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Interview with TSoul, Brennley Brown,
Hunter Plake, and Vanessa Ferguson of "The
Voice" on NBC 5/17/17
Moderator: Kaitlin Blanco
2017 1:00 pm CT
Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank
you for standing by. Welcome to The Voice Elimination Press
and Media Conference Call. During the presentation all
participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards we
will conduct a question and answer session. At that time if
you have a question please press the 1 followed by the 4 on
your telephone. If at any time during the conference you
need to reach an operator please press Star 0.
reminder this conference is being recorded Wednesday, May
17, 2017. I would now like to turn the conference over to
Kaitlin Blanco with The Voice PR. Please go ahead ma’am.
Kaitlin Blanco: Hi everyone, thanks for joining our call
today. If you would like a transcript you can email me at
K-B-L-A-N-C-O@mprm.com. Joining us today from Team Blake we
have TSoul and from Team Gwen we have Brennley Brown and
Hunter Plake and Vanessa Ferguson from Team Alicia should be
joining us shortly.
Out of respect for all
journalists queuing up please ask only one question at a
time. You will have the opportunity to follow up. And if
your question is for the larger group please designate one
artist to speak first. I will now turn the call over to the
question and answer portion. Go ahead.
Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen on the audio line, if you
would like to register a question please press the 1
followed by the 4 on your telephone. You will hear a three
tone prompt to acknowledge your request.
question has been answered and you would like to withdraw
your registration please press the 1 followed by the 3. And
if you’re using a speakerphone please lift your handset
before entering your request. And our first question comes
from the line of M.J. Santilli with MJ’s Big Blog. Please
proceed with your question.
M.J. Santilli: Hi, my
question is for Hunter Plake. And I was wondering about your
song choice this week. Do you regret it since you were
Hunter Plake: You know, I actually don’t
regret it at all. When I went into this thing I really - I
was - my mindset was, you know, if I won it would be cool
but honestly at the end of the day I wanted to represent
myself as an artist as well as, you know, honor people as
far as whenever I did the covers of the songs.
with this one, with the U2 song I honestly just wanted to do
something for my hero. My hero is Bono, he’s like one of my
biggest - he’s probably my biggest influence in the music
industry. And so I actually don’t regret it at all and I’m
not even sad about going home. I’m actually really excited
about the future and I’m ready to drop music.
Santilli: Cool. Could you describe the process of choosing
your Save Me song?
Hunter Plake: Yes so it was just
like a predetermined list of songs and we just had to pick
two songs off the list. And I had that one and I had a song
“Water Under the Bridge” by Adele was my second song so that
would have been like - let’s say I would have went through
like the other, like one round and then got saved. Or if I
had to go through the last chance like maybe in the Top Ten
round and I got saved then my next round would have been
“Water Under the Bridge”.
M.J. Santilli: Why did you
choose that song instead of “Water Under the Bridge”?
Hunter Plake: I picked both and so they just picked
which one they wanted me to do for the first one.
M.J. Santilli: Okay, thank you Hunter.
All right thanks.
Operator: And just to let everyone
know we’ve been joined by the line of Vanessa Ferguson. Our
next question comes from the line of (Beth Kiakalski) with
Reality TV World. Please proceed with your question.
Beth Kwiatkowski: Hi, I have a question for everyone. I’m
wondering how much you think the Instant Save is about the
contestants’ performances versus the coaches’ arguments on
your behalf? Because Adam made a great point before voting
that if Jesse made the finals he’d be the first one
chairperson to ever do so. So I’m wondering how much you
think that swayed the vote since it’s a big deal to break a
record like that obviously. So let’s start with Brennley.
Brennley Brown: Hi, you know, I believe 100% that the
coaches’ argument has a huge role in whether or not, you
know, you move forward. I think your vocals and your
performance do - are very important but I do think, you
know, with the fight that the coaches give I think that has
a huge role in it all. And I think, you know, America kind
of may choose, you know, according to the comments by the
coaches. But at the same time, you know, I think we all did
our very best in that moment and, you know, that’s all we
could have done. So that’s all I’d say about that.
Beth Kwiatkowski: Thanks Brennley, how about you Hunter?
Hunter Plake: You know, I think that the coaches do have
a big sway in what they say but I think a lot of it too has
to do with the Twitter followings, you know. Adam has a butt
load of followers on Maroon 5 and on his personal and, you
know, that has a big - I mean, it would be really silly to
say that didn’t have a big, you know, say in what happens.
And I’m really happy for Jesse. I’m really excited
for him and I’m so glad that he got saved. He absolutely
killed that song last night, “Tennessee Whiskey.” That was
actually my favorite song he has ever done on the show. So
when I listened to him I was just thinking like man, like
he’s going through. And, you know, I thought it was - I
thought it was awesome.
Beth Kwiatkowski: Great, how
about you TSoul?
TSoul: Well (unintelligible)
position but from what I’ve seen on the, I mean, Mark got
saved quite a few times and Vanessa being saved, I know the
plea that Alicia Keys made for Vanessa was one that was
amazing. I know the one that - the plea that Adam made on
behalf of Mark and Jesse were amazing. But Gwen really
fought for her artists last night too so I can’t say it’s
all really the coaches. I think it’s a combination of a lot
of things that allows the outcome to be what it is.
Beth Kwiatkowski: Great thanks, and Vanessa?
Ferguson: Yes I agree with TSoul and I think that, you know,
I think it’s a combination of things. I do think that
America, they kind of know who they want and who they want
to go for.
But then if a coach gets up there like my
circumstance where Alicia said, you know, not voting for me
would be like not voting for her, you know, when someone
goes for you that hard I think that has the ability to sway
some of the viewers, you know, if they’re not necessarily a
fan of me but then they’re a huge Alicia Keys fan, you know.
I think that can sway some of the voters sometimes.
But I definitely do think that your performance has a lot to
do with it, the type of song you pick with a faster song
maybe being a better option a lot of times, and then, you
know, how you go out there and perform it obviously.
Beth Kwiatkowski: Sure, thank you.
Ferguson: Sure, thank you.
Operator: Our next
question comes from the line of Karla Redditte with NBC12.
Please proceed with your question.
Karla Redditte: I
have a comment as well as a question for TSoul. First of all
TSoul we are extremely proud of you in Richmond, Virginia,
fantastic job. My question is you mentioned yesterday that
this experience has allowed you to grow as an artist and a
person. Talk a little bit more about that. How?
TSoul: Oh wow. Well I mean, you know, I’ve been doing music
for a while now and each new level has required me to see a
new me and this one I think has done the most work.
I said way back at like Battles and Knockout time, after
Knockouts that I feel like I’ve grown like three years in
this journey already and it has just been months. And I
mean, as a person, you know, we meet so many people that are
going to be lifelong friends. We develop these, you know,
real, real, real relationships that make you be a better
person. And since we’re all extremely talented it makes me a
better artist too.
Like everybody here, it required
me to project the best me every time and every time that
happened I was able to see a new me. I think my progression
in the show, for me it got better every time. Every time I
did something it was better than last week and then the next
one and that carried on all the way up until the end for me.
With the live performance of “I Wish” I felt like that was
the best thing I had done on there.
Thank you TSoul.
TSoul: Thank you. Love you all, love
you all so much.
Operator: Our next question comes
from the line of Jennifer Williamson with WVST FM. Please
proceed with your question.
Jennifer Williamson: Yes
thank you. First of all for TSoul calling from Virginia
State, we’re extremely proud of you and want to ask all of
you a question starting with TSoul. You are very, you know,
you know who you are as artists. So how much input did you
have when it came to your overall stage presentation, your
songs, your concept on staging, your wardrobe, and what has
it added to your artistry?
TSoul: Well thank you for
Hunter Plake: I’m sorry.
can start with whomever.
Jennifer Williamson: TSoul?
TSoul: Can you hear me?
Jennifer Williamson: Yes
I can hear you.
Hunter Plake: Hello?
And I was saying thank you for the love. I appreciate you
all so much, Virginia State knows I love them so much and I
can’t actually wait to see you all again. As far as my
involvement, I think I’ve been able to 100% be me every time
I went out there and that’s what I appreciated about this.
A lot of the times I sent in, you know, songs in
advance of how I wanted to do songs. And a lot of these
classic songs that I did, I did them in a way that I wanted
to do them and I’m glad that, you know, Blake allowed me to
The wardrobe department was kind of A-1.
They took the little bit of style I thought I had and like
enhanced it to like 1000 every week. And that made me
excited because I mean, just like everybody was excited to
hear what I was going to do next, they were excited to see
how I was going to look next, you know, and what the
environment was going to be.
So the whole Voice, you
know, wardrobe and the staging staff, everybody, they did an
excellent job each week with everybody. They put on like
Grammy type productions and award show type productions
every week with us and I mean, I’m thoroughly grateful for
Jennifer Williamson: That’s cool. What about
you Hunter? Is Hunter still there? All right, Vanessa?
Vanessa Ferguson: Yes, we definitely have - can you hear
me, this is Vanessa. Can you guys hear me?
Vanessa Ferguson: Okay. So yes we
definitely have a lot of say, you know, as far as, you know,
what goes into our performances be it fashion or any kind of
props or anything, any choreography. If there is anything
that we want in particular we can definitely express that
and kind of get some of those things.
you know, my hugest influence is Michael Jackson so I mean,
he’s actually the reason for my Fedoras every day. And so,
you know, I just pretty much let wardrobe know what kind of
style I was going for.
And then my other huge
influence is Whitney Houston and so I was able to wear a
nice gown, you know, for my last performance. That was
pretty amazing too. But I had some other things, I said hey
I want steps next time, I want this, and they’re like hey,
you know, we got you, stick around. So they definitely just
want to see your vision, what kind of artist you are or want
to be, and they expound on that.
Brennley Brown: Hi, you know what, I
think The Voice does such an amazing job with allowing you
to be the kind of artist, you know, you want to be on stage
from your wardrobe and to the stage production and the
lights and everything, hair and makeup. So it was really so
much fun to kind of explore.
You know, my style as a
country artist, I love cowgirl boots so that was something
from the beginning that I was like can we always - can I
always wear cowgirl boots? And they were like yes totally.
And they brought in a lot of cowgirl boots so I had a lot of
fun with that.
But, you know, honestly it was so
amazing to kind of watch my vision for the song come to life
on stage every week and from wardrobe, the hair and makeup,
I had just a blast.
And I’m so incredibly grateful
to The Voice for just man, kind of like TSoul said, it was
very week it was like a Grammy performance. Every single
person’s performance was like a Grammy level because just
the production and everything. So just so grateful and it
was amazing to kind of watch my songs come to life on stage
Jennifer Williamson: Cool. Did we lose
Hunter? I guess we did. All right thank you guys.
Brennley Brown: Thank you.
Vanessa Ferguson: Thank
TSoul: Thank you.
Operator: Our next
question comes from the line of Beth Beacham with Hollywood
Junket. Please proceed with your question.
Beacham: Hi, hi everyone, congratulations. Brennley you
brought up a good point. I noticed the cowboy boots every
week and I loved them. I was wondering did wardrobe let you
keep any of the pair of cowboy boots? Hello, can you hear
Brennley Brown: I’m sorry, my phone was muted.
Yes as you know I love cowboy boots and I literally wore
them every single performance. Every day you guys I wear
cowboy boots so I felt really comfortable in them. And so
like I said, I brought up from the beginning I was like I
kind of want cowboy boots to kind of be my thing, you know,
and just wear them all the time and have fun with it and
change the colors up and buckle boots and just have fun with
But to your question, you know, a lot of them
were actually my boots so I would obviously, you know, take
those with me. But some of them are The Voice’s and they do
let you keep some of your outfits and boots and stuff like
that. So I’m excited to take them home. I get to choose
which ones I want to take home so I’m very excited about
that. But wearing boots is so much fun, it’s really
definitely my style.
Beth Beacham: I love the ones
you wore last night too. I was really admiring those.
Brennley Brown: Thank you so much, I appreciate it.
Beth Beacham: I had a question for Hunter Plake. Hunter,
when you were standing there with Jesse and Brennley I
noticed you weren’t - you didn’t seem too worried. I was
just curious why you had that reaction or what were you
Brennley Brown: Sorry, can you repeat the
question really fast?
Beth Beacham: Oh sorry, this
one was for Hunter.
Brennley Brown: Oh.
Beacham: Thanks Brennley.
Vanessa Ferguson: I think
we lost Hunter.
Beth Beacham: Oh okay. Okay I’ll get
in later if he comes back. Thank you.
next question is a follow-up question from the line of M.J.
Santilli with MJ’s Big Blog. Please proceed.
Santilli: Hi, this question is for everybody on the line.
Could you talk about working with your respective coach and
how you went about choosing your songs week after week?
Vanessa, you go first?
Vanessa Ferguson: Yes sure.
There are a lot of things that I wanted to do because I am I
guess such a versatile artist and haven’t really locked
myself into one genre yet. But then I also have I guess the
ability to do different things and so Alicia Keys knew that
from the beginning.
She said oh you play piano? I
want you to play piano at some point. She was like oh you
do, you know, old school R&B? I want you to do that. Or you
do pop or you do (unintelligible), I want you to do those
things. And then when she found out that I rapped she was
like oh I definitely want you to rap.
So we would
basically just come together, just be her and myself a lot
of times and we would be brainstorming of different things.
She will throw ideas out there, I will throw ideas out
there, and we just kind of put our heads together and see,
you know, what do we want to accomplish for this particular
week. And we would both just agree, you know, on our
particular songs however long that took which usually didn’t
take a long time at all.
So I mean, it was great
working with her because she I do believe comes from the
same place that I do in terms of a lot of things. We’re
literally both from New York so we have a lot of the same
influences, a lot of the same music, you know, hip hop and
things like that we have in common. We had a lot of the same
like idols if you will.
So she totally understands
me in more ways than one, she actually called us kindred
spirits. And because of that she’s like hey I want you to
like be you and show what you want to show and do what you
want to do because you know, she thought it was fly that I
did so many different things. And I was definitely hoping to
continue but, you know, who knows, who knows what might
M.J. Santilli: Brennley?
Brown: Hi, you know what, every week it was a little bit
different. I think I had a lot of ideas. You know, I grew up
with classic country music so every week’s performance I
kind of wanted to just bring that feel to it with any song.
But, you know, a lot of times me and Gwen would
email back and forth about songs and, you know, I had a lot
of ideas, she had a lot of ideas. She was talking with Blake
about, you know, country songs and it was really fun to kind
of pick and choose. You know, also there is the music
department who is very helpful in kind of helping you
navigate each week’s song.
But it was really fun to
explore. You know, I did songs on the show that I probably
wouldn’t normally do if I was doing my own set, you know, at
a concert at home or, you know, a gig or whatnot. But it
really pushed me out of my comfort zone and I had a lot of
fun with it, you know, and I also got to do songs that I
absolutely loved, you know, “River”, “Long, Long Time”,
those two were my absolute favorite.
And, you know,
it was so much fun to just kind of put myself into each
week’s song. But Gwen was so nice and so open to my ideas
and I was open to hers and it was a really great experience
getting to choose songs.
But I will tell you me and
Gwen took the longest time to make a final decision. Like I
remember when I sang “Anyway” by Martina McBride last week,
literally 30 minutes before the rehearsal like we had to
make a decision and we were like okay, we’re just going to
go with this one because it feels right and we just went
with that song.
And it was a crazy, fast paced
experience for me because each week was different, you know,
and I didn’t know exactly what I was going to sing each
week. But it was just so much fun getting to explore songs
and, you know, get to put my little twist on them.
M.J. Santilli: Thanks. TSoul?
TSoul: My experience
with Blake was - I’d have to say it was perfect, exactly
what I - well more than I could have envisioned, you know,
coming into this. I knew coming into this I wanted to be on
Team Blake. I knew way back at the blind auditions that if
he turned around that’s who I was going to pick.
it was because I knew that, I mean, he is a country artist,
I know he has a good idea of soul music too. I know he
actually loves it. I’ve seen him as he sang it on the show.
So I was interested in seeing, you know, what he thought I
should be doing and then just trusting him along the way.
He - a lot of the decisions of my choices were -
with soul songs and songs you pick, like he picked “In the
Midnight Hour” because he said it was perfect for me and
Josh to do and it was. And he picked “Knock on Wood” which
was one of my favorite performances. These are songs that I
wouldn’t have necessarily thought to do or sing but once
they were given to me it was like wow, this is perfect.
And so and then the decisions I had like he listened to
and he worked with. I knew I wanted to sing songs like
“Always On My Mind” and “At This Moment” which were, you
know, top country records that I was able to perform and get
his opinion on, one of the top country artists. Even when
Shania Twain was there I was singing “Always On My Mind.”
So I knew that perspective is the perfect
perspective that I needed at that moment to, you know,
deliver the performance. And all along the way he has
allowed me to be 100% me. He even started saying just put
TSoul in the song and that was the description that I should
apply. And I knew exactly what he meant when he said that.
I have gained, you know, I think the best advisor
that I could have gained out of this is him because he’s
excited about my voice and that allows him to, you know, let
me do whatever I really want to do. When I did “Lay Me Down”
that was something that he said he wouldn’t have expected or
thought for me to thought to do but that was me being 100%
me, picking a song and making my version of it.
he just did a really good job of opening up to me in a way
that allowed me to just be myself and be myself not only in
front of him but in front of the world now. And it got me
all the way, you know, to the semi finale.
Santilli: And thank you. Is Hunter back? No I guess not.
Kaitlin Blanco: We still don’t have Hunter.
Santilli: Oh you do have Hunter?
Kaitlin Blanco: No
we do not.
M.J. Santilli: Oh okay, thanks guys.
Operator: Our next question is a follow-up question from
the line of (Beth Kiakalski) with Reality TV World.
Beth Kwiatkowski: Hi, I have a question for Brennley. I’m
assuming Gwen was pretty devastated to lose both of her
artists last night before the finals. Did she say anything
to you after the show?
Brennley Brown: Yes, hi, this
is Brennley. You know, I think it was both - for both of us
it was a hard moment, you know, I think for Gwen to lose
both of her team members in one night, you know. But, you
know, we talked after and, you know, she just said, you
know, this is a TV show, you know. And, you know, this is
just the beginning for both of you and you guys are so
talented and, you know, you have your original music that
you’re working on and want to release.
you know, we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well. But
she is just, man she is so genuine, Gwen is so genuine and
so real and honest and just beautiful inside and out. And
her heart is just - man, her heart, she just has such a
But, you know, she just really
encouraged us after the show to just continue working hard
and, you know, this is definitely not the end. You know,
Adam and Alicia came up to us both and talked to us also and
just said this is literally just the beginning and you know
what, it’s just a TV show and you guys are going to do
amazing, great, beautiful things.
So that was super
encouraging to hear from her and she’s so wise and I’ve
loved getting to just get advice from her throughout this
whole process. You know, things that she has told me I will
just take with me the rest of my music career, you know, and
will be forever grateful to her for her belief in me and
just her support throughout this whole process.
Kwiatkowski: Okay and I noticed Brennley that Hunter and
yourself were eliminated after trying something new. Like
you performed a spunky up tempo song and Hunter really
honored the original rendition of the U2 song without
changing it up as much as he usually would.
while one might say it was the perfect time to show a new
side of yourself, like after last night’s results do you
agree with that I guess? Do you think the timing was right
to change things up when you knew kind of the ballads were
working for you, you know what I mean?
Brown: You know, honestly I definitely wanted to do an up
tempo, you know, on the show before I left. So I’m really
happy that I did because I think people didn’t really get to
see that fun, spunky side, you know?
But do I have
any regret, no. Because, you know, and I think I said this
last night when I was on stage. Every week I just tried to
sing from my heart and even in “Suds in the Bucket” I did
that too, you know. And I think leaving with that, it makes
me feel so satisfied because that’s all I wanted to do was
just sing from my heart and, you know, really just be myself
up on that stage. And that’s what I was able to do every
You know, I think trying something new, I was a
little bit nervous about it because I didn’t know, you know,
how people were going to react to it. But I’m really glad
that I did because, you know, I got to show a different side
to myself that maybe people wouldn’t have been able to see,
And I don’t have any regret, you know. I
think at the last minute, you know, the music department
here, they really encouraged me to go for “Suds in the
Bucket” and just show a new side to myself and Gwen was like
you know what, let’s just do it, let’s just try it. And I’m
so glad that I did because, you know, as an artist I think
you have to push yourself and do something maybe that you
wouldn’t normally do, you know?
And I’m very glad
that I did and, you know, I know everything happens for a
reason. I do, I believe that with my whole heart. I trust
God and I know that, you know, this is definitely just the
beginning for me. I’m 15 years old, you know, and I’m just
going to - just keep working hard, release my original
music, and just yes, just continue to work hard.
Kwiatkowski: That’s great, thank you.
Operator: And we have no further questions
at this time. Ladies and gentlemen, this does conclude the
conference call for today. We thank you for your
participation and ask that you please disconnect your lines.
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