After five nights of the Blind Auditions, the four teams are now complete for The Voice season 9. Each coach has 12 artists they will now work with as the singers prepare for the Battle Rounds. During the last night of auditions, the final eight spots were filled, which was tough on the coaches since they had to be even more selective with who they turn their chairs for.
BuddyTV spoke with this final group of advancing artists during a conference call. Shelby Brown, Blaine Mitchell, Summer Schappell and Sydney Rhame shared their feelings about snagging the final spot on their respective teams. Did they know beforehand that they were the final singers chosen? Keep reading for the answer, and to find out about the contestants’ process of choosing a song and learn more about their musical styles.
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The Final Artists to Be Chosen
As this was the final night of the Blind Auditions, four of the contestants have the distinction of landing the very final spot on their respective teams. The singers had no idea how many were left. Shelby Brown didn’t find out until Adam mentioned it. “After my performance, I later found out that Blake only had one spot [as well],” she went on to say, “so the fact that they were risking their last spot on me, that really meant a lot.” Shelby felt proud of that moment, saying, “I’m proud of myself that someone like Adam Levine would risk his last spot on someone like me, just a small town girl, someone who never thought she would step foot on that stage.”
Blaine Mitchell explained that when he became Blake’s final artist, he was “elated.” “Throughout the performance, I really wasn’t watching the coaches,” he admitted. “I guess most of the time [it was because] my hair was in my face, so I couldn’t really see anyway. But when I looked up at the end and I saw Blake and Gwen both turned around, as soon as I saw that, [I felt] elated.”
Summer Schappell built on what the other singers discussed by saying the experience was “insane,” “incredible” and “awesome.” She added, “I’ve been such a huge, huge fan of Gwen for so long. And for her to turn her chair, especially for a country singer, it was mind-blowing.”
And for Sydney Rhame, she ended up not just being Pharrell’s final artist, but she was the very final artist chosen for the season. “Going into my audition, I didn’t realize that there was only one spot left,” she said. “So I was already just terrified as it was. But when I saw that Pharrell had turned around, it felt so amazing because he was my first choice.”
When did she find out she snagged the final spot? “When I saw Blake’s head, and then Adam’s head, and then Gwen’s head, I realized that there were no spots left. It was such an amazing moment for me. Even though the coaches didn’t have any spots left, they still liked what I was doing.”
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Choosing a Song and Finding a Musical Style
Picking the right song for the Blind Auditions is key because an odd choice that doesn’t fit their voice all that well just might result in no coaches turning around. Fortunately, the song selection process worked out in favor of the advancing artists. For Shelby Brown, she went with “Stars” because it had more of an emotional edge to it, and when she’s performing, she wants to be emotionally attached to the song.
Even though there was the possibility of landing on Blake’s team, Shelby is not just a country artist, and she proved that by going with a Grace Potter and the Nocturnals tune. Shelby noted that Potter is “a rock singer, but she’s also collaborated with Kenny Chesney, who’s a country singer. So it was very simple to take a rock song by someone who does country music every now and then to incorporate country into it.” That’s the kind of inspiration she looks to when focusing in on what her music style is.
Both Shelby and Chase Kerby brought up that they chose songs they felt they could connect to on an emotional level, with Chase saying, “Picking [Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’] was something that I felt like I needed to do because I need to be able to connect with the emotion and the lyrics behind it. So I figured if I go with a song that means something to me, hopefully I can convey that on stage.”
For Summer Schappell, she looks up to country superstars Kasey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert as examples of how country artists don’t have to be boxed in to just country music. Summer may sing country, but “I have always wanted to bring something a little different than what country has. I think it’s a little more pop and I would love to switch it up a little bit in the country world because I think it’s time for that.”
Amy Vachal took on the classic “Dream a Little Dream.” She mentioned that she went with that as her audition song because she has a love for old standards. “After choosing this song, I realized how there’s a pretty strong parallel to what we’re all daring to do [by going on The Voice]. When the stars are fading, when everything ends, to hold onto something, to hold onto a dream. I know that sounds corny, but I started to feel that in a real way.”
Amy says that her music style is a hybrid of sounds because she enjoys all different genres. “The best way I could describe it would be old-timey indie pop.” She went on to say, “But as any artist knows, you’re always evolving and you’re always trying to get to that perfect sound. … Going through the process of this show is really going to help me to probe into that in deeper ways.”
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)