The Voice – Mary Sarah, Shalyah Fearing, Bryan Bautista & Paxton Ingram
Q) Bryan, you sang “Adorn” for your instant save performance. Why did you go with that song?
Bryan Bautista: I mean, it’s just a song that I loved ever since I heard it. I love Miguel and I’ve always listed Miguel as one of my influences. So the music directors, they’re in close contact with us and they always ask us what would we like to sing. And they always offer suggestions and lists of songs and you know, as soon as I saw “Adorn” by Miguel, I was just, connected to it. So I felt like it was a good opportunity to sing another one of my influences on the show.
Q) Mary, what about you?
Mary Sarah: I love Carrie Underwood, obviously. You can tell on the show she has been in influence in my life for quite a while. And when this song came out, Something in the Water, I was in love with it. And have been singing it for quite a while. And just like Bryan said, we were given a list of songs and stuff and I saw that one on there and thought you know what? If anything, I want to do a song that is somewhat Christian because, you know, I wouldn’t be here without God in my life. And you know, it’s his plan not mine. So you know, to go out worshipping like that was pretty cool. And you know, it was something I knew I wouldn’t regret.
Q) I was actually hoping each of you could tell us what your next step will be in your music career and talk a little bit about the type of music you’d like to make when that time comes.
Bryan Bautista: The type of artist that I see myself is a contemporary artist. I love the songs that are out now and I love the vibe of music that I’m hearing on the radio today, and some underground stuff, too. I would just love to be a contemporary artist that’s like pop, soul, and R&B. So yes, just anything that I would sing I would just bring a soulful aspect to it, you know? I’ve worked hard to you know try to basically stay true to who I am on the show so all of my song selections basically reflect the type of artist that I want to be.
Paxton Ingram: So I’m a huge lover of pop music. That’s like my biggest foundation. So the type of album I would make would just be a glorious pop album with a lot of soul. Yes. It would be cool.
Mary Sarah: Yes. So, I think you know being on the show you definitely see the type of artist I really want to be. I tried to mix the contemporary country music and the traditional country music together because I’m a fan of both and you know was raised listening to both and so that’s definitely the type of artist I’d like to be. And as far as moving forward I hope to maybe strike a label deal or, you know, even an agency and get on the road and be able to, you know, visit the fans that I’ve made on the show and meet everybody and, you know, thank them for their support. And just you know, to keep in music here in the future and just, you know, I love it and I couldn’t see doing anything else.
Q) And on your case you had already released some music. Do you see your sound changing as a result of your time on the voice?
Mary Sarah: I have grown a lot as an artist and have really dived into different things and been around a lot of different things. And I would say it would be a little bit different but still with the same feel. But I’m excited I guess because it’s going to be a different – it’s always, you know I feel like as an artist you’re always growing so it’s never going to be the same thing and so it’s definitely not going to be the exact same of what I’ve already released so I’m pretty excited about that.
Shalyah Fearing: I definitely want to start writing music and put out an album. And I love R&B so I definitely want to put out an R&B album. And yes, I’m really young but I know that because of that I have a long career ahead of me and I just can’t wait to go to the places where my fans are and visit and tour and I just can’t wait to do a lot. And yes.
Q) And do you see yourself doing that solo? Because you’ve been part of a family band for a while.
Shalyah Fearing: I have been part of a family band for a while. And I am going to be going solo but I’m definitely going to keep my band intact, like wherever I go, they’ll go with me. But I definitely want to do a solo thing. Yes.
Q) For everyone, I’d like you to just talk about your elimination, like were you surprised? What emotions did you feel? What did your coaches say to you? Things like that.
Shalyah Fearing: It’s not exciting to be eliminated. But I feel like making it to the semifinals, top eight, we were already winners. And because of the competition, they just needed to pick four of them. And so it was hard, you know, being eliminated because you always want to strive to do your best and you want to move on. But I’m not upset about it because I’ve learned so much and this is just the beginning of my journey. So I just take it as a learning experience and I’m happy.
Paxton Ingram: I think I speak for all of us when I say this — when we went in for top eight, it was like we all went in there in like full battle mode, beast mode, you know, preparing for our last time on that stage. So I guess when last night rolled around, there was – it does suck being eliminated but you know we all knew our time was going to come regardless. And there’s only one more week left of the show. And then that’s how the game rolls. Four people must go home. So, when you do get eliminated it’s like snap, I’m going home. But look how far I made it. My God, a semifinalist. So it was definitely not as sad as I thought I was going to be. It was definitely happy and just, you know, full and grateful for the opportunity and just excited about the future. It was a really cool feeling.
Mary Sarah: For me going into Monday and Tuesday, Monday night I think all of us we really tried to just really focus on that night and that night only, knowing the cut was happening the next day. And I feel like we all gave our best Monday night. And then Tuesday, I think going into it I had no expectations. I didn’t know what was going to happen, and either way I was completely happy and even proud of all of us and proud of myself for making it as far as we did. I mean, top eight is an incredible achievement for all of us and this is just a door, a big door that’s opened for the rest of our lives that we have opportunities now that, you know, we wouldn’t have had before. And so either way the night was going to go, I am extremely humbled and blessed by the whole experience and opportunity to just get to do what we did. And I wouldn’t take a single moment back. And even after being eliminated I had a moment where I cried but then I thought, you know what? This isn’t the end for any of us because everybody is so overwhelmingly talented and everybody deserves to be there and no matter who was in the top four, you know, everybody deserved to be there. And so, you know, I’m just blessed to have done what I’ve done.
Bryan Bautista: Last night after being eliminated, I just wasn’t really down at all. Like you know, there’s always the desire to, you know, go on and progress to the next round. But, you know, after it was all said and done, I just felt really relieved and I just felt like the top eight, I honestly feel like that’s the top eight that – I mean that’s the best top eight that the show has ever seen. And I feel like…
Paxton Ingram: I’m tearing up.
Bryan Bautista: …everyone is a winner. I feel like everyone is a winner and you know everyone is destined for greatness. So like after last night the four that didn’t make it on, us four, we’re now given the opportunity to like be set free and, you know, spread our wings and become true artists. It is a competition and you’re only allowed, you know, so much artistic creativity on the show. But now you could see us in our truest form as artists and creators. So I was really relieved and I just thought about that and not really about being eliminated. I just feel like everyone – this chapter closes for everyone. There’s only one winner.
So at the end of the day, I just saw it as me closing a chapter to a long book that I’m writing for myself, so, you know, I’ll be okay and I was extremely excited. And I feel like I had a lot of fun out there last night, so I was cool.
Q) Shalyah, you had a very unique experience on the show, being coached by three different coaches on three different teams. I guess which one did you feel was the best fit for you based on your strengths, weaknesses, things like that. And was there almost a part of you that wanted to prove to your former coaches week to week that they made a mistake in letting you go? I can kind of imagine getting a little action, when you had an amazing performance, like I told you so.
Shalyah Fearing: Yes. Well like you said, I have been with almost every coach on the show. And I can’t really compare them. They’re all different. They teach differently. But they’re all very awesome and like amazing coaches. But I’d have to say Adam because he really knew what to say to me. He knew what to do and he knew what kind of person I was. I’m a perfectionist and everything for me has to be perfect. And he just told he that it’s not possible and to just go out there on the stage and give it your all and just give it your best performance. But honestly, I’d say it was a little being stolen like over and over again and switch from different teams, because in the back of my mind I was thinking wow, do I belong here? Do they want me to stay on their team? Like honestly. But that’s why every performance I had and every performance I did, I gave it my best, my all, and it was just like hey, here I am. This is what you gave away. But I just gave it my best performance every time and I’m proud of myself and happy to learn from three different coaches. I can say that I’ve worked with Pharrell, Christina Aguilera, and Adam Levine. And that itself is amazing.
Q) How is life going to change with you as far as are you going back to school and trying to recapture your normal lifestyle?
Shalyah Fearing: Well, that’s a good question. But I’ve actually been doing school since I was here. I did school every day. And so it’s not going to be difficult going back to school. I’m home schooled so I do everything on my laptop and I get it done. And it’s actually pretty cool because I walked across the street today to get something to eat and so many people recognize me and they were like you did well on the show and good luck to you in your career. And I was like my God I’m getting recognized. I was so happy to know that people care and know me and I just – it’s not going to end. This is the beginning of my journey and I’ve already started talking to some I don’t want to say who but I have been talking to some people. And I know that I’m going to be signed. And it’s going to be great. Honestly, this is just the start of my career and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Mary Sarah: Blake has honestly I think for both Paxton and I, I think we can both say this. When he has an artist, he throws himself fully into every artist and he really did with both of us. And for me, just him and I had very similar voices. Every time I went in to work with him, the same things that I struggled with a lot of the time he struggled with, too in his voice. So it was amazing to just get to work with him through things and just him understanding my voice in every way and just supporting 100%. I mean, everything – there’s not a single thing I mean that I could say I guess that stood out the most because almost everything, you know, just getting to talk on and off camera with him was absolutely amazing. And he was one of the best coaches. I mean, he is the best coach ever. And I could not be more thankful than to have worked with him.
Paxton Ingram: And Blake was just an all-around every single time we went into rehearsal with him, it’s like you learned something new every single time. He was the ultimate coach and just knew how to like let us be ourselves, which I think is very important. He never really tried to alter anything about us. He kind of just navigated where he thought we should go, but fully allowed us to be ourselves. And I thought that was just an amazing way to grow. To see the way he trusted me made me trust myself even more and it was really cool. I’m forever grateful for him for that.
Q) Is there was any one thing you would’ve done differently?
Shalyah Fearing: This is Shalyah speaking and, you know, when we auditioned for this show in the blind auditions our producer told us to go out there on that stage and give it all we’ve got every time so that whenever we do go home, we have no regrets. And I have absolutely no regrets of my performances. I feel like I gave it my all every single time and yes, I just left that stage with no regrets. Thank God.
Mary Sarah: Yes, just as Shalyah said, we have been reminded from the beginning to, you know, lay it out there, do, you know, when picking songs do a song you know you wouldn’t regret. And our coaches helped us with that and the whole Voice crew helped us with that. And looking back I wouldn’t change a single thing. I’m pretty proud of myself for, you know, the song choices and proud of everybody who has helped me and who helped me along the way, because, you know, I couldn’t have done this without, you know, the help for everybody on The Voice. And so no, I wouldn’t take a single thing away. I mean, I loved every single part of this journey and I’ve grown so much through it and I’m very thankful for it.
Paxton Ingram: Just piggybacking off of what Shalyah and Mary Sarah both said, like you go on that stage every week. Even since the blinds, every time you hit that stage, you’re not knowing when your last chance will be. You don’t know if you’re going to make it on the next week. You don’t even know if you’re going to make it past the battle, if you’re going a team, if you’re going to make it past your knockout. So like every time you hit that stage, it was like, you know, balls to the wall. I’m giving it all I got. Here I am. There I go. And I feel like in doing that I have zero regrets. No regrets. Nothing. I did everything I wanted to do because I went up there and I gave it my all every single time.
Bryan Bautista: The one thing I will say that I regret is probably not, you know, giving you a little bit of salsa steps and meringue in addition to my bachata. But so that’s probably the only thing I regret. But honestly on a serious note, I had so much fun. And, you know, I’m just proud of myself to just stay true to who I was as an artist only because, you know, you’re able to look at yourself in the mirror and be happy with the person that’s looking back when you do that. So I’m pretty excited about everything I’ve done and I’m going to take a couple of days to reflect on everything that transpired from the blind – well, last season to the blind auditions of this season all the way up until now. So I’m happy with everything that transpired and I can’t wait for the future, honestly. Like this is an incredible beginning to all of our careers, an incredible start to all of our careers, so like what more could you ask for? I really have no regrets.
Q) Mary, last night, why did you sing Something in the Water for your instant save performance?
Mary Sarah: Gosh, when we were sent the email to pick our instant save song, we were given a list of songs that were approved and stuff. That song I had been singing for a very long time. And I love it. It is somewhat of a worship song to me and I wouldn’t be here without God in my life. And I wouldn’t have made it through this whole process without, you know, being able to pray and give it to God sometimes. It had been a little stressful in some places. When I thought about the last song to do, if it was going to be my last song, it would be that one and I love Carrie Underwood as you could see on the show. She was a big influence in my life as a singer. And it was just a song that I thought was best and I know that I wouldn’t have regretted, you know, even going home. And yes, I can say right now I do not regret it. I love the song and have been really proud of myself throughout this whole entire journey. And so that’s why I chose it.
Q) Bryan, you auditioned for season nine and didn’t make it. And this time around you went this far. So I guess what attributed that? Like what do you think made the difference and what made you grow? And also, you allowed yourself to be very vulnerable on Monday night’s performance show. So was it I guess easier or harder to go out after kind of opening up to the world and showing your connection with the situation and your father and everything like that?
Bryan Bautista: Yes. So, to answer your first question about season nine and everything, I feel like not making it onto season nine was the best thing that ever happened to me because I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and I learned so much about myself as a person and as an artist throughout this whole journey on season ten. Like as far as working under pressure and building that confidence and, you know, that swagger that every artist needs, like however they perform. Every artist has a swagger when they’re performing. I was able to hone in on that with working with Christina, so I feel like I attribute everything that I learned to just I don’t know, like working with Christina and, you know, me being humble and working hard. And as far as my vulnerable performance on Monday, I just felt confident enough as a performer to take on a performance like that. Like not every artist – it’s hard to tap into those emotions when you haven’t been seasoned into performing like when you’re a performer fresh out the gate, it’s hard to tap into those emotions only because you’re thinking about, you know, technical things and staging and movements and hitting a certain note or how you’re singing. But like once you’ve been on the show for so long, I feel like I can speak for everyone when I say like we’re actually comfortable on that stage at this point. So I feel like it was my time to give a vulnerable performance like that because I could focus on the emotions instead everything else that you would.
Q) Paxton, I believe you had three coaches turn around for you in the blinds and you went with Blake, which was a little bit of a surprising choice considering he’s a country star. I guess what made you pick him? And was there a bit of a pressure to be on his team? Does he have a hands-on role in helping you pick songs? Or did he just have a laid back approach and support your decisions?
Paxton Ingram: So, me picking Blake during the blinds was the wildest decision I’ve ever made, like it wasn’t like preplanned. I didn’t strategize it. It was just something that like organically happened just because of what he told me like how quick he turned around, you know, just the words. He sold it and just I couldn’t ignore him calling me greatness. And doing that I felt like that just opened a role for some magical stuff to happen and like I said when I picked him going into rehearsals I noticed that he’s – we’re like kindred spirits, you know? He’s such a bright, lovely spirit and makes people comfortable and makes people laugh. He’s a joy to be around. And that’s something that I admire and that I want to be and that I strive to be in my life. So going into rehearsals was always fun. It was always, you know, we were laughing. But he always goes, when we got down to business, he allowed me to be myself. There was so much trust between the both of us. He allowed me to, when there was a couple of song choices, he would, you know, he would deny some songs give me the reasons why and then I would bring back another song and he would 100% love it and support it. And, you know, in rehearsals he as very hands on and like making sure that it was perfect, you know, like no error — perfect. So it was really cool. He always challenged me, pushed me to the next level every single week.
Q) Mary, you arguably have the most social media following of all the contestants. Were you surprised that ended up eliminated?
Mary Sarah: You know what? I do have a very large social media following. And I’m so thankful because The Voice even, you know, boosted that so much more and I’m so thankful for it. But, you know, going into it, I honestly like I did not have any expectations. I believe that everybody is here for a reason and because every single one of us, they’re so talented. I mean, we all deserve to be here and whoever wins deserves to win. Honestly, going into yesterday night, like I had no clue who was going to make it and who wasn’t because we all gave so many amazing performances. And, you know, I didn’t expect, you know, anything of last night. You hope for the best, expect the worst. And, you know, last night went the way it was supposed to go and that’s all in God’s plan and so I’m just thankful to have made it so far.
Q) My question to each of you is now that you have been through the process and you’ve learned so much, what one piece of advice would you give yourself as someone coming into this process, next year’s contestants? To anybody who wants to do this, what one piece of advice would you give them?
Mary Sarah: As an artist, I have always said this and preached this and tried it’s always hard to like live by your own advice, but I’ve tried very hard to do that throughout this entire journey. And the one thing I would say is you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone to grow. And, you know, looking at the challenges The Voice and going into it I realize it’s a huge thing and it was going to be a long process and a lot of hard work was going to be – you had to put into it. And you’ve got to be willing to take that step and have that faith and just push towards your dream and work hard at it. Another thing that I always say is hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard. And is has shown too with all of us. We have put so much hard work into this and made it so far and it wouldn’t have happened that way if we didn’t. And so, just for anybody who is – I would recommend this show honestly to any artist. It is a wonderful show and I’ve grown so much. I feel like I know what it’s going to be like here in the future in the music industry and just for me just taking a step of faith out there and putting yourself out that and getting in that uncomfortable place to grow.
Paxton Ingram: My advice would be to just always remember what your intention is — why you sing, why you perform, why you make music. Never lose sight of your intention, what made you start this whole thing. Because once you get into the competition or when it starts to become a competition, that can’t be your ultimate motivation. You have to have another motivation. Why do you do what you do? And I feel like that will propel you even further in life — not only in the show but just in life, whatever you want. Always remember your intentions and your biggest competition is yourself. That is it. As long as you can outdo yourself each week, you’re okay.
Q) What one piece of advice would you give anybody coming into this process after you’ve been through what you’ve been through this year?
Bryan Bautista: Man, the biggest thing is always stay true to yourself. I know I say it a lot, but it’s so important because, you know, once you do that, you’re able to leave the competition with no regrets. Always give it 100% and always stay true to yourself. And, you know, as much as you can, always prepare like hone in on your craft and, you know, polish your craft. If you’re a singer, if you’re a piano player, piano players they put in hours on the piano to be successful at playing piano. Just the same as a vocalist, like when you have to go out there on a strenuous schedule like we have — especially during the live shows — you have to take of your voice and you have to make sure you’re always taking care of it and making it better, you know? So stay true to yourself, work on your craft, and always give it 1000% when you go out there. and I mean, then you’ll be able to leave with no regrets.
Shalyah Fearing: Okay. My piece of advice to them would be never give up. I know I say it a lot, but it really is very important. There are going to be so many people in your life who tell you you can’t do something or tell you you can’t go far. And you just can’t listen to them. You have to believe in yourself and you have to go on in your career if you know that’s what you want to do in life. You are going to do your absolute best to do it. I went through open call and I stood out there in that cold and in that long line and made it through. And the top eight semifinals? It’s all because I didn’t give up and I kept faith in myself no matter how many times I’ve been (stolen) or been tossed around, I just kept going because this is what I want to do with my life. And so my advice to anyone who wants to audition for the show or a period in their life — never ever give up. That’s all.