’ve learned so much from you (not to mention gained two guitars and a bunch of Hawaiian shirts and joined a Maroon 5 tribute band). You are not only the best musician I’ve ever heard, but you’re the best person I know, and you have always supported me as much as I’ve ever supported you. It’s the most awesome thing to look my hero in the eye and know I can call you an equal as well as a friend three years later. Thank you so much for staying in my corner, and letting me be in yours. I’ll always be your girl, no matter how much it pisses Blake off.
To close, thank you to everybody who’s been a part of this journey in one way or another, because it’s a really special thing we share. We’re not just voting for winners on a reality TV show; the totality of The Voice really is about changing lives, starting careers or giving them a second chance, and forming relationships to last a lifetime. I’ve been so blessed to be a part of that, and I look forward to being a part of it for many more years to come.
With so much love,