'The Voice' Season 6 Goes Live: Meet the Top 12
Season 6 of NBC's "The Voice" begins its live rounds April 21 as each coach settled on their final three singers last week. The dozen finalists gathered at Universal City Walk last week to perform a song each and meet the media. Each of the singers discussed their musical history, what the coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Shakira and Usher have taught them and what they hope to eventually perform before this season's finale on May 20.
Kat Perkins // @KatPerkinsMusic
Earliest musical memories: "My father teaching me how to sing Donna Summer tunes in the living room, like 'She Works Hard for the Money'."
Best advice received while on the show: "Adam has taught me a lot about dynamics, being a rock singer and not screaming or shouting and being on 11. He has taught me to use my voice like a guitar, like a guitar pedal."
Song she would most like to perform: "Anything by Heart." Ann Wilson is my all-time favorite singer and they're my all-time favorite band."
Delvin Choice // @DrChoice
Earliest musical memories: "The first instrument that I wanted to play was the saxophone and my parents bought me a toy sax. I play with that thing until it fell apart. Then I went to playing piano. I love singing, but it's just something about being behind my piano and just playing all of my emotions into a song."
Best advice received while on the show: "Whatever happens on the stage is what was supposed to happen. We practice day in and day out what we want to sing, say, and do, but it always changes once you hit that stage - learn to trust your instincts."
Song he would most like to perform: "'Lovely Day' by Bill Withers. It's like my everyday anthem."
Christina Grimmie // @TheRealGrimmie
Earliest musical memories: "Been singing since I was four or five. I found out a lot about my voice through 'The Voice.'
Best advice received while on the show: "Adam's a big dude with staying in the pocket of the song, feeling the song. If you're feeling the song, the rhythm of the song, even if you're off pitch a little bit, it's OK if you're feeling the song because people are going to believe you."
Song she would most like to perform: "It would definitely be 'Can't Help Falling in Love' by Elvis [Presley] but it would be the Celine Dion version."
Sisaundra Lewis // @Sisaundra
Earliest musical memories: "I was only able to listen to gospel. It carried me through those rough times as a migrant worker. Music in general was something I held onto."
Best advice received while on the show: "To just live in the story, take your time and deliver. That has been priceless from Blake. It makes you start thinking more about dynamics, it makes you live deliver, like Chris Martin said, to all those people in the back of the audience."
Song she would most like to perform: "Being able to sing 'New York State of Mind' was just a dream true. I really love Billy Joel so to be able to do that in my playoff, that is a song I would have chosen to sing. I'm a huge fan of that song – it was the first time I ever sang it in my life. It's like the story of my life."
Audra McLaughlin // @AudraLynn21
Earliest musical memories: "Started singing when I was seven and two of the songs I learned first were 'I Hope You Dance' by Lee Ann Womack and 'Let Me Love You Eternally' by Whitney Houston."
Best advice received while on the show: "Be yourself on stage and have fun. There can't be any advice better than that. In each performance I have become more and more myself, more comfortable onstage, which is amazing to me because I was in such a shell during my blind audition."
Song she would most like to perform: "'In Color' by Jamey Johnson. It's not a song a lot of people know, but it has a lot of meaning to me. It talks about your grandfather in the service and my grandfather had a big influence on me in music."
Jake Worthington // @JDW_Music
Earliest musical memories: "I started singing when I was in the sixth grade. Learned guitar, played drums and started to sing with my friends. Classic rock, B.B. King, Metallica."
Best advice received while on the show: "It's more what I have interpreted through Blake's actions. He's a man of his word. He inspires me to keep staying true to myself. I'm just soaking in every piece of critique I can."
Song he would most like to perform: "I Can Still Make Cheyenne" by George Strait.
NEXT PAGE: TEAM SHAKIRA AND TEAM USHER
Kristen Merlin // @KristenMerlin
Earliest musical memories: "My first solo was a 'Peter Pan' solo, which haunts me to this day. Did chorus, did drama then started writing my own stuff."
Best advice received while on the show: "Ground myself a little bit. I tend to get a little too excited and move around too much. I need to dig into the words, dig into the meaning of the song."
Song she would most like to perform: "Pink's 'Perfect' but I know that has already been done so I'm going to have to pick another one."
Dani Moz // @DaniMozMusic
Earliest musical memories: "Piano is definitely the vehicle for me to dive into music and it allowed me to find my voice as well. Artists like Fiona Apple and Sarah McLachlan are really early influences on me."
Best advice received while on the show: "What Shakira said in the last round, not only singing with conviction, but letting your soul be seen, that affected me so much. Emoting is the key to connecting with the audience, more so than hitting every single note."
Song she would most like to perform: "I'm a huge fan of the Beatles and my jam, the song I used to sing in all my talent competitions, is 'Oh! Darling.'"
Tess Boyer // @TessHannahMusic
Earliest musical memories: "Very first song was at church - my dad's a pastor - 'Jesus Lover of My Soul.' Ever since then it's been show tunes, Christina Aguilera, Marvin Gaye songs. I was five when I started."
Best advice received while on the show: "All of my coaches know I am a very emotional singer. Deep down I know that performing is about expressing your life and your story. On the last song I did, 'Human,' ... I was glad America could see I could be vulnerable. Showing that every week will be a challenge."
Song she would most like to perform: "I really want to do 'Desperado' by the Eagles and put a contemporary spin on it or 'You Haven't Seen the Last of Me' by Cher from the movie 'Burlesque.'"
Bria Kelly // @BriaKelly
Earliest musical memories: "My blind song, [James Taylor's] 'Steamroller Blues,' I have been singing since I was 11. It's one of the songs that was out of my realm at the time and it was the one song that people responded to the most. That song has helped me grow so much over the years."
Best advice received while on the show: "To become more vulnerable with the songs. I kind of put up this wall – I'm badass, I'm tough, I have a guitar – but Usher taught me to let the guard down and open up to let people know who you are."
Song she would most like to perform: "Maybe 'Crazy on You' by Heart. I would love to do that. It could show diversity and talent in general."
Josh Kaufman // @IAmJoshKaufman
Earliest musical memories: "Because of my dad, I was really into '80s rock, [like] Journey, and as I got a little older I really got into R&B soul type stuff, people like BoyzIIMen."
Best advice received while on the show: "I started on Adam and ended up on Usher and both of them focused on performance and energy. It's not just about being 'the voice,' but connecting with the audience as well."
Song he would most like to perform: "Probably my favorite song that I sometimes do in my live shows is Jeff Buckley's [version of Leonard Cohen's] 'Hallelujah.' But that's been done too much. I love his version of [James Shelton's] 'Lilac Wine' so that's something I would be interested in."
T.J. Wilkins // @IAMTJWilkins
Earliest musical memories: "When I realized I could sing, the artists who I really gravitated to were Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Prince. I just idolized those guys for so many reasons, their music crossed barriers."
Best advice received while on the show: "Luck favors the prepared. Usher preaches that message time and time again and it's been proven in the battles. That mantra has become words to live by."
Song he would most like to perform: "'Purple Rain' by Prince. It's so epic."