'Idol' Alums, Including Season 3's 'Pen Salesman,' Thrive on 'The Voice'
Fans of The Voice may have noticed two familiar faces from American Idol this season: season nine’s Luke Edgemon and season three top 10 finalist Jon Peter Lewis, who is competing as part of the duo Midas Whale.
Both men advanced in Monday night’s battle round, with Midas Whale retaining their spot on Adam Levine’s team and Edgemon being “stolen” by Blake Shelton.
In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday afternoon, Lewis said that his time on Idol -- where he was dubbed "the Pen Salesman" for his formal attire at auditions -- helped him to be more "mentally prepared for the things that are coming" on The Voice. Meanwhile, Edgemon said he is enjoying the decision to take the reality show jump the second time around.
“I didn’t make it quite as far on Idol as Jon did,” said Edgemon, who appeared during the Hollywood rounds four years ago. “I didn’t know much about myself musically as an artist.”
He managed to carve out a career singing backup vocals for Glee, which he called a “fluke,” before branching out as a member of the Dalton Academy Warblers. However, Edgemon said he has “no desire to act,” and was nervous to try out for The Voice having done Idol, but is happy with the choice.
Edgemon, originally picked for team Shakira, was the obvious vocal victor in his battle round against Monique Abbadie, despite his original dismay with the song choice: “You and I,” by Lady Gaga. “I was afraid to push the power-pop stuff,” he said.
However, he found that they key change in the song, which he said was a challenge vocally, pushed him to do better. Even Shakria commented that he had “the perfect amount of Tabasco, not to spoil the recipe.” However, Shakira’s strategy to retain Abbadie forced Edgemon to choose between the urban flavorings of Team Usher versus the “melting pot” of Team Blake. He opted to go with the more eclectic team.
“I wanted to stand out in the moment rather than blend in,” he said.
Lewis found himself in familiar territory on Monday night, as Levine chose the Elvis Presley song, “Burning Love,” for Midas Whale to perform against Memphis, Tennessee native, Patrick Dodd. While it is unclear if Levine knew that Lewis had performed two Presley songs -- “Jailhouse Rock” and “A Little Less Conversation” -- on Idol. We had to ask: is Elvis JPL’s lucky charm.
“It seems to be,” he laughed. “We didn’t choose that song, Adam chose it for us. I love Elvis and doing his songs.”
Although Lewis is a reality show veteran, he said that performing in a duo with his partner, Ryan Hayes, is a “whole new experience. Hayes added that the duo has an edge because Levine understands what makes the act “unique.”
However, Lewis found singing against Dodd -- whom he said was ‘intimidating’ vocally -- was a whole different ballgame. How did he feel about competing in the battle round? Said Lewis: “It’s easy to get caught up [and get] competitive and lose sight of creating a musical experience for the audience. You want to win, but it’s been nice to forcefully put that aside and create something nice. ... I love being in a trio with Patrick and I wish we could be in a trio with Patrick all the time."