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The Voice Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

The Voice

This is an interview with Casey Muessigmann from Team Blake; Julio Cesar Castillo from Team Blake; Adriana Louise from Team Christina; Aquile from Team Christina; and MacKenzie Bourg from Team Cee-Lo on September 12, 2012 about the show The Voice.

Question:
MacKenzie, how is your health is these days?

MacKenzie Bourg:
It's very good. I'm fully healthy at this point. I don't really play basketball for school anymore, so I'm for sure all fine now.

Question:
Aquile, can you talk about your previous experience with the music industry? Do you have any music on iTunes or anything else anyone else can listen?

Aquile:
I've been in the music industry for a while. I play with a band. I have a band called the Orbit Group and there's stuff online on iTunes that people can get. I also have a single on iTunes. It's really old but it's there.

Question:
Casey, could you talk to us about your ass slap choice last night? And, how it felt for you to have to teach Blake?

Casey Muessigmann:
Okay. So funny story. The ass slap is actually me keeping time. I didn't realize that it was going to blow up like that, and I wish I could say something cool and fancy about how I had that planned out, but really I was just slapping to the beat of the song and people just went crazy.

Question:
Casey, What kind of coach is Blake? Is he funny? Is he flirty? Is he nice? Describe what kind of coach he is.

Casey Muessigmann:
From my limited time with Blake I can just tell you he's obviously funny but he's real. And that's all I could ever ask for in a coach is just a real guy.

Question:
Last season he brought his wife, Miranda, with him. Sometimes you know she served as a mentor. Have you guys got to hang out with her yet, or you know does he talk about her a lot? Or, is she going to come back?

Casey Muessigmann:
Actually, Blake is such a funny dude that he doesn't really bring his personal life into it. He just worries about the music and worries about coaching you. It's actually really cool.

Question:
Julio, can you talk about why you wanted to perform La Bamba even though it was a risk to sing in a different language?

Julio Cesar Castillo:
Well, you have to take a risk if you want to stand out. And you know, I just went for it. So you know, I'm glad I go the results I did and I'm glad I did it. I'm glad I went for it.

Question:
Casey, since the past two winners have been more R&B, do you feel you have to work harder because you're doing country? Like, how do you see it?

Casey Muessigmann:
Absolutely. From a Country singer's perspective, I don't do a lot of the really impressive vocal things that are going to shock and awe people. I just need to you know try to portray the emotion of the song and you know go with it. Blake always talks about how he wants to hear someone tell a story with their voice, and that's my goal man. You know, I'm just going to do everything I can to put every single song through my heart before I spit it out my mouth.

Question:
Aquile, how do you think Christina compliments you as a singer?

Aquile:
I think she compliments me really well. Like her soul, her vocal ability, it's something I've always related with since I was a young kid. She just has that soul that when she sings it command so much attention in it, and it's kind of how I strive to be as an artist and as a singer myself.

Question:
Julio, could tell us what is it that you love about Mariachi so much since you were a little kid?

Julio Cesar Castillo:
Okay, see I started listening to music because of my parents and my grandparents, and you know it's obviously part of my roots. And I think just the fact that I've seen it being interpreted so well by so many artists - I don't know, I just kind of connected with it. And ever since I was young I had a feeling that type of music was something I wanted to get into, which I did and I'm still into. So yes, that's pretty much it.

Question:
And is it something you'd like to try on the show? Do you think it's something that America could really get into?

Julio Cesar Castillo:
I'd definitely like to try it on the show. You know, I'm not sure what America's reaction would be, but you know like I said before, it's good to take risks sometimes. And sometimes, the outcome's even better than you imagine.

Question:
We don't see too many people that after their audition the judges ask them to sing more. What was that like for you being asked to give them a little Mariachi there?

Julio Cesar Castillo:
It was surprising. It definitely caught me by surprise, but you know always have something prepared, whether it's in Mariachi or in something else. I just like to have something in my pocket just in case they do ask. So it felt good to have Cee-Lo ask me to do something like that just because it showed a little more of my side and like what I have done for so long.

Question:
After your audition, you said it was just gut instinct that made you choose Blake. Have you had a chance to reflect on that? Is there anything that you'd like to add about why you choose him?

Julio Cesar Castillo:
It was my gut feeling. When I first thought of auditioning, or when I first thought you know if the coaches all turn around, I had my mind set on picking Adam, but he didn't turn around so I just went with my gut. I hadn't thought about Cee-Lo being my coach or Blake, so I just thought that Blake would've been a better match for me.

Question:
Adriana, can you tell us a little bit about what it's like to be the subject of a bidding war between these judges?

Adriana Louise:
God, it's crazy. I didn't expect that to happen whatsoever. I was hoping for one and to be stuck in that and all four of them saying the most amazing things I've ever heard about myself in my life was crazy. It as mind boggling, and I'm still in shock over it.

Question:
What kind of performer are you? What sort of career have you had up until this point and what can we expect to see from you on the show moving forward?

Adriana Louise:
The ironic part about watching myself last night and all of them saying, ???You look like a seasoned performer,??? and a professional. And, they've been saying that and I haven't been on a stage in like three years. And prior to that, I hadn't performed in front of an audience nearly that big at all since at my high school. So it was pretty big to me.

I hadn't been on a stage and it was the first time my boyfriend had seen me perform on a stage and we've been together for two years. And yes, I hope I brought it well and America liked it and people liked it. But yes, my thing is the second I got on stage, I don't know what happened. All the sudden it's like I walk out, get into it, and I bring some energy to it you know. And yes, that's so you can see a lot of energy on stage for me.

Question:
MacKenzie, you said what you went through health wise really sort of motivated you to come out for the show. That you weren't really big into taking risks before this. Can you tell us a little bit more about how that sort of has changed your life?

MacKenzie Bourg:
Yes. Whenever I overcame the whole sickness, I just realized that you know you truly have to seize the day and that you know no day is ever guaranteed. And I just thought that if I don't do it now, when will I do it? So I decided to take the chance to come out for the show and it worked out for the best.

Question:
Julio, were you concerned that your genre of music might limit you when it comes time for the battle round?

Julio Cesar Castillo:
I haven't really put much thought into that. I kind of just wanted to take it one step at a time, especially since it was surprising for me to even get this far. But I just knew that my genre of music can become an advantage for me just because I don't feel like any other artist on this show has seen that genre of music. But no, I don't think of it as a weakness but more as something I could use towards my advantage.

Question:
MacKenzie, when you were compared to both Harry Potter and Justin Bieber, you seemed a little more excited about the Harry Potter comparison. Could you maybe go into that a bit?

MacKenzie Bourg:
Sure. I mean don't get me wrong. I mean I would love the 25 million fans, the sold out arenas, and the plethora of currency, but I mean deep down I want my own thing musically. I want people to recognize me for me. And Harry Potter, I mean it's a fictional movie character who is awesome and I'd much rather be compared to a non-musician than a musician.

Question:
For all of you who had multiple turns from the chairs, I'm sure that has to be an incredibly big rush because you're sitting there thinking, ???Okay. We've got two, three, four of these people wanting me,??? and most of you probably have an idea of who you do want and some of them didn't turn around. Do you really just have to make that feeling in just an instant? And, how is that rush to make that decision, because it's going to be the decision that's going to make you or break you. What is that feeling like if you can explain it in words?

Aquile:
That was one of the craziest feelings I've ever had in my whole life was not only having one person turn around, but then to have the decision to choose from all these superstars. It was pretty surreal. It literally was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. Because, I went in really thinking that I would want to be with Christina, but then when Cee-Lo turned around and so did Adam, it kind of changed my whole mind. I kind of reevaluated the situation. So it was so difficult.

Casey Muessigmann:
I went into this thinking I was going to go Blake or Adam the whole way, and suddenly when Cee-Lo turned around looking at the different styles that these coaches have and the ways that they can help develop you as an artist, it really kind of stops you and makes you reconsider who you are and what you can actually do with your voice and your personality. It seemed like pretty obvious that I was going to go with Blake, but in all honesty what Cee-Lo said to me and the way he made me feel special about myself just by turning around and smiling at me that was a life changing moment for me.

Question:
Does it happen as instantly as we see it on TV or is there editing? Do you have more time to think or do you really have to make it split second?

Adriana Louise:
It was not edited at all. It was that quick we had to think of who we're going to choose. I was literally dumbfounded on the stage. My mind went blank. I didn't know what I was going to do. Especially like all four. All I was thinking in my mind was, ???All four? All four???? I was like overwhelmed. And I mean literally, it was just as fast as you saw. I mean in my mind I wanted Christina really badly, and that was my goal just to get her to turn around because I love her so much, and you know she was really picky. And when I saw her I was like, ???Okay. Totally. Awesome.???

And then, I heard the other coaches speak, and I was like, ???Oh, God, this sucks.??? They're all telling me great things. I was like, ???Oh, God. Now what I do???? Like I was like, yes, completely dumbfounded. And then ultimately I was like, ???You know what? Go with your gut.??? I mean Christina Aguilera just stood up for you and clapped, and the rest of the judges did too, but to me it was like, ???Oh, my God.??? The only person I saw was Christina at that moment standing for me, and I was like I have to go with her.

Question:
Casey, how you think your background as an athlete has helped you as a singer and maybe prepared you for this competition if at all?

Casey Muessigmann:
Well actually, it really has helped me, and I think everybody who's spent time around me while we were out there before the blinds will tell you that I talked about it all the time. You know, wrestling really prepared me for this because when you're on a wrestling team it's an individual sport and you have to support your teammates and make sure they're ready, and then when it's your turn you just have to step up and explode.

And you know, being an athlete I was ready for that, and I was ready for the pressure of knowing that it was all on me being part of a kind of team deal. You know, we had to support each other. So my background in competitive athletics did nothing but prepare me for this.

Question:
Are you still studying sports broadcasting and is that something that still you think is an option for you?

Casey Muessigmann:
Right now I want to make sure I give my music a legitimate shot because for so long I've put my music on the back burner for athletics and for school, and I really want to see what I can do if I set my mind to actually being you know a musician.

Question:
Aquile, what inspired you to pick Christina? Did her offer of a private concert sort of factor into that at all?

Aquile:
Oh, wow. No. I can't say that persuaded me any more because I pretty much had my mind set when I went in there that if I had the opportunity to work with Christina that there was no way that I would pass it up. And when she said that, it caught me by surprise for sure. I couldn't believe I was hearing that from Christina Aguilera. But it was definitely flattering but it didn't have anything to do with my decision really. I totally picked her for her vocal ability and who she is and what she's accomplished.

Question:
We heard your stories before of what you had done before athletics and things like that. Was music always number one in your mind? Is this a realization of a childhood dream for all of you?

Julio Cesar Castillo:
I know in my case, I've been doing this since I was about three years old. I started singing before I could even talk. And it's just always been what I wanted to do. And now more than ever, I feel that it's what is meant to be for me. It's what I feel I have to be doing. So yes, that's something like a dream come true and it feels great.

Aquile:
I feel kind of the same way as Julio. I have videos of me singing into a microphone at two years old. And, I was always told by my family it was kind of a destined thing. But, I didn't always know that singing is what I wanted to do for a profession. It was just always a hobby up until about junior high. And then I absolutely knew that this is what I wanted to do. So by yesterday, watching it on television, which is defiantly like a childhood dream come true, it's a surreal experience to finally have made it this far.

Adriana Louise:
Same as Julio. It's funny he already said that, but my mom really said the same thing for me, that I could literally sing before I could talk. It sounds like Julio took the words. Yes. My mom would say the same thing and said the radio or Disney tapes would come on and like I would hum along to them and make up my own words to the songs. And, just has video tapes of me just dancing around our house just singing along.

And I mean at first I knew I always loved to sing, but I was really, really, really shy when it came to singing. I still don't really like singing in front of people. I get really embarrassed when people ask me to sing and I usually try to kind of avoid it. But my thing was I've played mandolin since I was in kindergarten and that was my way of trying to be musical and play mandolin all through elementary school and orchestra.

And they would ask if anyone wanted to sing and I was deathly afraid to sing, and even throughout middle school. And, the only reason I auditioned for my show choir was because the teacher happened to hear me singing in the hallway and basically forced me to come and audition for the show choir. And I did, and then I'm thankful that he did. And Mr. Zoren, shout out to him. He changed my life and gave me some confidence. It was like, ???You know, you can sing.??? And I was like, ???I can???? And the only people prior to that was my mother and my brother and my father. So Mr. Zoren, I love you wherever you are. And he's awesome. He single-handedly changed my world and told me that I could sing. And I wasn't just a musician anymore. I could sing. So thanks Mr. Zoren.

Question:
Aquile, you did touch a little bit on last night about growing up in a small town and being biracial from Wyoming and then moving out West to pursue your dream. I was wondering if you could touch a little bit on different obstacles you faced moving out west or how you were welcomed? And like it made it a little bit easier for you to I guess come into your own as an artist?

Aquile:
I'm originally from San Diego, so it was kind of a big culture shock moving all the way out to Wyoming. I was pretty young, but I knew it was a huge change. I moved to a town of about 5000 people. And I think at one point when I moved there, I'm pretty positive that I was honestly the only biracial kid in the whole town. I'm pretty sure. There was a good Mexican community. There just wasn't black people around, that's for sure.

It set me apart. People knew right away. People just know in small towns if somebody's driving through with a different car, they know that they're from out of town or something, so they obviously knew that I wasn't from there by just the color of my skin. I was used to being singled out and being looked at and stared at when I go into the grocery store or just to an average restaurant. People kind of look at me like I don't - I never belonged. And that was just something that I just got used to.

It's not really something that I thought was ever a negative thing. It just was like I just grew up accustomed to being different than everybody. And I think it's just made me that much more unique and it's also helped me gain the support of the whole Wyoming community. I mean, a lot of people that may have looked at me one way, once they got to know me, totally had different opinions about me. And not like a stereotype opinion. So anyway, that all contributed to the tough skin that I have now. And in my music, it's definitely made me unique as an artist I believe.

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