The Voice – Season 13: Battles Night One
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) Noah, run me through what’s going through your mind once Blake announces Keisha as the winner and time’s passing and no one’s pressing their button and then it happened at the very last second.
Noah Mac: I have to say, I had it in the back of my mind. You know, I was just praying that somebody would steal. And as soon as I stepped past Adam’s chair, it was like all of that hope that somebody might turn around was gone and I kind of accepted it. And as soon as I accepted that moment for what it was, was when she hit her button and it was just complete surprise and shock. And I couldn’t tell you how happy I was in that moment.
Q) And were you surprised that it came from Jennifer at all?
Noah Mac: I’m surprised that I got a button, you know, at all. But I’m really happy that it did come from Jennifer. I went into this competition really wanting Jennifer as my coach. In the blinds, Blake had a way with words and he ended up getting me to want to be on his team. But in the end I’m so glad that I’m with Jennifer.
Q) Whitney and Kathrina, you can go first since I’ve already addressed you, I was wondering how you felt about your chances of getting this steal and whether you were at all surprised about the coach that it came from. And Whitney, if you could go first, please.
Whitney Fenimore: I was completely shocked that I got – that I was getting stolen. I do remember – I mean the thoughts going through my head when Adam won, I was obviously so proud of him. Adam and I are legitimate friends, but I was also just like crushed because I thought that was the end of the road for me for the competition. But then I saw I was Adam was talking and trying to give me his like – you know, he was trying to encourage me, and then out of the corner of my eye, I see Miley and Blake looking at each other and kind of like counting down. And in that moment I was like, oh my gosh. They’re going to steal. And so in that moment I knew and I got so excited. And then when they did it, I was like so overwhelmed with emotion and so excited to have the opportunity to be stolen.
Q) And why did you decide on Miley?
Whitney Fenimore: I decided on Miley because she turned for me in the blind. And the words that she told me in the blind, it really seemed like she hit the nail on the head with who I was as an artist. And so I felt like I had to go with her. She really called me out for what I was. She was like I feel like you’ve got a bit of country, but you’re not country. You’ve got some rock in you and I – and she really wanted to see where we could go. So I thought it would be fun and I thought she would really pull me out of my comfort zone and make me do things that I wasn’t always, you know, going to be comfortable doing, but I thought that that would be good for me and the full competition is about growing as an artist. So I thought that was the best decision for me.
Kathrina Feigh: I’m honestly still shocked. Well, at that moment I really just accepted what was happening and, you know, I’m so proud of Chris and we worked so hard to really put that together, which was a really difficult challenge for both of us. But at that moment, I was very accepting and, you know, I said if – I was praying and that if this is what God really had meant for me, I trust in Him. So it’s very shocking because I really didn’t expect for him to steal me. And I just really thought I was going home. So I literally had a whole crying face last night that I was just really – I was like oh my god, that’s literally everywhere now. But I’m just so happy and, you know, it’s such a blessing to still be on the road, so.
Q) And were you surprised at all that it was Blake that pushed this button for you?
Kathrina Feigh: Yes. I was very surprised, but also he turned around for me during the blind. So I was very happy that he still believed in me at that moment and he really saw something in me that he didn’t want to send me home and he wanted to put me in his team. So I’m so thankful for him.
Q) Back to Noah and Keisha, I was wondering what you thought of that song choice. It took me as a surprise and I was wondering if it was a good fit for the two of you. And if we could start with Keisha please.
Keisha Renee: It definitely – it took me by surprise. I wasn’t familiar with that song and I know Noah – I think he had heard it before, but it wasn’t his genre. So it kind of took him out of his genre and took me out of, you know, my comfort period because I’m new to country. So, all of it is kind of new to me. But we both were excited once we heard it because I felt like it was something that definitely complimented Noah’s voice because he already has like this old (country like) sound anyway. So to me, it was going to be like a magical moment. We were really excited about it.
Q) Noah, how did you feel about the song choice?
Noah Mac: Yes. I mean when he told us that that was going to be our song, it definitely took me by surprise. You know, I’m not in any way country, but I saw it as a great opportunity, one, to sing with somebody as amazing as Keisha. And she would kind of step out of my comfort zone. And it was nerve wracking to go that far outside of what I usually do. But, you know, I think in the end, it was just a great opportunity.
Q) From the other winners of the show, I was wondering what it was like to go into this round and be forced into a duet, because you come on to the show and you’re expecting to be a solo artist, and then in the second round, you find yourself doing duets with teammates. What challenge did that pose for each of you? And if we could start with Adam Pearce please.
Adam Pearce: I’d say, developing as a musician, one of the – like the last thing that I’m not good at was singing harmony and – because I was always like the front man. Singing harmonies is like a skillset all in its own and that was really tough. And in that song that I sung with Whitney, I feel like Tom Petty’s part was more of the harmony than just the second part. So that was tough. That was tough for me to like really like grind that into my ears because instinctively I wanted to sing Stevie Nick’s part. So I had to like rewire my brain, but I loved it. I loved it. It was a good challenge and like once we, you know, put the work in and then actually could sing it together and I could sing the harmony. Like I love the way it sounds. I love the way that my voice worked with Whitney’s. I feel like she did an awesome job at Stevie Nick’s part. So it was fun.
Q) And it wound up being a timely song choice. So I know the battles were filmed a while back.
Adam Pearce: Yes. I mean, yes. Of course, Tom Petty just died. Not to be morbid but yes, it was – it worked out as far as like I don’t know. For me, it was almost like paying an homage to him and I hope that we did him justice. You know, that maybe he’s looking down on us – thank you. It was always emotional to watch it, you know. It’s like it was more emotional to watch it knowing that he just passed than it was to actually perform it, you know. It’s like this guy, he was a big hero of mine or still is a big hero of mine. So to actually be able to play his song, to actually sing his song was great. That was an honor.
Q) Lucas, how about you? What was it like having to do a duet? Now, I know you’re part of, I think an eight-member group. So maybe it wasn’t as different an experience for you.
Lucas Holliday: Yes sir. I’m part of a seven piece called Tell Yo Mama back home in Lansing, Michigan. But see, I’m also similar to Adam. I’m also kind of a lead man and, you know, I’m used to that sort of speed I guess. I’m used to, you know, doing the melodies and kind of being followed, you know, so to speak. But I’ve definitely learned a lot about harmony and about working with other people through the band. So I wasn’t too thrown off by the fact that we were jumping right into a duet with another person. The one challenge I found in this particular situation was I guess trying to map out an improvisational part near the end there of the song. Meghan is very – I mean she’s got some – she obviously has a jazz background and she comes from Chicago. So she’s used to kind of just creating this different, you know, creating different melodies and having to kind of step up and make something that sounds like it’s off the top of the head, but in reality, you know, it’s something she’s mapped out, worked out and planned. I, on the other hand, kind of – you know, improv is something that comes right off top for me. I just do it, you know. So I kind of reach into a bank of different things that I use on a regular basis and just see what happens with it. So I kind of had to really challenge myself to, you know, reach into my old – my studies back in college and my choral studies and so forth and just try to find something that, you know, really was effective I guess for that part. But as far – the only other real challenge I found with doing a duet was just the fact that you know you’re going to be facing someone that is very – I mean that is a friend basically. You become friends and almost family-like with, with all the contestants. And Meghan in particular, she was the first one to recognize me from my viral video and my whole – you know, my appearance with Maxwell. So when I realized me and her were going against each other, it was definitely kind of a bit of a shocker. It also made sense because we both kind of displayed a level of seriousness and kind of just a little more heavy choices in our music and in the way we did our blind auditions. And so it does make sense that Jennifer wanted to bring us this kind of fun, more – you know, a little more loose song. I wasn’t too worried about the style really because I grew up on both Hip-Hop and 90s RnB. So I was pretty well ready for it and well acquainted, but at the same time, Bobby Brown is not my first choice for a vocalist. I’m definitely more of a Johnny Gill kind of guy, somebody like this. So I really thought that it was good choice, you know, overall and it turned out to be, you know, a big performance, I mean just live. It was amazing to watch the response.
Q) Chris and Brooke, you kind of did this competition as a solo artist and then in the very second round you find yourself singing a duet. What type of special challenges did that pose to you?
Chris Weaver: So the song was a challenge in itself. It was not my favorite choice, but you know, I came on the show to be challenged and I didn’t realize it was going to be so soon. But I grew up in church so I’ve been singing with groups. So I was looking forward to the duet, which was – I think our challenge was do a lot, do a lot, and then we had to come to say, you know, less might be more for this. So the challenge was definitely, you know, taking these two big voices and try to – you know, it was a hard approach at first. So I had to step back and strip things back and say, you know, this might work if we just do a little less.
Brooke Simpson: I don’t think the challenge was so much when we had to work with another singer. I think the challenge for me and Sophia both was more so how do to do a popular song. So we’re both pop artists. So it was definitely something way out of our comfort zone, but that was something I was really looking forward to when picking Miley. Like when I picked her, I knew that I wanted to be stretched. I want to be challenged, even if it was something that was totally unexpected for me, which a popular song was. So I think the song itself was the biggest stretch and learning to let the words speak louder than our spoke power ever could. But doing that song definitely did it, even brought me and Sophia closer to each other because I mean, if you don’t have chemistry with your partner, you can sing well individually all day, but together, you’ll sounds like poo. So it you made us build chemistry. We grew closer and because of that, I’m just grateful I have a friend forever and I’m also so grateful that I get to keep working with Miley.
Q) I’ve got to say, that was the other song choice last night that really threw – made me think, why this? Anyhow, but it turned out pretty well. It turned out very well. What do you think turned the tide in your favor?
Brooke Simpson: Honestly I can’t put my finger on it myself. I don’t know. Just my hope and what I’ve been so grateful for throughout all of it so far is she hears something in my voice that she believes in. And that happened at the blind and it happened again at the battle. And honestly, I’m just – that’s all I can attest to because I mean obviously it’s not that my voice is any greater. Sophia is an amazing vocalist. We both have similar tones and we both took a popular singer, songwriter song and made it a soulful top ballot. So yes, that’s all I’ve got.
Q) Moriah, actually, your song wound up being pretty much in your wheelhouse.
Moriah Formica: Yes, I guess so. But yes. So I guess I’m going to have to go back to what like Adam and Lucas were saying. I’m used to, even before The Voice, I was in a band. I’m still in a band so I was used to being like kind of that Rock & Roll frontwoman type thing. So it was a little like weird at first, but then once I really got into it, it was awesome and the chemistry and how much fun we had putting the song together. Another thing was – another challenge was finding the right key for both of us, because initially the original key of the song was too low for me. So – because it’s not like a song that I would have picked, but it was too low for me. So we were trying to find a key that wouldn’t be too high or too low. So that was another challenge. But I guess an advantage that I have I guess is, since I’m in a hard rock band, I guess I’m used to interacting with my band mates on stage. So it felt natural to me to, you know, interact with Shilo on the stage. And I just ultimately had a lot, a lot of fun and it was just really great. I didn’t personally have any problems with the harmonies – with singing the harmonies because I just thought that our voices gelled so well together. I loved our voices together.
Q) And on the show, they made a big deal out of the fact that you wound up getting to play guitar on the song. Did that really make a difference for you?
Moriah Formica: Yes, I believe it did because my guitar is, I mean it’s just a part of me. I mean I don’t know. When I’m onstage I can do a song with my – without my guitar, but it just feels wrong. Like it just feels – and I think other people think it looks wrong too, because I don’t know. It’s just a part of me. It’s what I am. I love to play guitar. It really helps me get into the groove of the song and helps me move the way Moriah moved.