It’s that time again: before tonight’s new episode of NBC’s The Voice, I sat down with last week’s eliminated artists to give you the dish. This week, the show said goodbye and I said hello to Kelsey Rey (Team Cee Lo), Rebecca Loebe (Team Adam) and Julia Eason (Team Christina). (Team Blake’s Serabee, also cut, was unable to participate.) Here’s what Kelsey, Rebecca and Julia had to say about their time on The Voice…
(If you’ve missed them, you can also check out my previous Voice chats from Week 1 and Week 2, as well as my in-depth interview with Tim Mahoney. My weekly breakdowns of each episode are located exclusively at CliqueClack.)
What did you take away from the show?
Kelsey Rey: I think that the whole show was such a great experience, and what we learned from it was amazing. The coaches did a great job working with us, regardless of the outcome. Everything does happen, you know, for a reason. And all three of us have great things coming for us. That’s all thanks to the show.
Rebecca Loebe: Something that I appreciated is that they really had a lot of respect for a diversity of creative expression. They didn’t try to change what anyone did. I think Dia [Frampton] and Serabee’s performance last night was a perfect example of that. They got up and they did their own thing exactly how they both perform. They didn’t try to meet in the middle. Nobody pressured them to do that. They were both encouraged to perform how they are. Going into this I was afraid that I would come out to L.A. and be told that I had to change in this way or that way. And I was incredibly grateful that didn’t happen.
What goes through your heads as you’re going out on that stage? Several of your colleagues have talked about their nerves.
Julia Eason: I was hoping that I wouldn’t start coughing. Backstage was a mess for me. I was just kind of getting over being sick. And at that stage, I always start coughing and at certain points I’m not able to stop. I was hoping that was not going to be one of them. I couldn’t stop coughing backstage so I kept downing water, like shoving it down my throat. And so that’s pretty much what I was focusing on.
Rebecca, you and Devon Barley delivered an outstanding performance of Radiohead’s “Creep.” Firstly, what were you thinking when you received that song assignment? It’s certainly a unique one.
Rebecca Loebe: I absolutely love that song. I love Radiohead. I love “Creep.” I think it’s certainly one of the great rock anthems from my childhood and early life. I’ve never gotten an opportunity to perform it before, but I definitely sung along to it my car quite a bit. So as soon as I got the song selection, it just lit my heart up. I was just so happy to get to sing that song.
And how was it to perform?
Rebecca Loebe: During the performance, I felt completely terrified and exhilarated all at the same time. I was thrilled to be on that stage and I worked really, really hard with Devon. We practiced 24/7 for days on end, so by the time we got on stage it just kind of felt like, you know, you drop a quarter in the slot and see how it falls. I actually had to watch again last night just to remember how it actually happened because it was such a blur. But right afterwards, I was incredibly proud of both of us.
There’s been a fair amount of discussion amongst the eliminated artists – some have said they’d have preferred to be eliminated by the viewing public, others have disagreed. What’s your opinion?
Kelsey Rey: There’s really no way of telling, because everybody has different opinions in the world. I personally think that no other singing reality show compares with the amount of talent that we had on the show. It was incredible and every single person was amazing. I personally feel blessed to be put in the same category as all these other artists. You never know what America would say. Either way, everything is all good.
Julia Eason: The way that they have it set up, it’s such a big part of how the show works. If they were to jump right into the audience participation where they get to vote, I think it would kind of throw off the show, in a way. The coaches do want the best people on their team, no matter who they think [that] they are, and if they let America decide, it might not be who they wanted. I think they did a great job with that. And I honor them for that.
Rebecca Loebe: All but one person is going to get rejected at some point. We all went to L.A. to sing until we got sent home — or, you know, become the winner and get all the fame and glory and whatnot.
I personally would rather leave on a high note, having a song that I love, with a person that I respect and have it be a decision made by one person who for better or worse said that he struggled with it, rather than the implication being, “Oh, you were rejected by the country,” which is going to be hard. I don’t know if that would be easy for me to handle. I love the country and I love singing for people, so I would hate to think that there were a lot of people out there who didn’t vote [for me].
That being said, have there been any eliminations – other than your own – that have surprised you?
Julia Eason: Yes, I was surprised for some of them. I’m not going to say who or which ones, just because I love the people that they won against, and the people that did end up winning. But I will say that I was a little shocked for a couple of them and didn’t agree [with] some. But I do think everybody did an amazing job. You know, I love and support everybody that made the top thirty-two; everyone that was performing.
Rebecca Loebe: I believe that anyone, given the correct alignment of the stars, could have gone on to be the winner. It’s about song selection, about chemistry, about whether you bring your A-game to your performances and whether or not you are convincing your coach that’s what they need.
I feel like pretty much most of the contestants who have been eliminated in battle rounds, it’s just a matter of how the chips fell on that particular night. I don’t think that anybody who has moved on hasn’t deserved it. And that’s what happens when you get 32 really talented, really dedicated people together. The sad truth is someone has got to go home. It’s just the way it’s got to be.
My thanks to Kelsey, Rebecca and Julia for this interview! Don’t forget to check out an all-new hour of The Voice tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on NBC.