The top eight remaining contestants of NBC’s “The Voice” gave it their all during Monday night’s live show. With many powerful performances throughout the night, it’s anybody’s guess which two will go home during tonight’s results show. Coaches Usher and Shakira each have only one contestant left; while Blake Shelton and Adam Levine are at a competitive tie with all three of their team-mates still in the game. I had the chance to speak with the top 8 singers after they walked off the stage last night and they all shared their thoughts on their performances and what this moment of the competition means for them.
Team Adam : Sarah Simmons, Amber Carrington, Judith Hill
Sarah Simmons- Performed “Somebody that I used to know” by Gotye
For this song you said, “I have to go places within my heart. I have to be really vulnerable.” What was it like for you to dig deep and be so open and vulnerable with America?
Sarah- I’ve already been vulnerable with America in little ways, but tonight I had to be crazy vulnerable and it was hard. It was really hard. But it felt really releasing and freeing. I feel like a weight has just been lifted off my back of pain. It’s crazy! At the end of it was a healing experience because through it I was just releasing all these hurts in my heart.
I could definitely feel that emotion from you on stage. I can’t imagine that is easy for you to go back to something that might have been painful, but I’m sure that many were able to relate with your vulnerability with that song.
Sarah- It’s like if you can’t be vulnerable with them I just feel like I’m just being selfish and keeping it to myself. I think that’s the beauty of life, of people-being able to relate; and that song hits so deep for all of us. And so I was so grateful to sing it. Even though it was an extreme challenge, I was really grateful to sing it.
What was the comment from the Coaches that meant the most to you tonight?
Sarah- I love it when Blake said, “That was a pain in my ass!” (Laughs) I love that one! But just Adam saying how the song “has been done many times, I’ve heard covers but you just did it justice.” That just meant a lot because I’ve really been working really hard on this song.
Amber Carrington- Performed “Skyfall” by Adele.
What was it like for you to sing that Oscar-winning song from Adele tonight?
Amber- At first I was really mad at Adam for picking it. I was like, ‘why would you give me an Adele song? Do you want me to fail?’ (Laughs) But he sat me down and said, “Listen, this isn’t an Adele song. This is a James Bond song. It’s from the movie soundtrack. I believe that you can take it on.” So I tried it and I was like, ‘okay, this is kind of awesome!’ I worked on it and I feel like I did a really good job.
It seemed like the coaches thought you did as well. Adam said of all the people who have tried singing Adele on the show, you were the one who really did her justice.
Amber- Yes, that was really awesome!
What do you find you’re learning about yourself in this competition?
Amber- I feel like I’m finding out who I am and I’m finding out abilities that I didn’t know I can do. Like in my vocals. I’m learning stage presence and confidence; that’s the main thing. I’ve learned a ton. The way that you portray the song, for example. If I just went there and stood right in the middle, and sang the song, blank face; but walking to the piano; it’s all about the staging, and the motion, and everything.
You’re used to singing more Country music, what has it been like for you to branch out to other genres?
Amber- It’s been really cool to experiment with other things because I’ve done Country for so long. That’s where I think I’ve learned something vocally in my vocals that I never thought I could do. That Adele song allowed me to hit very high notes that I don’t usually get to hit. I think it’s been really good for me to experiment with other genres.
Judith Hill- Performed “That Power” by Will I. AM and Justin Bieber.
You seem to be an artist that can sing multiple genres. We saw you do Michael Jackson last week and tonight something a little different. Do you find you are an eclectic artist, and not one defining themselves by one genre of music?
Judith- It’s sort of me. I grew up kind of as an eclectic bunch of so many different influences so every week I’m able to draw on another place, but I feel like it’s important for me to make sure it’s all cohesive and all flows together. But yes there are many sides to me!
During the show you spoke about the philanthropic work you do with kids in Tokyo studying music. I could tell that is something that is very important to you.
Judith- I go every year and work with students in Tokyo and just kind of give them whatever I can in advice. Help them out. I can’t get wait to get back there and share everything I have learned at The Voice.
Team Usher: Michelle Chamuel
Michelle Chamuel- Performed “Grenade” by Bruno Mars
Usher made some truly special comments about you tonight as an artist and an individual. He said, “You’re something different. You’re something we can all be optimistic about. She represents true inner beauty.” And that, “your performance represented everything we love about life.” What did all of that mean to you?
Michelle- I was overwhelmed. I don’t know where the camera was focusing but if you looked at me my eye balls…definitely overwhelmed. Tonight was really a moment for me where a lot of people’s effort came together. It was just amazing to be able to channel that and to also be myself in it and to have so many people see you and support you in your vision, and also put their beauty in it and their artistry in it. I’m really grateful.
Was there a comment from the coaches that meant the most to you tonight?
Michelle- There were so many meaningful comments. They were all so touching. Obviously, the one from my coach mattered in a special way to me. But hearing people that aren’t my coach respond in a way that they are moved, also, is special to me.
Team Blake: Danielle Bradbery, The Swon Brothers, Holly Tucker
Danielle Bradbery- Performed “Grandba” by The Judds.
You said the song you sang tonight had a very significant meaning to you and made you think about your grandfathers. How did you feel to perform it live?
Danielle- It felt really good. I felt like I was talking to them in the imaginary rocking chair. It was really good to connect with the words. It was like telling a story. And it was one of Blake’s favorite songs! It was really awesome!
All the coaches praise you every week. What it did feel like tonight when they said, you’re a prodigy and that you’re going to be one of the biggest Country stars?
Danielle- Hearing that from them was amazing! It’s kind of sinking in that they say all that big stuff. I’m like wow I’m hearing that from four of the most amazing stars in the world! It’s unbelievable.
The Swon Brothers (Colton and Zach Swon)- Performed …. by The Eagles.
You sang a big song tonight by The Eagles, what’s that like for you to perform hits by legends? How do you decide on song choice?
The Swon Brothers- They’re our favorite band so I think the nerves got the best of me tonight more than ever. They’re definitely my go to band. The song choice process is just tossing back and forth, just running ideas back and forth with each other, and then when one is right, it’s just right. We felt that about this song. It went great. We’re proud!
Definitely a lot of great feedback from the coaches for you guys tonight. Which comment meant the most to you both?
The Swon Brothers- Adam’s comment. He’s brutally honest and it’s cool to see even him say he’s a big fan of us and also to add that constructive criticism because that’s the point of the competition. You gotta bring your A-game every time and for him to say even with hiccups we still pulled it out- it was pretty cool.
Holly Tucker- Performed “Done” by The Band Perry
You looked like you were having a lot of fun with The Band Perry song tonight. How is it for you to open up to the audience during your performances?
Holly- Yes, I’m the type of person that always puts everything of me into everything that I do. I can’t just do something half-heartedly, or hide my feelings; it’s impossible for me. Being able to do all these different type of songs, I feel like I have a wide range of personality characteristics. I’m feeling great! It was a rush getting off that stage because I was able to do something with a lot more energy and it was just fun for me.
Watching you now week after week, you seem much more comfortable and confident on the stage now.
Holly- Yes, each week the confidence level goes up because that’s what Blake is really giving me. The more I practice the more I am able to get this experience. It’s just really helpful for me as an artist. I grow each time.
Comment from coaches that meant the most to you tonight?
Holly- It was really cool when Blake said, “You just chewed it up and spit it out!” (Laughs) Always, he’s got the coolest things to say. I just want to make him proud. No disrespect to the other coaches, of course!
Team Shakira: Sasha Allen
Sasha Allen- Performed “Without you” by….
Do you feel that you getting more comfortable on stage while performing? How was it singing a song by Usher tonight with them right there?
Sasha- I am. I mean it drives me more crazy because you want to be good and having Usher just sitting right there while singing his song; definitely intimidating! (Laughs) I hope I did my thing. I tried to do my thing and put my spin on it.
Shakira said tonight that, “You are the epitome of American woman. You can do everything. Every challenge.”
Sasha- I’m trying to do it all! I really do feel like I’m like an octopus. Just trying to make sure home is okay, and make sure my kids are okay, and that everybody is taking care of, and that we’re still communicating, and also trying to focus on a career at the same time. It takes a lot of time.
I can definitely imagine it’s a challenge. I admire you for it!
Sasha- It’s a huge challenge. But it’s all so rewarding.
Do you feel that being a mother impacts you as an artist?
Sasha- Yes, anytime that I kind of feel like this is becoming too hard or it’s too much pressure, you start thinking about your family and your kids and ask what’s too much pressure? What do you mean? Giving them a better life? This is not too much pressure. I just think about them and it puts me right back on track.
You’re the final one on Team Shakira now. Do you feel any pressure at all?
Sasha- Well, I always want to make her proud. I don’t feel any more pressure because the fierce competition is still the fierce competition! I’m learning a lot from her. She’s amazing. She’s a big global star.
And you’re both moms and artists that can bond!
Sasha- Yes, we talk about that. And I can tell by how she talks to me; there’s just the mother’s touch.
For more on the contestants of “The Voice”- www.nbc.com/the-voice
To read new season four “The Voice” interviews with Blake Shelton, Shakira, Christina Milan & more from The Voice- go here!