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The Voice Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

The Voice

This is an interview with The Voice contestants on March 13, 2012 about the show The Voice.

Question:
Does competing against other talented singers in this competition make you nervous or does the competition aspect enhance your performance?

Juliet Simms:
I would say that everybody in this competition is so unique and so different and it's kind of like you have to just stick to you are as an artist and as an individual. And just hold on to that to not make you nervous and just stay true to who you are. Because everybody is so talented and it's easy to get nervous and it's easy to be like, "Well, that person is better than me because they can do this?" But as long as you remain who you are and stay true to who you are I think that makes it a little bit easier to not get nervous.

Question:Charlotte Sometimes:
I think we're all pretty isolated. We were just talking about this before. We try not to lean on the negative comments or those comments. So it's more to see at least for me who is the frontrunner. I mean music and voices are so subjective as well as personality. So I think ultimately I have no idea what's going to happen.

Question:
Jamar, your enthusiasm and your energy I mean it just constantly impressed me. Where does that come from? From what do you draw from that?

Jamar Rogers:
Thank you so much for that. Well, you have to understand I decided a long time ago that I just wasn't going to be a miserable person. I seriously and living in New York if you're not careful some abrasiveness can rub off on you, you know. So every morning I wake up I take a good 20 to 30 minutes and I just spend some alone time with God. If I don't spend that alone time with God, I'm a jerk. I just want to put that out there, I'm not a nice guy. I'm very self-serving and I'm very just human. I'm just a human being.

However, I find that if I spend that alone time it kind of puts everything into perspective. Not just this competition but kind of why I'm living and what it is I'm supposed to accomplish for that day. So please understand that I am not naturally joyful. I got to work at that.

Question:
Could you talk about what your guest advisors taught you that you'll take with you?

Sera Hill:
I definitely took from Jewel that when you sing and you're performing you definitely have to remember the emotion. And it's not about who can power sing and out sing. It's just about the emotion and being authentic. And Jewel definitely told me to remember that.

Kim Yarbrough:
Yes, the same thing with me and Robin Thicke who I really admire. And I am a fan said to me you have to get into the brokenness of the lyrics of the song. And for the first time that sent me on a path to discovering how that song related to me. And in the end I realized oh my god this song is about me or what I've lived through in my life. And I think that just made it that much more poignant for me. So that was a perfect - it was a perfect comment coming - coming from Robin. And I think it helped me a great deal.

Charlotte Sometimes:
I'm such a big fan of Kelly Clarkson. I think she's so awesome, so she really just taught me like when we had our moment together when it wasn't shown on TV but we had this moment where we both crying and talking about like just people's opinions about us. And our bodies and completely way that didn't know I went through. But I was anorexic all growing up and my first record came out everyone was kind of like trashing me and calling me fat and all these things. And it was really tough on me and she just kind of really made me feel comfortable in my skin. And just gave me confidence and just made me feel like it was okay to be myself and that was good enough. And I'm just so thankful that I got to have that conversation with her.

Lindsey Parvao:
What Lionel Richie kind of taught me is that well I'm either like really straight-faced and quiet or I'm probably crying, those are my two phases. And so when I got on stage I was a pretty underwhelming performer. So I think with Lionel Richie and Christina it was about finding some sort of medium. But I'm not completely broken down and is totally upset on the stage but I'm also not super guarded and closed off. So for me I think it was about learning how to emote and express to people and connect with them and make them feel something. So, yes that's what I did.

Kim Yarbrough:
One very important thing that sticks out in my mind that Robin Thicke said to me is don't worry about anything else but tapping into the love and the joy of the music and whoever brings the magic at the end of the night, it's who wins. And that was so important to me that those few words, whoever brings the magic at the end of the night had a down in my heart. I'm like that's really true, that's really true. When you're able to connect and be in the moment that's when magic happens, that's when music happens. So that was helpful for me as well.

Juliet Simms:
Neyo basically just told me that like getting to know me in the short time he got to, he saw that I put out who I am and laid all my cards down on the table, pretty much right when you meet me or when you talk to me or whenever I'm on stage and he saw that I draw from my emotions when I sing. He taught me a good lesson in holding back, holding it all back and not giving away everything all at the beginning. Because then it doesn't leave anything for people to look forward to or he really taught me about leaving something for people to learn about you or look forward to. So I mean that's what he pretty much told me. He also called me a unicorn so I learned a session that I'm a mystical creature that was pretty interesting. And yes, I mean it was pretty rad.

Jamar Rogers:
Meeting Neyo, he's one of the most prolific songwriters of my generation. And to have him say that I could possibly be unstoppable, there's just no greater accolade in that. He told me to just make sure I guide and will emotions in a positive way and not be so technical because I do have a tendency to think about every note and dissect it. And last night wasn't technically it was not I could have done better, however, I really feel like that to me is the most important part. So I really appreciate Neyo for - for even taking the time to deal with us minions.

Question:
What advice do you have for other people who are struggling with either giving up or they're facing their own adversities or even opposition from family and friends who try to discourage that? What advice can they take home from you?

Jamar Rogers:
I just want to say that you never know, you just never know what's right around the corner. And I just don't believe in the words can't. I've met with labels. I've had the door slammed in my face so many times. And I remember going into the Voice just kind of saying I'm just going to do this. If this isn't it, then screw it. I should really do something practical. And for me I'm just so happy I didn't quit I'm not trying to be a saint when I say my number one priority is not to win this show. Don't get me wrong I'm very competitive and I would love to win. But I've already won because I've gotten to tell people my heart. And I've changed what my goal and it's not just to make the name of Jamar Rogers great, who gives a flip about Jamar Rogers.

There's so many people that are hurting out there whether it's the economy or just bad relationships, eating disorders. There's people that have real life issues out there that goes beyond with Keeping up with the Kardashians. There's people that really need someone to really identify with and if I get to be that guy for people, then oh my god, I've won. I just want to let people know do not give up. You never know when your moment's going to happen. You never know when your time's going to come and if you give up, you might miss out on the best opportunity of your life, that's it I'm done, I'm done.

Juliet Simms:
I would just like to add to that. I will tell you something is if giving up ever entered my vocabulary or mind, I mean this industry is so hard and you have family and friends and whoever can have their opinions. I mean family should just be supportive because that's what family should do. And I feel like I've gone through so many record labels, so many records, like 100s of tours and just like struggling so much in this industry.

You got to keep in mind like what your end goal is and you just have to look at it and just keep going, you know. There's so many times where you're going to want to give up or put your head down or quit. I'm not going to lie I've had so many of those moments from like maybe I should go get a desk job. "No what the heck what are you thinking that for?" Like it's the most awful thought for me, like don't do that. So you just have to just I mean if you love it so much, if it's the only thing that's going to make you happy, then you got to do it and just keep going.

Charlotte Sometimes:
I agree with you Juliet. Not to like kick a dead horse because we're pretty much all saying the same thing. You just can't give up, it's not an option. You're definitely in the wrong business if you just give up because it's not really about the definition of success is kind of And it's not about necessarily winning the competition but about like burning your heart to people and making a different in some way or another. Maybe it's making someone laugh or be inspired and if we can all do that, I think we are going to be just fine.

Kim Yarbrough:
I believe it was Patti Labelle's father that told her, "Patti, if you sing long enough and loud enough, somebody is going to pay attention." For those people in this industry that want to make it big, that want to fulfill their dreams, I believe they're two types of entertainers in this business. Whatever type of entertainment you do there's the type then need to do it and there are the types that like to do it. I think all of us are the types that need to do it.

It's in our blood, we wake up thinking about it. We go to sleep thinking about it and if that's the case, you just got to keep going because there's something in you everyday driving you to get up and do it. No matter what your mind says, quit or whatever. But I think for those two groups I think you have to decide which type of performer you are. Do you need to do it? If you do, just don't believe the hype and keep going. If you can take it or leave it, and you're going to be happy no matter what, go do something else.

Juliet Simms:
I think I speak for all of us when I say that we all need to do it because pretty much I don't know how to do anything else.

Question:
Charlotte, you were one of the few that had all four judges trying to round for you. What made you decide to go with Team Blake?

Charlotte Sometimes:
You know Blake just seems so genuine and sincere and he has like this little twinkle in eye and I just thought I didn't if I was going to get too much further in this competition. And I thought it Blake is going to make me have fun and ultimately isn't that what's its all about.

Question:
Do you ever think that other judges might help me in a certain area that Blake couldn't?

Charlotte Sometimes:
I don't think you can allow yourself to think that way because I need the decision I made and try to stick with that and that's who I chose and I just going to be thankful that anybody picked me and be thankful that Blake wants to help me.

Question:
Juliet you were talking about at the end after you won the last round. You said all the times where you didn't know if you'd have enough to eat the next day or a place to sleep that day and things like that. If you could reflect on two things, first of all what was the hardest point. Was there some point where you really didn't have money to eat or either a place to sleep? And also could you tell us roughly where you were just before the contest started? Where were you in life before then?

Juliet Simms:
Different times like on the road literally where the band wasn't making enough money to feed ourselves. Yes, I mean like thank God for fans, that's why I have this loyal loving fan base on the planet because I grew up with them. I started touring so young and we would sleep at fan's houses, they would feed us we would play shows where people would bring food to the shows to feed us.

Because it's our time on the road and the tank for gas alone is hard enough job. First moving out to L.A. I never told my parents this because it was like it was kind of a pride thing. I didn't want to worry them but I crashing on friend's couches sleeping in my car a few times. Actually struggling but you know I finally, I finally obviously started making money and being able to afford food. And at the time of the show I of course I found wonderful, wonderful boyfriend. And live with him and he does a great job taking care of me and I like to eat.

Question:
How old were you when you first started touring and does your boyfriend have a regular day job so you don't have to be stuck with a music things that he'll do?

Juliet Simms:
No, my boyfriend is a musician as well but it's a successful band so he doesn't have a problem feeding me. I started touring when I was about 16, 15, 16.

Question:
When you had a whole band, how big a band were you touring with?

Juliet Simms:
I did tours for Charlotte the Band's warp tour. That was five people.

Question:
Charlotte, Blake made some comments that he felt that you had a lot greater control at the performance but that you maybe didn't take the risks that listed. And I'm wondering how do you take that advice going forward? How do you weigh control versus risk?

Charlotte Sometimes:
I think that this song didn't really call for a lot of risks because it's a stable song. So I just sang it like the way that I felt it needed to be sung. And then going forward I don't think I should ever attack a song in a way of thinking that I need to take vocal risk. I want to sing for the song. I work as a songwriter, so I want to sing for the emotion of the song and not to sound like the best singer. And not to sing like, yes, I can hit a high E in a ballad and I can do runs, I can do all that stuff, but I just don't necessarily think that's always what people want to hear and ultimately I want to serve the song and not myself.

Question:
So you don't really think that means that the sound that the judges are looking for risks going forward?

Charlotte Sometimes:
I mean ultimately maybe they are but I think I can only be true to myself and if it's against, I think like who I am in my nature I just want to serve the song and sing it the way I want to interpret it. And as Blake thinks I should have carried it differently obviously I'm going to listen to that and try to make him happy. I don't think that singing should necessarily be about show, like who can do the best runs. I think it's about putting your heart and your soul in it and if that means making more vocal risks, then that's what I'll do. And if not, I won't

Question:
Since the next round is going to be the live where you all will be needing the votes of the viewers, I was wondering in what ways would you or would you hope that viewers will be able to connect with you?

Jamar Rogers:
I think that viewers like, I think that viewers like someone that's real. I think that they want someone that they can relate to and I want to say the vast majority of people can't relate to my story. But who can't relate to just making bad decisions? We've all made bad decisions. They come in all shapes, colors and sizes. And I think that I kind of have an advantage in that way. You know, I guess it's a gift, a talent but I have this thing where I can just connect with anyone. I don't know where it came from. I can have a conversation with anyone. So I think that that's going to work in my favor. I don't want this to turn into a popularity contest because at the end of the day it is called The Voice not nobody's running for homecoming king or queen here. So I'm hoping that I'll continue to sing my ass off but I think that personality does go a long way.

Sarah Golden:
I think it is good to just be relatable and have a relatable back story if you will and to just be real like Jamar said. It's important to be on your social networking thing like your Twitters, your Facebook and whatever you have, whatever tools you have to reach people, to reach the masses then you should definitely use those. But my thing is just to be real and just stay my regular self and hopefully the people will see that I'm just like them and that they like that.

Lindsey Pavao:
I kind of have to agree with everybody else about the whole not wanting this to be a pageant show and all that.

Tammy:
I agree with everyone. I'm in such awe of my fellow artists that I'm working with on the show because everyone has such wonderful overcoming stories. I am in the midst of such greatness because of the victories that have been had in my teammates' lives, in my fellow artists' lives. And if they can come and just be themselves and be on top of the world and reach for their dreams like everybody's doing on this show, I just find it very inspiring. So all we can do is just go forward and be ourselves. I agree. Everybody is unique. There are so many different types of personalities, different types of musicality style on this show and we are all there for that reason. Everybody has their own thing and I think if we continue to do our own thing and be true to ourselves it'll all fall in place.

Question:
Jamar, after the performance Adam basically flagellated himself for not having responded to you during the blind audition round. How did it feel to have this praise coming now? Was it too little too late or was it affirming?

Jamar Rogers:
It's never too little too late. Let me just say that. It's never too little too late to get some affirmation. I'm so appreciative of him saying that. And I remember standing up there and just saying to myself wow, I can't believe this is happening right now. But you have to understand when I went home after the blind audition I got the coach that I wanted. I didn't go home and cry oh, why didn't I get four chairs? No. If I had gotten all four chairs I would still be with the coach that I'm with today. And so no, it really - I felt like it was a very good hearty pat on the back but I made an allegiance to Team Red Zone. I told Cee Lo that if he would keep me that I would take him all the way. And I love all of my other beautiful contestants. But this is Cee Lo's turn to win this year. So I mean it is what it is.

Question:
Some of viewers felt that maybe the pairings may have been one-sided in the battle round last night in particular with the song selection. I know some of you said that you do have an advantage with my song but I'm still going to do a job, etc. So how do you feel about that? Do you guys think you were given an advantage by the show?

Charlotte Sometimes:
I think that there isn't an unfair advantage. I mean at the end of the day this is a competition and like we all love each other but we all want to win. And there really isn't such a thing as an underdog. We're both given the same opportunities. We both are given moments to shine. And it's just kind of like sometimes somebody has a better day than somebody else. And I think we all just work really, really hard and I don't think they're in the business of trying to make somebody look at or to give someone a fair an unfair advantage. I mean that would make a really uninteresting show.

Juliet Simms:
I think everybody can relate to this. But it's like I have been doing this is all I've ever done ever for like years and years and years and years and years and I've seen so many people succeed and so many of my friends' bands blow up. So many girls get huge record deals and seeing them blow up is just like when they started calling Sarah the underdog I was like are you kidding me? My career is based around being the underdog. Like I couldn't believe it, you know? So I definitely think that I agree with exactly what everybody else is saying.

Kim Yarbrough:
I don't envy the coaches during this part of the show from choosing and agonizing who they want to put together on their teams to having to choose between one or the other in the battle round and keep one and send one home. I just believe it's hard all the way around all the way down the line for the coaches. And I at the end of the day I think it's who brings it.

Question:
Lindsey, are you thinking about your shows already for the live shows? Are you rehearsing already? Are you preparing? What do we expect?

Lindsey Pavao:
Yes. I already have a couple of songs. You know, it's eight permits that I get to play. And after watching the battles I'm just motivated to sing much better and but I'm not going to change what I do. Unfortunately I did read some reviews on how things went last night. But I think that I've kind of decided how I want to go into this competition and I want to keep working with the songs and trying to not change them but make them honest to myself. So that's what I'm going to go with. And thank you. I think that the iTunes thing is awesome. Whoever thought of us doing iTunes songs for the show, like I didn't even realize that they did that and that is so cool. But yes, it's going to be really, really fun and I think that I've gotten to a place where I'm trying to accept where I am on my journey. I'm new to this whole singing situation especially on this scale. And I'm just going to embrace it and I'm so excited.

Question:
Kim, at the end of the show they showed you telling your family members that it's now your time. And then today Carson had blogged that you really had an uphill battle so to speak for this week since you had been fighting laryngitis. Sister, you rock. If you can back up a laryngitis like this what was going through your head with that knowing how much was at stake?

Kim Yarbrough:
Oh my god. You know, this happens a lot with me and maybe it's something about my throat chakra that's clogged up. I don't know. And I have to clear it out every once in a while. But I will get laryngitis right before a big performance and that happens a lot. And hopefully this is the last time. But yes, I was pretty much in agony. I did not talk for five days before the performance. And I still was only maybe 95% recovered during the battle.

And I was trying not to push too much because I knew if I did I would crack or I would go off key or get pitchy. So it was really hard. I had to just shut down and be silent. I've realized or I've learned from my doctors when this happened before. The only thing to cure it is to just shut up. And that's really hard because I wanted to practice. I wanted to practice the days before the competition. And all of my practice was mental. But my - I'm a violinist. I was a violin major in college and my sisters always told me practice is 90% mental. And I never really got the full meaning of that until this battle round.

Question:
Kim, have you thought all along that your age has worked in your favor performance wise or are you a little nervous competing with people that are a little younger?

Kim Yarbrough:
No. I don't get nervous about that because I don't feel 50, I don't think I look 50. I don't think it matters. It's not something I think about when I go out on stage. Oh my god, I'm 50. I just don't think that. What I'm thinking about when I go out on stage is how can I best serve this song? How can I tap into the audience's souls? How can I tap into their minds with this song? And when the song selection was made I was very happy about it because it was a song I was very familiar with. It's not something I had sung before but I'd heard it on the radio a million times. And I thought great, this is something that I'm familiar with. So I did have to learn the song but I was glad he chose that. And I love R&B so much. It was just a perfect choice. And I realized going along that the song really was about me and my life. I did live thorough that. So yes, that's my answer.

Question:
Juliet you mentioned the relationship you have with your fans. I'm wondering what is the feedback then about your performances on the voice? And also what do your bandmates think about how you've done on TV so far?

Juliet Simms:
My fans have been nothing but like so supportive and so like involved in a way where they've like started their own little like Juliet Simms Army. And I swear to god there's like a captain and a general. I'm not kidding. It's crazy. It's amazing. I mean honestly the band I had always been the songwriter for the band and it was always kind of my band and my thing.

And like I would have band members come and go and I would say that the few that did stick around in the band are nothing but supportive. And they have their own things going on as well. And I mean they're like my brother for instance, was my guitar player for a long time. And he was over at my house last night like totally watching the show and rooting for me and I've gotten nothing but support. And I feel so fortunate with that. And yes, that's my answer.

Question:
I've kind of noticed on like Cutter and YouTube that you and Whitney Myer seem to be pretty close and perform together regularly. And I was just wondering did you guys know each other before the show and if so, like how did you know each other? And then anyone else on the show who may have had like a close relationship with someone on the show before it aired?

Lindsey Pavao:
No. I did not know anyone but Whitney and I got off the plane together and we have been an unstoppable bromance ever since. And I don't know. Like it's crazy how kindred of spirits we are and how close we live regionally. It's a crazy coincidence. But it's been so cool. We both have major like anxiety about the whole situation with being on the TV so we would just have these like freakout sessions. We'd be like you're going to be okay. If you're okay I'm okay. Okay, we're going to be okay.

And it was beautiful. And it's super heart breaking because part of this experience is Whitney and I. And not having Whitney with me is just stupid. But it's what the competition is. Like if you move forward then you're going to lose friends. And that's kind of the sucky thing is you have to enjoy every moment you have with these people because eventually either you're going to be gone or they're going to be gone. It's like gladiator. But nobody does but it's still the same feeling.

Juliet Simms:
Charlotte and I actually go way back. We dated the same guy. But we also toured together in 2008. So Charlotte and I have known each other for quite a period of time. It was amazing when I saw her the first week or whatever when we - when this whole process started. And I was like oh my god. This is awesome. I have friend here. It was so great. It was like someone to eat dinner and lunch with and hang out with.

Charlotte Sometimes:
Yes.

Juliet Simms:
And it was definitely like a little piece of home was there at the show with you. It was cool.

Charlotte Sometimes:
I think it really helps the both of us because initially during our like I guess the executive auditions that we were scared. Of course we were scared. So it was nice to be able to like spend time together and boost each other's confidence. And luckily we haven't been on - we're not on the same team so we're like yay, you go. We were really lucky.

Juliet Simms:
Yes, I know. I know.

Question:
Jamar, at the end of your performance with Jamie last night there was such an outpouring of emotion. I think it was really the most emotional moment we've seen on the show to date. And I'm wondering if you can tell me a little bit about how you guys felt, about your friendship and where all that emotion was coming from?

Jamar Rogers:
The cool thing is Jamie flew into New York yesterday and I've been kicking it with him. And I just want to say it's like there has been no love lost. Jamie and I became friends and we actually stayed in touch after the blind going into the battle. And the win was just super bittersweet. Like in fact I believe I started crying on stage which I do not advocate, which I would have never planned that in a million years. I started crying on stage and what they actually edited out was about 15 more minutes of me crying backstage.

It was just so many emotions all at once. One, I was really proud of Jamie. You don't understand. Jamie has an incredible story a lot of people don't know about. I mean I'll let him touch on that. But he has a great story himself. And this was the first time he had sang he had been away from home and the first time he had sung on such a big stage. I was overcome with pride for him. I felt like a proud dad. So I was crying because of that. I was crying because Cee Lo said the most amazing words to me. You know, when you're listening to someone, you're buying their albums, you're cyber stalking them on YouTube and stuff, you never think in a million years that they will actually be the ones that affirm you.

He didn't just affirm my artistry. He affirmed my character. So that's another reason I started crying. And I really felt like I've made so many bad decisions and there have been so many bad outcomes from those decisions that I actually made one good decision. And I was actually able to just enjoy the consequence of a good decision. It was too much. I couldn't even word it all last night because I know I remember saying something like this kind of stuff just doesn't happen to guys like me. I should be the dredge of society, you know? I just feel so honored. I'm so blessed. And I was crying watching it last night. I'm the most crying ass man you will ever meet. I cry.

Question:
We'll see it again before it's over?

Jamar Rogers:
I didn't go into it thinking it was going to be uber emotional. It just kind of happened that way. I love Jamie Lono. I will support everything he does. He is all right in my book. I just want to say that.

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