BWW Interviews - Artists from THE VOICE Blind Auditions - Part II
NBC's The Voice kicked off its fifth season this week. On night two of the competition, the artists who made it through their blind auditions included Jacquie Lee, Destinee Quinn, (Team Christina), Barry Black, Tessanne Chin, (Team Adam) Holly Henry, Austin Jenckes, E.G. Daily (Team Blake) and Jonny Gray, Cole Vosbury (Team CeeLo).
Below, the artists spoke to BWW and others about their experience on the NBC singing competition!
Holly and Destinee, after seeing you guys just once I'm so intrigued by your fashions and I was wondering can you both describe your personal sense of style?
Holly Henry: Well I wear a lot of black. I don't really know if I have a certain style. I like clothes that are a bit too big. I like dresses with lots of lace. I don't know, maybe you could describe it as slightly gothic but I don't know if that's exactly the right way to describe it. But yes, just lots of black.
Destinee Quinn: I can attest to that. I was her roommate, I saw her suitcase. For my style, definitely country. I love my cowgirl boots. And the cool part about country is I love the summery type looks, the flowers in the hair, that sweet like country look but then also I have another side of me that is that more rock and roll type of country. So it just depends on my mood really.
Holly, obviously it's a big jump to go from not performing to performing on The Voice. What made you think that this would be something that you could be successful at and what did you think of the judges' support that they showed you?
Holly Henry: I was honestly like really blown away by their support. I wasn't expecting one chair let alone all of them. So it was honestly just really shocking and really surprising and it just meant the world to me, you know? What was the other part of your question? I'm sorry.
How has Blake helped you with that performance aspect of who you are? How has he helped you to be more comfortable?
Holly Henry: Well I think just in general he has made me or helped me be a lot more confident. Also it's like the things he said, he has been so incredibly supportive like I honestly can't even - I don't know, he has said so many things, I can barely put it into words.
But he has just always been there and he's just really approachable and just easy to be around. So, I mean, I just take everything in, you know, because I don't know, it's like he's always there for me, you know? He's a good guy
Holly, this is the biggest crowd you've ever performed in front of. Can you describe what that is like?
Holly Henry: That was incredibly frightening. I have anxiety in general so that big of a crowd was extremely overwhelming. But at the same time like once I get up there and like I start to sing, you know, all that kind of fades away because it's just - it's a really beautiful moment, you know? So I don't know, it was really scary but it was also extremely rewarding.
When all four chairs spun around, what kind of thoughts went through your mind?
Holly Henry: I went into this whole audition not thinking I would even get one. I don't know, I just kind of did it for experience, kind of did it on a whim. So the fact that I got four chairs just was really confusing in a good way, in a good way. I was really surprised and I don't know, it just sort of - it boosted my confidence and it meant so much that all of them kind of heard something that they would like to work with, you know?
Tessanne the show last night was prerecorded. What was it like to watch yourself on television?
Tessanne Chin: Well we went to a family friend's house and we all, you know, in Jamaica we have to celebrate with food. So we celebrated with some food and honestly it was just a surreal experience to be able to share that with my family and to be able to share it with my friends and just to watch it back, it brought back every single emotion that was experienced while doing it and more.
Because, you know, what people don't see is how hard you work to get to that point, you know, and it was truly a moving experience and a super emotional one. I'm super happy to have gotten such wonderful support from, you know, my Jamaican people, my Caribbean people as well and, you know, I'm looking forward to making some new friends too, so yes.
You did you chose to sing Pink's Try?
Tessanne Chin: Because, you know, this was my - this was me getting up and trying again definitely, it was me getting up and trying again. So I thought that had a very strong message. And plus Pink is one of the top vocalists in my estimation so I wanted to do her justice.
Tessanne, how did it feel to perform on a mainstream stage?
Tessanne Chin: It was absolutely breathtaking. And, you know, this is what I've been working for my entire career. You know, when I was a little girl I'd watch people, of course I'd watch my local Jamaican artists but the people I had my eye on was like Celine Dion and Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner.
So to be able to even get that chance just to share the stage with these amazingly talented people that are auditioning as well and to be able to sing in front of, you know, some of the world's most elite artists, it was just absolutely breathtaking and I'm just so grateful, so grateful.
Why did you choose Adam over all the other judges when they all wanted you?
Tessanne Chin: For me I chose Adam because I think Adam is a musical chameleon. Like he can easily swing between pop, rock, you know, I can hear so many different elements and so many different genres of music in his music. And I like that because I myself hate to be put in a box, you know, and I think musically one should be free to try different things so I really relate to him in that way.
Destinee. In your taped bit that we saw in the show you mentioned you're a country singer but that at the biker bar you had to sing different songs. Do you see yourself strictly as a country singer?
Destinee Quinn: Hi. I love music in general so but country music is what comes naturally to me. I can sing other genres and I love singing songs from other genres because it grows me as my own kind of and just makes me a more rounded artist. But I do really believe that country is where I'm supposed to be.
Do you feel any pressure then knowing who won last year even though you're not on Blake's team?
Destinee Quinn: Oh not at all. You know, I'm on Christina's team and she's going to give me a whole new take on I think a different perspective than what Blake would give me being just a powerhouse vocalist which will help me in the long run.
E.G., you've been performing for quite a long time and have had a successful career in other entertainment areas. Why The Voice now?
E.G. Daily: You know, The Voice for me was something that I had not even thought of. I was actually doing - I was working on - I have kind of gone through a couple of years of kind of just like reevaluating my life and started realizing that I wasn't really happy with certain things in my life, I was sort of just walking through things and not really feeling the joy.
And I started doing this - a lot of little music things just for myself and for the joy of it, I wasn't doing it for any other reason. This woman that I was working with on this show that I sometimes hosted and I actually sang on which is called BalconyTVs and they're all over the world but I was on the BalconyTV LA.
She had asked me - no I had been working with her and then one day she just said, you know, I hope you're not mad at me but I got you an audition for something. And I was like what? And it turned out it was The Voice. And I was like well I don't really know if I'm going to qualify, you know, I just thought because of my history and my work I have done that I wouldn't have even qualified but she said no no, it didn't matter.
So it was really just something that I just said yes to because music is something that I love so much and it's my number one love. So there was no real question, it was like yes I would go do that, that would be fun. And I had no expectations, I had no idea what was going to happen. So getting to this point, making Blake's team was just like - it was like a dream that I have had my whole life.
Jonny, you had a very emotional performance and story last night. How was it watching yourself?
Jonny Gray: It was awesome actually. I got to see it one time before. They actually let the teams see the performance but I didn't get to see all that stuff with my family so that was really cool to see and everybody's reaction. I think that was the best part of the whole thing, actually watching my family just get so excited when somebody turned around, you know?
Courtney, so where did you get your boots?
Jacquie Lee: Oh okay, I got them from Vera Wang. I would have definitely taken them off my feet and given them to Ceelo in the moment.
E.G., this season we've seen several older artists excel in the blind auditions. And I was wondering if you thought a performing veteran like yourself has the chance to take home the title this season.
E.G. Daily: I just want to show up. You know, I just feel like if I just bring my - I just feel like the whole time I just feel like I just bring myself and what I love and my connection to music and my love of just, you know, I love the show so much.
I just feel like I just, you know, obviously I don't really - I love the saying, you know, if somebody - what's the saying -- how old would you be if someone did not - if you did not know how old you are. I sort of feel that way, I feel like how old would I be if I didn't know how old I am. I don't feel any different than Holly's age or anybody else. I just sort of feel like this whole person and I sing and I love it. And to get this opportunity is such a gift.
Yes I do have some, initially it was like how can they have me on the show, I'm such a different age bracket than everybody. But once you get on The Voice you see that it really is about your voice, it really isn't about who I am or what I've done or my age but it is about my voice or our voices.
So I'm trying to really on one hand transcend the voice thing, you know, the age thing, sorry, the age thing and on the other hand I'm trying to embrace the age thing and say that I'd like to represent all people that are in their 50s or 40s or 60s and say, you know, to never stop doing what you love to do.
Because here I am having this opportunity which wasn't something I was, you know, you couldn't have - if you would have asked me if I would have tried to be on The Voice, you know, when The Voice started, I would have never even been thinking along those lines.
But it's just a magical gift that, you know, my age is not making a difference, you know, it's not making or breaking difference. I think for me it's just - I'm just happy, it doesn't matter my age at this point.
Jonny, in the intro to your audition you said that you were just hoping that Adam Levine would turn around. He did but you wound up on Team Ceelo. Can you explain how that thought process went?
Jonny Gray: You know, I wanted to go with Adam just based on like musical preference, like I love his music, I really am a big fan of Maroon 5 and what they've done. And that record, I was listening to that record the whole time while I was deployed.
And so I just thought, you know, my first reaction was to pick Adam. But then, you know, when I was on stage after, you know, talking to both of them I just felt like Ceelo just knew me a little bit better, like he just kind of understood who I was and that just, you know, meant a lot.
Austin, could you explain to me how you made your coaching decision?
Austin Jenckes: Yes, you know, I think in the back of my head Ceelo and Blake were the two people that I really wanted to work with going into this whole experience. And the fact that they both turned made it very, you know, kind of ironic.