Stephanie Rice – The Voice
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) I was wondering about your save me song last night. Could you explain why you chose that song to sing?
A) I chose that song to sing because I hadn’t really shown that style of music before and I’m honestly just a really big fan of the artistry of Julia Michaels.
Q) Do you think that song had any impact on your not being saved?
A I don’t think that it was song choice per se, but I think that wasn’t my strongest performance of that song and I’m the type of singer that I always wear my heart on my sleeve. And when I realized I was in the bottom two, I had a pretty heavy heart and I think I let my emotions get the best of me. But that’s just the kind of person that I am and I’m always honest and open about it. And so you could kind of see exactly what was going on in my heart, I think, in that moment.
Q) So I’m wondering how much of a role you think Adam’s begging and pleasing with home viewers to save Mark played in your elimination? In other words, do you think fans really voted based on the quality of the instant save performances or do you think it’s huge to have someone like Adam in your corner since he’s so passionate and convincing?
A) I think it’s huge to have Adam in your corner for many reasons. I think Alicia also had some amazing things to say about me, but Adam has been on the show since the beginning and he has a very large support and fan base. And I knew also that Mark had more of a twitter following than I had been able to gain on the show. So I don’t know how much of it is quality of performances that the save songs have, but I do know that it has to do with how many fans you have on — in that one five minute window. But Mark killed his performance and he did have a great quality of a performance. Honestly, Mark has always been a super sweetheart. What you see on TV is actually who he is and I’m very happy for him.
Q) I wondered what is the legacy that you wish to leave? What do you want people to remember you by?
A) I want to be remembered as a person who has a story of survival, that I represent everyone who’s ever felt unloved in their lives and that you can find something positive to dedicate your life to. And my goal was to hopefully impact just one life, and fortunately, I’ve been able to receive a lot of love and messages from people all over the world saying that my story has helped them in their own personal journey. And honestly, I wasn’t expecting that much of an impact and I felt like that was even more important than the singing itself.
Q) Stephanie, you were really brave in being — you were just so honest about your life, and where you were at, and how you were feeling. And I was wondering if you think that homophobia had any effect on your elimination at the time? It was real surprising that you were in the bottom two and I was wondering if you think that homophobia might have contributed to that?
A) That’s a tough question. I think everyone has their own beliefs and I can’t really speak for anyone’s own mindset or opinions of me. And also, I try not to worry myself with that. My goal in sharing my story was for people who were feeling alone and I didn’t want them to feel like they were going through that alone. And that’s all I really have to say on that.
Q) Stephanie, could you compare your experiences from you working with Gwen and Alicia? Like which coach do you think was a better fit for you when taking into account your style, your music, and performance preferences, things like that.
A) I definitely felt there was a pure magic working with Alicia Keys. I’m definitely grateful for Gwen and turning her chair for me, and everything that she imparted to me warehouse net income was working with her. But I definitely feel like working with Alicia Keys was meant to be. And her artistry is something that I connected to. I’m a songwriter myself as she is and I write a lot of songs on the piano, as she does. And I aspire to sing with as much soul as she does. And I’ve learned so many invaluable things from here. And she’s just impacted my life permanently.
Q) And I noticed that Troy [Ramey], Mark, and yourself have been the people in the bottom two. And all three of you, ironically, were saved by your coaches in the live playoffs round. I guess did you naturally feel you were at a disadvantage of because of that, going into the live shows? And did you feel you had to work harder than the average contestant for votes. Or maybe you think it’s just a coincidence.
Stephanie Rice: I felt a little bit — I guess I could say I felt a little bit at a disadvantage knowing that I wasn’t saved from America that first live round, but I always felt like I had to work harder every day. I felt like I was in the one in the competition that had the least exposure to music, and songs were chosen for me, and I didn’t know the songs. And I had less than a week to learn a range and comfortably perform a song for live television. And honestly, I’m just really proud to say that I made it as far as I did.
Q) So now that you’re the Voice journey has ended, could you talk a little bit about what you plan to do next?
A) I am already working on what I plan on doing next. So I have received so much love from so many people and my one goal is to return that love in the form of songs. And I have written new songs already and my — the first thing I’m already trying to get together is getting into a studio and recording a song to release my first single. And I cannot wait to release this new music, and the people that have been so supportive and following me on this journey are excited about this. And I don’t feel like this journey is over in the least bit. And I feel like it’s just the beginning.
Q) You mentioned this — something about this earlier, I guess, Stephanie. But after the commercial break when viewers voted for the instant save, you did have this defeated look on your face and were kind of staring down at the stage. So I guess what was going through your mind in that moment, because it did look like you already knew Mark had won the save before Carson Daly announced it.
A) Well, I knew Mark had a larger Twitter following than I did and also knew that Adam had a large fan base since he’s been on the show from the beginning. And I wouldn’t say that I was feeling defeated in that moment. I did feel like my emotions got the best of me in that performance, but I can’t have any regrets about that because that’s the type of performer I have been and will always be. And I was obviously feeling very emotional being in the bottom two. But I wasn’t defeated. I was just not ready to go home and I was apprehensive of what the outcome was going to be. And when they said his name, I had a moment of like ooh, ouch, and then immediately began making peace with it.
Q) And I just want to clarify something. Do you guys have any awareness of what the voting poll is, like the votes that are coming, or are you just totally blind until that one announcement comes?
A) No, we have no idea.
Q) Can you tell me artists you’d most like to collaborate with and why?
A) My favorite band is Coldplay and actually, before coming on this show, one of my dreams was working with and singing with Alicia Keys. I used to fantasize about that in my head and that became a reality. And so I’m pretty much – despite the fact that I’m not on the show anymore — I’m still feeling on cloud nine about the performance last night. But Coldplay is a band that I grew to love at a young age and it was the first secular band I was exposed to. And I think Chris Martin is an incredible singer-songwriter and I think a lot of my songs that I’ll be releasing will have a little bit of a Coldplay feel to it.
Q) Well, I bet you were hoping that he was going to be back on the show, right, Chris Martin?
Stephanie Rice: Yes, that would have been incredible.
Q) I was wondering, Stephanie, how intimidating was it to come into the competition without — you were talking about how sheltered your childhood was and you didn’t have a vast knowledge of pop music. So you had to sing — you didn’t have to but you wound up singing a couple of songs that you didn’t know previously. And I was wondering what that was like for you.
A) It was really intimidating going into, but I was up the challenge. I think every time that you challenge yourself, you grow. And I’ve had exponential amount of growth being on this journey. The biggest challenge for me was when it went live, and therefore the time constraint was a lot shorter. And there were times where I felt like, oh no, I wonder if I can do this. But each week, I got up there and was able to deliver a performance and that gave me more inspiration going into the next week.