The Voice – Season 13: Battles Night Four
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) Ashland, if you could start first. Obviously the goal of any battle round on The Voice is for both of you to make it through. What do you think made that battle round that we saw last night so successful for the two of you?
Ashland Craft: Well, I honestly think it was just the amount of like hard work we put into it and just our energy on stage. I feel like that made it a really hard decision to choose between the both of us. And so just the fact that one of us was still selling was a big accomplishment in itself. And we worked so hard on that song to make it like perfect. So I think it turned out really well.
Q) And did you have any clue that there was only one save left at that point, Ashland?
Ashland Craft: We were not informed of that. So we just went in there, saying regardless if there was one or not, you know, we were going to perform the best we could and hope that there was still less one of us.
Q) Megan, first of all, what do you think made it so successful? Because obviously the goal is for both of you to advance and you accomplished that?
Megan Rose: Yes. So I definitely agree with Ashland that the amount of hard work that we put into it and just making the song our own while still honoring that it’s a classic, I think that that helped a lot. And also like Ashland said as well, the energy and I think the fact that, you know, Miley told us that she wanted it to – she was like, I don’t want it to feel like a battle. I just want it to feel like I’m at a concert and I want to feel like I’m watching you guys perform this song. And so I think that that really helped with our energy and just keeping that idea in our head and helping us to just really connect with the song rather than thinking of it as a battle and like okay, who’s going to win?
Q) And then I take it you didn’t have any idea about the fact there was only one save left?
Megan Rose: Oh, no. I have no idea. I thought I was going home. I was like all right, bye everyone.
Q) Adam, Blake was taking yourself, preparing you with Natalie because you both blew him away in rehearsals. How confident were you that you were going to win the battle? And why do you ultimately think Blake did pick you? I mean he mentioned he thought that you guys could do a lot together going forward, but he didn’t get into specifics.
Adam Cunningham: Well, because it was just evenly matched battle and Natalie did such a wonderful job. I mean honestly it could have gone either way when I was standing there, you know, and he – him howling around before making the decision, I mean it could have been just as easily me going home the next day. So I mean – confident, I’m always confident in what I do, but is that necessarily what somebody is going to find as the winner in a certain situation? I don’t know. I don’t know. If I did, I’d be Jenny’s frame. That chick is a winner. But it’s true. Sounds like – yes, but I don’t – it was anybody’s guess at that point. So like I said, it was very evenly matched. And yes, I mean Blake, like, made himself a hard bed to lay in.
Q) Megan, I guess did you feel a little bit at a disadvantage being paired with Ashland going into the battle considering the huge response that Ashland got from the coaches in the blinds? I mean like what was your mind going into it?
Megan Rose: Honestly my mindset going into it was just I hope that one of us wins and the other gets stolen. I was so honored to have worked with someone like her and, you know, to be able to say, “Hey, I sang with Ashland.” That is awesome because she’s going to be huge. And so that to me was just an honor. I don’t know if I necessarily felt that it was a disadvantage just because I didn’t want to think of it like that. I just had a goal of both of us moving forward and I know Ashland did too. And we went into it just excited to work with each other and we accomplished our goal.
Q) Ashland and Megan, congratulations to you both again. And during the rehearsals, you guys got to sing with Miley and Billy Ray and that must have been awesome. And once you get something back on that and if you guys, what you guys learned from that?
Ashland Craft: So when we first like got in the room, obviously it was like really nerve wracking because we were again having to sing in front of Miley and her dad, Billy Ray. But they made us feel really comfortable. And then after we sang our song, they were like okay, we want to do it again. We want to sing with you all. Me and Megan, I think we can both say that we were like okay. We wanted to take the opportunity. And so singing with them was kind of honestly a big accomplishment itself as not many people can say they’ve gotten to do that. So we were both really excited and we love to know that they actually enjoy what we were doing and it was kind of reassuring for us that we were doing something right. So it was a really amazing opportunity.
Megan Rose: Yes. I agree with Ashland completely. They definitely made us feel very comfortable and they’re both just nice people and just very like down to earth. And people have been asking me like oh, what was it like work with Miley and how was that? And I’m – you know, I always say, she’s the type of person where when you talk to her, you feel like you’ve known her forever. She’s just very down to earth. So they definitely made us feel comfortable for sure. But I think during that experience, it just taught me a lot about – we were all, you know, like harmonizing and just singing together and then that just taught me about – I’ve never done that with four people total. So it taught me a lot about that and yes, it was amazing. It was definitely a dream come true.
Q) Megan, during your blind audition Blake came with fold before you came out and you’re like really, you have a country background. So my question is when you got on Team Miley and it ended up where she actually is getting back to her roots in country, which you probably didn’t know that when you went on her team, but I’m curious what – how it’s been with her on her team up until, you know, Blake stole you. Were you expecting to do a country battle or what was your reaction?
Megan Rose: Yes. So basically like I knew – I kind of knew before that Miley, you know, has a country background and that she was trying to get in touch with her country roots again and kind of go back to that. Just from watching like interviews that were shown, you know, before the blind auditions and, you know, anything like that. So I was aware, but yes, it was awesome to have her, you know, pair me with Ashland. And Ashland and I, I think we’re both kind of like – I don’t know about Ashland, but I was hoping that me and Ashland would get paired just because like I said, I’m super excited to work with her. And so when we both found out that we were paired together, we were like “I knew it.” So yes. I mean, I guess I was kind of expecting her to do a country song, but I didn’t know it was going to be that country. So that was really cool.
Q) Ashland, you were so confident in when your performance last night. I just wonder what you did to prepare. How did you calm your nerves or whatever because you just really owned that stage I felt like?
Ashland Craft: Oh, thank you. It’s funny because when I’m on stage, I’m always like the nervous – the most nervous I’ve ever been. But luckily most of that doesn’t show like when I’m on stage. I think like Megan said earlier, it’s just a fact of a bunch of us going in there, hoping that one of us would win and the other would be stolen. So I think we just went out there and said, you know, we’re going to do the best that we can. And so I mean we just practiced really, really, really hard anytime we could. And I think that kind of made the situation a little more comfortable for the both of us because we knew the song like the back of our hand at that point. And so we just went out there, said we were going to have fun and that was such a fun performance because we got to bring back an older country song in a newer, more modern way. And just to feel the song a lot more fun, you know, than the older version. So it was just a matter of having fun and doing our best on stage and that in itself made me feel really more confident.
Q) Addison, we were wondering what you felt coming out of the battle competition and being able to join Team Adam, what that was like?
Addison Agen: Yes. It felt pretty great because same with Ashland and Megan situation. We were such good friends, me and Karli, that it would have been so incredibly sad for one of us to go home. And I think everyone was thinking the same thing. So and a lot of the coaches were saying, well two of them, Blake and Jennifer were confident in me. So I was confident that I was going to get stolen and Adam with the same thing. So I wasn’t worried about that. So it just made it a whole curious thing. But I love working with Adam. He’s extremely down to earth and we fit together real well, and like he understands what I want to do musically and that I’m more about telling stories than like showing off in my voice and stuff like that. That stuff is awesome and I admire that too, but that’s just not what I like to do as like a folk artist. So yes, it’s awesome and I respect him a lot for having and understanding my mindset of what I want to do on the show.
Q) Addison, you had choice of Jennifer or Adam. Why Adam?
Addison Agen: Well, Adam also turned around in my blind and when I was up there for my blind, I wasn’t really fully paying attention or comprehending what he was saying, but watching it back, he had some amazing, amazing points and he felt really strongly about what I could do on the show. So I just really felt like he would know exactly what songs to give me, what to do with my voice and what I want to do on the show. Not that Jennifer wouldn’t. It’s just that I felt a stronger connection to Adam to do with my stay.
Q) What do you credit that to? Why do you think this performance came off as well as it did?
Addison Agen: We spent so long before we even met with Miley and Billy. So literally hours, hours, hours just at the piano, and luckily she’s a great piano player. So we put so much work in and we made exactly what we wanted to do. And what the coaches they all said was that she has a really beautiful, high register and I have a very low, slow kind of tone and they blend together really, really well. So I think it was just how smart Miley was pairing us together that she knew we would make something great, and that with switching up the song, a very, very known song. So I think it’s something new for people to hear, even though everyone knows the original song like the back of the hand. So I think it was just intriguing to people in a different way and that’s why I think it’s doing so well on iTunes. I’m surprised but I’m hoping it keeps doing well, yes.
Q) Janice, you won your battle on Team Miley, but the competition was definitely fierce, you know. The outcome was a pretty close call. Could you talk about what was going through your mind when you were listening to the feedback from the coaches after the performance and were you surprised that you won?
Janice Freeman: That battle round with Katrina was absolutely epic. Not saying that in a way that is conceited or anything, but I know the work that was put in. I know the work on each other that was put in to even preparing for that battle was so much more I think. 10% of it is probably singing. But when I was listening to the feedback, I mean I really – there’s so much adrenaline, you don’t even remember really what goes through your mind. But I just remember the feeling and that is that no matter what the outcome is, I know that I literally put everything that was within sight of me, around me, that I’ve worked hard for, that I went through for, out on that stage. And if it wasn’t good enough at that time, then I don’t – I’m not going to walk away feeling like I, you know, like defeated. I gave everything. Now, if I didn’t give everything and I didn’t get through, then I would feel terrible, but Katrina was amazing. That girl put her everything into it too and it just was an amazing experience for me. And I wouldn’t say that I was surprised because I go in it with the mindset that whatever is for me is for me. And I just felt really confident in that performance period. So either way I’m like, whether I win or whether I get stolen or whether I go home, I’ve won.
Q) Ashland, Miley made a comment that she envisioned you being at the top of the pack when live shows begin. You know, that was a pretty big statement to make considering the knockout round hadn’t even happened yet. So I guess, what are your thoughts on that? And do you feel Miley’s investment in you put some pressure off going into the next round?
Ashland Craft: Honestly, it kind of created more pressure to be honest because you know, I kind of felt like I’m being held to a standard. And even though I know, you know, she doesn’t want me to feel pressured at all, it did make me feel good to know that she had a lot of faith in me and that she wanted me to hopefully be in live round. And so just her believing in me that much did made me feel more comfortable to a certain extent. But like I said, it was still a little bit more pressured to know that she’s holding me to a certain standard. But yes, just to have Miley believe in you that much, it makes you feel really good as an artist and as a person in general. So I don’t know. Yes.
Q) Megan and Ashland, during the rehearsals, Billy Ray mentioned that he heard like a Loretta Lynn quality in both your voices. And I wanted to get your reaction to that, if you guys ever heard anything like that before. And then my other question is, I don’t know if you guys were in the room at the time when Miley and Billy Ray were talking about how they actually sat down with Waylon Jennings regarding I think a specific song. And I’m curious if they gave you guys any pointers that they got directly from Waylon Jennings about that song?
Megan Rose: Okay. So yes. I’ve definitely never heard anything like that before from anyone saying that there are qualities of Loretta Lynn in my voice. And so that was such a huge compliment because I love her of course you know. And that was crazy to hear. I was a little bit speechless. And then yes, we were in the room when they were talking about how Miley went downstairs with her guitar and asked Waylon to teach her how to play Good Hearted Woman on the guitar and that was super cool and talking about it being a full circle moment. Billy said like he would want – so he thinks Waylon is smiling down and he’s really excited that two females are singing this song because that’s never really happened before. So that was really cool to hear and just to get their feedback on, you know, how they feel about the song and how they felt that we were doing it at the time.
Ashland Craft: Yes. like Megan said, when he compared us, you know, saying that we had sounded a little bit like Loretta Lyn, it’s kind of humbling as an artist to hear that because, you know, me I’m comfortable to bring the older country music back in a new way and those – that generation of artists is who I kind of mold myself after. And so to hear that was very reassuring. And also like Megan said, we were in the room when he said that, or told us about Miley asking Waylon to teach her how to play Good Hearted Woman. And that was pretty cool to know that we were actually working with somebody that had sat down and actually talked to the artist that created this song. And he said oh, I think Waylon’s definitely smiling down on you all and Willie is smiling regardless. So yes, that was funny. Yes, that was hilarious. But it’s just – it’s so surreal almost to be talking with somebody that was actually in the room with a legend such as Waylon Jennings. And to know, like he heard the original version and then heard us, also reassuring us that we were doing something right because he really enjoyed it and we got him to sing with us. And so hopefully we’ll have more experience with like that to come soon.
Q) Megan, we almost edited version of the show, we saw you return to the stage and then they cut to commercial after you were stolen. What did Blake have to say to you?
Megan Rose: Oh my goodness. Blake was like “Megan, where did you come from?” like, and I was like “I don’t know.” He was like, “Did you sneak on to the show?” and I was like “Yes, maybe. I guess. I don’t know.” he was really funny and then Miley reminded him that his team was full during my blind audition and that he wasn’t able to press his button. And he made a comment about – he was like oh. He said something like “Oh, I must have been real drunk by then” or something like that. And that was really funny too. He was just hilarious the whole time. But he was very complimentary and, you know, he mentioned the fact that Ashland is just a powerhouse and has this amazing, fantastic voice and that I kind of stepped up my game a little bit from my blind audition, and I was able to actually keep up with her, which meant a lot to me because Ashland, I look up to a lot. I think she’s amazing. So, you know, saying – having Blake Shelton say that I was able to keep up with her was awesome because I was like yay! So yes, that was really great and that was pretty much the gist of what he said.