On Monday, The Voice returned to NBC for Season 10 with coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and Pharrell Williams. While there was little fanfare to commemorate this important benchmark, we were treated to more Adam/Blake bromance and a handful of great talent.
On Tuesday, several of the contestants that made it on a team participated in a conference call to answer questions and talk about their experiences on the show. Talk Nerdy to Us listened to what the hopefuls had to say.
For Alisan: Can you tell us a little bit about why you picked that song? And, also what’s the past 24 hours been like for you? What kinds of reactions? What kinds of responses are you receiving?
Alisan Porter: I chose Blue Bayou because I really wanted to sing a classic. I love songs from that era. I love kind of blending folk, and rock, and country, so I felt like I wanted to sing a classic with all of those elements and that was really something that I thought would work and I love that song.
Also, the past 24 hours have been kind of crazy, amazing. I’ve had just like an amazing outpouring of support. It’s been really incredible and also been really incredible to finally see everybody else’s audition air. And, you know, we’ve been doing this for a while and just kind of the culmination of everything we’ve been working for is happening. And the response has been really positive and amazing.
So what does this all mean to you after successfully overcoming addiction, you living your dream now?
Alisan Porter: You know, it’s amazing and, you know, every day I work hard to not, you know, go backwards and keep moving forward and, you know, I just feel very blessed to be here and to be able to be doing what I love.
For all contestants: What have you learned about yourself in this process that surprised you?
Alisan Porter: I think more than anything I learned that I really want to still do this. I was kind of nervous about putting myself back into something so public and going back into a career, especially since I have kids now and I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 3-1/2 years. You know, I just really enjoy the process and it just kind of fueled the fire again within me.
Any reservations I had just kind of got squashed the second I stepped on the stage to do my blind audition and I just feel super comfortable and excited about going forward.
Mary Sarah: I think the one thing I definitely learned, well there are a couple of things, but the big thing is definitely timing. Like, I couldn’t imagine this happening at any other time in my life, and it’s been such an amazing experience, and also that just hard work if anything it pays off so much and I’ve learned so much about my voice being able to push it past the limits and testing it and seeing how far I can push it and what I am capable of. It’s been such an amazing experience.
Bryan Bautista: Hi. One thing I wanted to say was, the one thing that I learned about myself was, you know, this time around, you know, after auditioning for season nine, it really humbled myself when I didn’t get any chairs. And, yeah coming back for season ten, I’m kind of glad now that I didn’t make it onto season nine because, you know, it just pushed me that much more and it kind of sparked the fire.
And it just made me realize that, you know, hard work and dedication will always persevere no matter what situation you’re in, so you’ve got to learn to roll with the punches and eventually you’ll succeed. So I’m kind of grateful that I’m on season ten now. Yeah everything’s cool.
Nick Hagelin: This is Nick Hagelin. This is going to give me the opportunity to be my authentic self, which is something that I didn’t think I could be in this industry and really embrace myself for who I am and the lifestyle I live and have it aligned with my music career. So that’s been a huge blessing for me with this opportunity.
For Mike Schiavo: What was it like to perform with Adam on the show? I mean that must have been a dream come true?
Mike Schiavo: Yeah that was very entertaining. I mean everyone asked me like what I was thinking the whole time and I honestly just kind of blacked out and went on autopilot during that moment. So I’m really lucky that I remembered all of the words and everything. But for real a song about (unintelligible) that was 100 percent the first album I ever really owned and it brought me over into modern music as opposed to all of the older stuff I was listening to at the time. And that was my favorite song “She will be loved,” so it was really an unreal experience getting to sing that with him.
For John Gilman and Mike: Are you guys comparing notes about Elvis Presley right now? I kind of like how Team Adam has a cool Elvis Presley vibe going on here.
John Gilman: Oh yeah, definitely. I’m obviously like super inspired by Elvis. He’s one of my heroes and so singing a song was just incredible, and experience I’ll never forget. I know Mike is inspired by him as well so it was cool that we had that common bond and we ended up on the same team together.
Mike Schiavo: Yeah, for sure, I mean before (unintelligible) came into my realm of music Elvis was the main thing that really got me into singing and playing guitar. Before that I was 100 percent a baseball player. I thought I was going to be a baseball player for the rest of my life. And I did a random school report on Elvis and I literally just fell in love with the music and it completely changed by life.
For Mike and John: I’ve noticed that Team Adam is also Team Jersey. Do you guys compare notes about playing around Jersey or anything like that?
Mike Schiavo: Actually, as we got to know each other we really like play like the same like core group of kind of like we played in the same area like for the past five, six years and we’ve never crossed paths, which is really weird.
John Gilman: We sat down and talked about shows that we had been at and I was talking about like one of my favorite artists and how I went to see him at this one venue out in Philly, and it turned out that like Mike actually played at that show. I don’t remember seeing him. But he like played at a show that I was at, so had kind of like, in a weird way like crossed paths but never really connected.
I just wanted to ask for the two of you what has the past 24 hours been like for you?
Mike Schiavo: It’s been crazy. I mean there been like so much support, especially from New Jersey, like I have so many people from home reaching out. Sorry my dog is barking. A lot of them are just people who like seen me really from the beginning of it and know that I’ve been working at it since high school. I used to play for rooms of like five to ten people, so it’s crazy to see and hear everything they’re saying to me and that they’re still really supportive of me after all of this time now that I was on The Voice it’s been crazy.
John Gilman: Yeah, same thing for me the people that have been around and kind of watched me like really just give my all for such a long time with my music and even though I’ve run into problems throughout my musical career, I don’t know, I kept on pushing and so they’re all like excited.
My goal is always to inspire people and remind that anyone can do anything they set their mind to so I see that I’ve kind of communicated that in a way to a lot of my friends and a lot of the people in my area. So that’s awesome for me. I’m really, really glad.
For Mike: In your bio in high school you did solo gigs around town. I just wanted to know what, if you could tell me like the names of those locations? Were they bars, coffee shops?
Mike Schiavo: I played a lot in New Jersey. The first time I ever played a solo gig because I was in bands for a long time, was actually at a rec center down in Marlboro. And that became a place that I played a few times. There’s a little coffee house in Edison, which is real close to Woodbridge.
That became another place that I really; I played there dozens of times. And it’s a place where I feel like I really started to grow myself as a solo artist and learned that that was really what I into, performing my own music by myself. Yeah for the most part it was always small venues like coffee houses, bars, small rec centers, rooms and very rarely more than 30 people showing up.
For Mike: How did it feel to have Pharell and Blake Shelton and Adam Levine actually fighting over you after your blind audition, and how did you finally chose Adam?
Mike Schiavo: it was really surreal. I feel like I didn’t even realize how quickly Adam and Pharell had turned around because I was just on autopilot, so in the zone, and I finally feel that I came to when Blake did and I realized all three of them were there.
And everyone thinks it was a really, really easy choice to just go with Adam. And it was definitely hard not to pick him after we sang together but Pharell has become a huge influence in my music over the past couple of years, so it was a really tough decision. And Blake always does such a great job on this show coaching his artists. So it really wasn’t as easy of a decision as it seemed because I’ve always been such a big Maroon 5 fan.
But really in the moment when I was on stage with singing to them, they all delivered but Adam, everything Adam was saying was exactly what I feel that I needed from that moment. And ultimately that’s definitely what pushed me to choose him.
For Mike: If there’s one thing you could tell the kids from Colonia and your hometown about following their dreams, what would you tell them?
Mike Schiavo: I would just say don’t give up. It’s all about persistence and that’s something I’ve learned through this experience because I’ve been following this path for years and I’ve never really gotten an opportunity like this even though I feel like I’ve been close at times, it’s always something that falls through. And it’s either you stop trying at that point, or you just keep going.
And even though it’s been really hard a lot of times when I feel like it’s almost time to stop trying to do this, I just learned that it’s time for me to be persistent and just keep going and keep going. And finally this year it’s been paying off. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t just stay persistent.
For John: Can you tell me which places that you kind of came up through at the Jersey Shore? I know you’ve been through Langosta Lounge but were there any spots that you kind of settled into at the Shore?
John Gilman: Yeah well I spent a couple of years playing in a band called Bird Bath. And, we were like a rock, like a garage rock band influenced by early rock and roll stuff, and we played all over Asbury. We played the Saint. We played the Stone Pony. We played some other little places. I don’t remember exactly. And then recently like playing by myself I played at the Saint. I also played at Langouste at the Lounge, and that’s mostly it.
For John: What’s your takeaway from playing in Asbury Park as far as learning your craft and learning the things that you need to be on the national stage now?
John Gilman: It’s awesome. There’s a great music scene in Asbury and there’s a lot of really talented musicians and very supportive people that are always kind of there to lend a hand and help you kind of get on your way. You know, I spent a lot of time away from music in the past few years and coming back to New Jersey and going back to Asbury I had a lot of people kind of reach out to me and help me out and try to help me get things going again. And it’s a really great place.
For Paxton Ingram: You’re a former back-up dancer. What was it like working with some of these big stars and now kind of heading out on your own as your own singer?
Paxton Ingram: It’s a great feeling because after dancing, you know, it’s fun being, you know, a part of the background and being, you know, a part of the whole production side of it and being part of the show. But to actually be the center of attention, to be, you know, the focus is like the ultimate feeling because for myself when I was dancing I would always crave that feeling to be, you know, the center of attention and be the artist, that like dancing I wanted more. So to actually end up in the shoes of where I wanted to be is kind of awesome. It’s rewarding. It’s great.
Tune in next Monday and Tuesday as the coaches look to fill their teams and watch for more interviews on Talk Nerdy with Us.