Ali Caldwell, Aaron Gibson, Brendan Fletcher & Christian Cuevas – The Voice
Q) Ali and Christian, both of you were performing in the instant save. What did you think your chances were of staying or going during that time?
Ali Caldwell: I had no idea honestly I was just going with the flow of with whatever was happening. Because you really don’t know because everybody’s so talented so I really didn’t know what was going to happen. I really didn’t expect to be in the bottom three so you don’t know which way it’s going to go.
Christian Cuevas: Yes most definitely I think that I feel the same way. I mean Ali and I — as we looked at each other before hand — and we were like man I don’t think we need to run it really quick. And we ended up being in the bottom three and I mean everything happens for a reason but I didn’t know what to think. It was just a really surreal moment and I’m happy with whatever the outcome would have came out to.
Q) Brendan, I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about your song choice this week. And did you and Adam choose it together.
Brendan Fletcher: He actually texted me and he was like, “Listen dude I think you should sing Angel by Sarah McLachlan.” And I was like, “You mean like the pet shelter song?” And he was like – he was like, “Yes I think that’s going to be a great idea.” And I was pretty excited about it because I was – I kind of wanted to recapture — I’m sorry I’m hearing feedback that’s a little weird — but I wanted to recapture what I did the week prior doing true colors. I wanted a chance to be able to kind of flip a song and do it my own way. I don’t think the song sounded anything like the original version which I was pretty happy about. I think it sounded – kind of came off like kind of a Van Morrison type song which I kind of – that’s kind of what the goal was. But looking back it might not have been the greatest song choice. But I was really happy and comfortable performing it on stage and, you know, hindsight’s 20/20. But this whole journey has been – it has been amazing and every time I got up there to sing I put my heart on the line – on the line. And I just hope everyone enjoyed it and – because I know I did.
Q) Were you surprised that you didn’t get a chance to sing?
Brendan Fletcher: I don’t think I’m allowed to say what my save song was but I know that if I had the chance to sing it it had – it potentially could have been my best song. And I’m not just, you know, I really do think it would have propelled me — if not into the finale — at least give – giving people one more glimpse into, you know, who I am as an artist. And what I could potentially do moving forward after the show. But I mean – again hindsight’s 20/20 and this show is literally a show about going home — only one person can win this thing. So every step of the way on this journey has been like playing with house money and it’s, you know, it’s just been so great. I’ve been so blessed to meet all these people and yes I’m mad I wasn’t able to sing the song but, you know, that’s the way it goes I guess.
Q) Aaron, we expect that we’d called you step on Aaron because of coming up from the bottom. You got a chance to know everybody that’s in the finals right now. Do you have a prediction kind of plan Wednesday morning quarterback of who you think might win this thing?
Aaron Gibson: Okay yes I mean I think that it’s still anybody’s game. I think it’s the first time in the season that they haven’t had, you know, like a very clear frontrunner. And, like, it all comes down to song choice. If I had to, you know, guess based on weeks prior who’s been doing, you know, the best on the charts and stuff I’d probably go with Sundance. But it really is anybody’s game. But if I have to choose, you know, I’ll say Sundance.
Q) Definitely and what’s next for you?
Aaron Gibson: Man I came into this writing music — I’m still writing music — and so I’m going to continue to write music. And you can expect a lot of new material maybe, you know, hopefully an album here sometime in the spring.
Q) Can you name one specific thing you learned on the voice that you’re going to apply in your future music career?
Brendan Fletcher: I would say that the main thing that I learned — and that I’m going to apply going forward — is to dream big. No dream is too, you know, unreachable – no dream is too intangible. And that’s what got me here I mean, you know, if you had told me months ago that I would be singing in the top eight of the show I would’ve never believed you. So just shooting for things that I would before the show think were impossible and that’s basically it yes.
Ali Caldwell: I would have to say what I’ve learned from my vocal coach (Celani) – just certain ways on how to work my voice, and the proper way to sing, and the proper way to use your instrument. As well as professionalism, as well is really branding yourself and your artistry and making sure that, you know, the world knows that you are a brand and you are an artist. I feel like being on the show has molded me more into who I am and it’s pretty awesome — I’m very happy with the outcome — I’m very happy with everything.
Christian Cuevas: The main thing I’ve learned from this whole experience is to be yourself and only you can be – only I can be the best person. I mean and Alicia really instilled that in my mind. And since the beginning just being the best person I can be as a human — and as an artist also. And I’ve gained a lot of self-confidence that I didn’t come in here with.
Aaron Gibson: Yes and this is Aaron – I think the minimal one thing I’ve like from this is pure just, like, confidence in myself and staying true to myself and not worrying about other people’s opinions. You know, I used to believe that you could write, you know, something like a perfect song that everyone likes. But unfortunately that’s not the case so now I just need to be true to me and moving forward that’s something that I completely plan on doing.
Q) A couple of you touched upon this briefly but just I want to know how you felt following Monday night’s performance show. Like, what were you anticipating would happen in terms of the results? You know, did you see yourself making the final four? Did you think it was a long shot? Were you surprised about the results? Just things like that I guess we can start with Ali.
Ali Caldwell: Like I said before, like, I had no idea what to expect. So I just made sure that I came into my performance and left my all on the stage and did the best that I possibly could. And just made sure that I showed the world that this is really my passion and this is what I love to do. So that’s really the job the only job that I had for Monday and going into Tuesday. I just had all of the faith and kept praying, you know, and I mean I wasn’t expecting the out – whatever the decision was. But I was just so okay and so happy with where I was in the competition and just my – whatever happened from the beginning to now — I was so okay with it. And I felt like – I, you know, I felt like I did what I had to do here and it’s – I’m fine with it and I’m happy. It is what it is.
Christian Cuevas: Yes most definitely I mean all of us come in here expecting to keep going to the next week without even knowing if we’re going to make it to the next week. So when we got into the live shows — I know me specifically — I was thinking man it’s not even up to my coach anymore. So it doesn’t really matter what my coach thinks of me but it’s up to America and if I did give them something that they enjoy weekly and everything. And Monday I felt was a long shot for me – it was something that I told Alicia I said accepted the fact that it’s a song that maybe a lot of people may not know and, or I’m going to get a lot of backlash from -due to the fact that it was a praise and worship song. But I mean my goal has been done and I came in not even knowing if I was going to pass my blind audition or not – making it this far was something great and I’m glad that I got to go. I’m getting to go home because of a song that I wanted to do for so long and God is the reason I’m here and if God is the reason I’m leaving then I’m cool with that.
Brendan Fletcher: Yes I mean every step of this competition has been like playing with house money and I never – every week I constantly kind of surprise myself. And only until recently — until last night — did I think that wow, you know I – there’s a chance that I could be in the finality of the show. But, you know, you don’t really know what to expect — everyone on the show is so talented. I’m really just happy that I’ve gotten this far — to be honest with you. Of course it’d be nice to go – to make it to the final episode but I mean we basically all made it to the end. That’s how I look at it and yes I mean I really have no regrets. And I think that’s the biggest thing so I’m just — no — I’m just really, really happy and I’m just going to keep making music going forward and keep dreaming big.
Aaron Gibson: Yes I’m a very analytical person so I was surprised I ended up in the bottom two. It seems to be a repeating pattern for me personally. But, you know, it’s – I had so much fun doing this, like, my personal journey — I think — ended about the way I expected it, just being realistic. But I had no idea — as far as anybody else was concerned — for the rest of them that, you know, I don’t know how America decides any of this. So it’s — it was crazy — I love and respect everybody who I got to know during the course of this. And, you know, it’s naturally sad you want to go as far as possible. But I’m very positive right now and everything happens for a reason.
Q) Aaron, you mentioned this kind of pattern of being in the bottom two or three. So as it kept happening each week — that you were having to perform with the instant save — was it kind of getting frustrating that you kept landing in that bottom group?
Aaron Gibson: No — not at all — to be honest I got to sing more than anybody else on the show. So I guess for what that’s worth it’s awesome. Like, I came into this music is not a competition, this is about exposure, this is about proving something to myself. You know, everybody has different reasons for being on the show. And I guess, you know, I was able to be lucky enough to get to achieve all mine. And, you know, it was not frustrating at all, like every day here has beyond insanely amazing. It’s hard to describe, like, getting to hang out with your best friends every day and getting to work with them. And I mean we spend hours so I was just happy to be able to have extra time to hang out with them. So I’m just going to say music’s not a competition man — it’s an expression — so I’m not mad at all.
Q) Ali, I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about what it’s like to work with Miley Cyrus and why you chose her in the first place?
Ali Caldwell: Well I chose her in the first place because I’m one who goes off of my gut feeling and — not only did I do that — but she – I’m also a fan of hers. And it was kind of like – I felt like it would be the most amazing thing to combine our worlds together — our music knowledge together — and exactly what I hoped would happen has happened that times infinity. Like, it’s beyond what I thought it would be and I’m just super grateful that, you know, I still remained on her team and she believed in me. And not once have I ever been in the situation where I had to get, you know, stolen or, you know, I was never in the bottom two or anything. And I think it’s all because of the chemistry and the bond that was created in the belief in each other and the trust that we had in each other. And it’s amazing – I wouldn’t trade, you know, this experience for the world and the beautiful thing about it it’s beyond the show. You know, the bond and the relationship will still be there no matter what and I think that’s very, very special.
Q) Could you talk a little bit about your song choice on Monday which was the second Dolly Parton song you had done. And the arrangement was really interesting because you kind of melded Dolly and Whitney together. Could you talk a little bit about how you two came up with that?
Ali Caldwell: Absolutely it was so cool and unique how we came up with this idea. And that’s what made it so exciting for me. Because, like, not only am I a really huge fan of Whitney Houston and I grew up listening to her voice. She was the very first voice that I heard where I was like – all I saw was like fireworks in my eyes. So, you know, it’s really because of her that I’m even singing. And then you have Dolly Parton who is the mastermind behind even writing I will always love you as well as a whole other beautiful hits And being that that’s Miley’s godmother it was just so cool to even think about the idea to just combine, you know, them both. And also that was a challenge for me to be able to do that and, you know, that came with a whole bunch of sleepless nights and driving myself crazy. Because, you know, it may sound easy — but it wasn’t easy at all — I just had to find different areas to, you know, put Dolly in and then put Whitney in and but yet bring Ali Caldwell out. And I think, you know, that’s what happened on that stage and I’m very happy about it.
Q) Christian, you arguably had one of the bigger production songs on Monday — with the praise and worship style song — would that be in your – will that be in your future as far as song choice? Or moving forward on your career?
Christian Cuevas: Oh yes I mean – I believe that the horizon is – I will ever be – I believe that – I could see myself — I mean that’s the only thing I’ve done before the voice — is lead worship. And that’s not going to change – I dedicate – I’m not doing shows on Wednesday nights and I’m not doing shows on Sundays because I’m at church. And I got practice.
Q) I was wondering what’s most difficult the – basically these three things: choosing a song, making the song your own, and results night. From most difficult to least difficult?
Christian Cuevas: Most difficult part I think for me was picking the song because each week want to pick the right song. But – and then trying to come up with the arrangement for that song once you pick it and then choreography because I don’t like moving a lot and stuff. And I think actually that was the hardest part for me is trying to move. But yes I think that’s pretty much it.
Brendan Fletcher: I think the hardest part for me was dropping the guitar, and kind of being able to just be up there with a microphone, and opening my eyes, and smiling, and moving around the stage. That is something I’ve never done, like, only before the show was, like, karaoke was my biggest experience just with a microphone. So it was – I really have — I feel like I’ve come a long way — I’ve evolved as a performer on the show. So that was probably the most difficult part was coming out of my shell and I’m just so happy – I’m so grateful for this show for allowing me to do that.
Ali Caldwell: I would have to say – wow this is – okay – I would have to say song choice as well. Because what I wanted to do was not be in the box of just being an R and B singer because when I do my shows back at home I touch on all genres of music. But for some reason R and B was kind of like just slammed next to my name. So the most difficult part for me was just trying to break out of that – break that mold and doing that was a little bit difficult. But also it was fun because I got the chance to show the world, you know, that I’m influenced by all different kinds of music and not just one kind of music.
Aaron Gibson: Definitely the hardest part is song choice and the hardest is making the song my own and then I stand behind the microphone the matter what so choreography is easy so…
Q) For Ali and Christian — I want to just get a feel about how you guys felt about your instant save performances. And do you think Adam Levine’s speech ultimately influenced America to keep (Josh)? What he said about having something different in the finale with all the powerhouse voices.
Ali Caldwell: I honestly feel a little weird about the decisions that was made from our save choice song. Because that was actually a song that I kept putting at the top of my list for me to perform on the show as just, like, a regular performance show – I mean a regular performance song. And when they chose it as a save song I was kind of, you know, a little upset. Because I felt like that was a strong song, you know, for me and I felt like it would be great look, you know, on the show during the competition. But I mean it is what it is — I felt really good about my save song — it’s a Rihanna song it’s an amazing song she sounds amazing on it. And it’s a very strong song, you know, lyrics are very in I mean I feel like I did it justice. But so sad that I ended up going home and it sucks but it is what it…
Christian Cuevas: With my instant save song I felt like I did the best that I could and I feel like – I – and that was also another song that I had at the top of my list to play on the show and I would’ve done it a little bit different. But it’s one of those songs that you can’t really get the message across with just a minute and 50 seconds. And I mean – going towards – I mean I’m happy with how it came out and I’m happy with the decision – I’m so happy for – because everybody that’s in this competition is like a family member to me — my brothers and sisters — and that’s 100% honest. And I’m completely okay with the decision and when we were up there I was like nothing changes no matter what the outcome – it doesn’t matter. If nothing changes we still love each other, we don’t have hate for each other, no matter who keeps going and I’m staying true to that so…
Q) For Aaron and Brendan, you were the artists on the show with the like the raspy, unique deep voices and coaches always told you guys that you don’t need the bells and whistles and frills of high notes and production to succeed on The Voice. But I guess considering Aaron, like, you landing in the bottom week to week and the results of this week. I guess – do you agree with that? And how far did you expect to make it? Considering you had to sing again to people with these, you know, crazy ranges belting out Celine Dion songs and stuff.
Brendan Gibson: I think that the only thing that you can do is be true to yourself and music is not is something to put in a competitive realm, you know, it’s about creating and being unique. And I think once you start worrying about what everyone else is doing – you – it can affect you in a negative way. So my biggest plan is always being true to myself and singing songs that will serve me going forward. And I think people respond to — responded — to my voice not because of for the sole reason that I wasn’t really hitting 1 million notes and I, you know, I wasn’t my vocal range wasn’t crazy. I think it was a relatable, genuine voice so I think it served me well.
Aaron Gibson: Yes I think I couldn’t agree more with Brendan, you know, the – art is art. There’s so many different ways to interpret it – what some people find appealing others don’t. And, you know, I came here wanting to make my mark in any way I can. I think that Brendan and I both proved that you can do something different and get very far. And I mean I’m undefeated at thunder dome so for what that’s worth – no it’s – really it’s, like, it’s hard to describe. I mean I never expected to get as far as I did. I think that all of us are super unique in our ways and, you know, it was refreshing to know that America feels the same. That you don’t always have to be the kind of same technicality, like, you don’t have to be the same. You know, there’s different ranges so it was nice.
Q) Aaron, this is about your song choice on Monday and Miley mentioned in her remarks that you did it for her meaning that she kind of maybe had to twist your arm a little bit or talk you into it. Could you talk a little bit about that? And did you do you regret doing the song now?
Aaron Gibson: Well no I don’t have any regrets for any of the songs and I think that there was mentioned that poor song choice is probably on every song I picked. You know, that’s okay I loved every single song I got to do on the show. I did do the song at the request of Miley. I came to her with a different idea about – but she was happy to run with but then she felt this was a better, you know, pick. So I was completely happy to, you know — I trust her — and I trust her as a coach. And if she thinks she has a good idea, you know, who am I to say it’s not? So I have no regrets at all and I was very happy to do it.
Q) Aaron already answered this question earlier so I’d just like to hear from the three of you. I’m sure you guys believe one person doesn’t deserve to win the voice more than anyone else competing this season. But are you rooting for one person in particular to win? Or are you anticipating one person in particular will win?
Aaron Gibson: I want everyone to win.
Christian Cuevas: Yes.
Ali Caldwell: I would have to say the same thing. Everyone who’s still there is amazing so either way it goes we’re still going to celebrate. But I love but for the record I love at Sundance Head.
Christian Cuevas: At Sundance Head – yes I think everybody deserves to win. But I don’t think I think everyone that is involved with this whole experience ends up winning no matter what stage you leave in. This is an opportunity that not everyone can say they were – I mean no one else in the world can say they were on season 11 of The Voice. And that’s a win and we won last night too so…
Q) Ali, from talking to previously eliminated contestants this season I’ve gathered people thought members of Miley’s team were either at an advantage or disadvantage. An advantage because she has a huge loyal following on social media. But a disadvantage because she’s a little polarizing and, you know, I think some people worry that if people didn’t like Miley they wouldn’t vote for her team members. So I just want to get your perspective on all of this and do you feel the results have anything to do with being on her team?
Ali Caldwell: I feel like there’s people who have their own opinion and thoughts towards Miley. But at the end of the day I don’t think it had anything to do with the results. Because her following is her following and the world is the world, you know what I mean? Like it’s two different things. I don’t think her following controlled the results of what happened last night at all. She’s an amazing person I – I’m totally behind her 100%. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about her not one bit. So I mean she’s awesome and I think the results is what the results is. And it was the world’s decision not her fans, you know — it was her fans — but it was the world decision.