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By Krista

Rachel Messer of The Voice 

Interview with contestants from "The Voice" on NBC 10/2/18

NBC UNIVERSAL
Moderator: Abby Freemire
October 2, 2018 1:00 pm CT

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Voice Season 15 Artist Advancing Press and Media. During the presentation all participants will be in a listen-only mode and afterwards weíll conduct a question and answer session. As a reminder this conference is being recorded on Tuesday, October 2, 2018. I would know like to turn the conference over to Abby Freemire with the Voice PR. Please go ahead.

Abby Freemire: Hi everyone. Thanks so much for joining our call today. Joining us today from Team Adam we have Steve Memmolo and Anthony Arya. From Team Blake we have Dave Fenley and Rachel Messer. From Team J HUD we have Audri Bartholomew and Natasia Greycloud and from Team Kelly we have Chevel Shepherd, Delaney Silvernell and Kymberli Joye. Out of respect for all journalists queuing up please ask only one question at a time and you will have the opportunity to follow-up. And I will now turn the call over to the question answer portion.

Operator: Our first question comes from the line of MJ Santilli with Mjsbigblog.com Please proceed.

MJ Santilli: Hi. This question is for Dave. I was wondering I know you were a contestant on AGT in 2013 what made you decide to give The Voice a shot?

Dave Fenley: Hi. During that whole 2013 experience, you know, I donít feel like I gave it my best and I had a death in the family that kind of helped me make some decisions that it was time to just really move forward with my life and start doing something different when it came in regards to the show. When this opportunity came around it was just - it just seemed like the last shot for somebody like me and I really wanted to see if I still could be relevant and it was so much fun. So I think that thatís pretty much why I really wanted to give it one more shot. Why not right? Mid-life crisis.

MJ Santilli: Could you compare the two experiences?

Dave Fenley: Absolutely. This one was so much more I guess communal. Weíre all musicians. Weíre all singers. We all have the same skill. We all have the same mindset. Weíre all working towards the same goal. So I made a lot more friends and a lot stronger relationships than I did on Americaís Got Talent just because we didnít have as much in common.

MJ Santilli: Yes. Well thank you.

Operator: Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine. Please proceed.

Jamie Steinberg: Hi. This question is for Audri. I was wondering if you could talk about what it was like for you getting to sing with Jennifer Hudson?

Audri Bartholomew: Yes of course. It was really exciting because obviously you donít expect to go in and come out singing with a coach. So I remember just I mean she was like itís one of my favorite songs and I was like oh well in that case, my God - I took the opportunity to get to sing with her. I mean sheís obviously an amazing singer and sheís someone that I look up to a lot in the industry as she has put her toe in every type of genre and itís something that I would want to do as I grow up and become an artist. And I just felt so honored that she would allow me to sing with her. So it was a really cool experience.

Jamie Steinberg: Well it was beautiful so thanks so much for sharing it with us.

Audri Bartholomew: Thank you so much, thank you.

Operator: Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Mark Franklin with Voice Views. Please proceed.

Mark Franklin: Yes my question is for Audri as well. Audri how are you doing?

Audri Bartholomew: Iím good. How are you?

Mark Franklin: Pretty good. Hey great addition. But you went right down to the wire before Jennifer turned her chair around. I was hoping you could tell us what that felt like as you were on stage whether you were sort of beginning to give up hope or anything like that?

Audri Bartholomew: Yes that was definitely a trying moment. I just remember that no one was turning and I was like okay so I have literally five seconds. I have this one last note so let me just pull out all the stops and just keep this note as long as I can and hopefully someone will turn around.

So I was definitely getting nervous like I could definitely see her myself and I was like oh no. But yes Iím just so glad she turned her chair. When I saw it I was like kind of closing my eyes and my hand was in the air and I heard it and I was like, oh, and my eyes opened and I saw J-Hud and I was so thrilled.

Mark Franklin: And you held that note forever. How do you feel about the match of you and Jennifer as a coach?

Audri Bartholomew: I love our pair because I obviously have a musical theater background and sheís been a dream girl so sheís someone that Iíve been following for years and years. And have in that connection of both of us, you know, being on a competition show like this I think that we get along great and our humor is very similar as well.

Mark Franklin: Okay. Thank you very much and best of luck.

Audri Bartholomew: Thank you so much.

Operator: Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Beth Beacham with Hollywood Junket. Please proceed.

Beth Beacham: Hi everyone. Hi, my question is for Chevel. Hi Chevel.

Chevel Shepherd: Hi.

Beth Beacham: Hi. How are you?

Chevel Shepherd: Iím good. How are you?

Beth Beacham: Iím great, congratulations.

Chevel Shepherd: Thank you.

Beth Beacham: I was watching the show, it looked like you talked to Brynn Cartelli before your audition is that right?

Chevel Shepherd: Yes.

Beth Beacham: Now I was curious, did she have anything she said or anything that made an impression of why you chose Kelly ultimately?

Chevel Shepherd: Well Brynn didnít really make me change my mind to pick Kelly. She did say like donít give up on your dreams, you can do this, itís going to be great. So she was really inspiring because she won last season but she didnít really change my mind at all.

Beth Beacham: Okay great. I was just curious if maybe she, you know, there was an impression of the coaching style and what not because you wanted to choose Blake originally so I was just curious about that. If Chloe had been there or someone from Blakeís team would that have made a difference maybe, no?

Chevel Shepherd: No. I was pretty much going with my gut and the advice they gave me, so I donít think that would really have pushed me on one side of the other.

Beth Beacham: So what was it ultimately the Kelly said that made you want to - her as a coach?

Chevel Shepherd: She gave me advice like that I was in my head a lot and I do agree with her. And I feel like since sheís so versatile since sheís not all country but she does work with some country artists that it could kind of make me different and take me on a different path.

Beth Beacham: Okay great. Thank you so much. I look forward to seeing you more.

Chevel Shepherd: Thank you so much.

Operator: Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of MJ Santilli with Mjsbigblog.com Please proceed.

MJ Santilli: Hi. This question is for Kymberli. What does it feel like taking that step forward to the front of the stage I mean, you know, considering your background and, that you had been singing as a background singer?

Kimberli Joye: Yes well thanks for the question. I love being a background singer. Itís such a challenging and great opportunity. But over the years Iíve realized that as much as I enjoy that I just didnít feel sensible being in the background and so to take that step forward it was definitely nerve-racking, definitely nerve-racking and I was very nervous. But it also felt like I was stepping into a purpose, like I was stepping into my place in the world where I was supposed to be. So it felt really good to step out on faith and go for my dreams.

MJ Santilli: Whatís it like working with Kelly?

Kimberli Joye: Kelly Clarkson is amazing. Not only is she such a sweet person and a sweetheart but she really pushes her people to step outside of their comfort zone and step outside of the confines of maybe just their genre and really go for it.

MJ Santilli: Great, thank you.

Kimberli Joye: Thank you.

Operator: Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine. Please proceed.

Jamie Steinberg: Hi. My question is for Steve I was wondering I was wondering how often do you get that Ben Affleck comparison?

Steve Memmolo: Oh as you can probably tell from listening not very often. I mean I canít walk down the street too much in Boston without someone asking me if I know that I look like him which is an interesting question because if you think I look like him so much I probably have heard it before. But yes I donít know, if I donít leave the house, I donít hear that much at all.

Jamie Steinberg: And with Adam on as your coach are you anticipating maybe whether or not you will hear from Ben to officially get...

Steve Memmolo: I donít know.

Jamie Steinberg: ...him to (unintelligible) your photos?

Steve Memmolo: Yes, you know, I donít know. I think that would be really cool. I mean if you watch the show you know that I also do comedy and improv and I kind of envision some kind of skit where, you know, when Ben gets better maybe comes out of rehab and goes back in time ten years and then I show up and I donít know but anyways I - something kind of cool...

Jamie Steinberg: Hot Tub Time Machine 3 is that what weíre going with?

Steve Memmolo: Yes or just like a time machine that only makes you go back in time five or six years I donít know. But itís just that would be really cool. Any opportunity to get to work with him would be cool as a fellow Bostonian I mean.

Jamie Steinberg: Well think you so much for your time and we look forward to seeing you. And I guess you shouldíve ended your audition with how do you like them apples?

Steve Memmolo: Yes Iím going to have to work on my Ben Affleck impression if Iím going to stay on the show.

Jamie Steinberg: I guess going forward youíll have to.

Steve Memmolo: Yes, yes. Thanks so much.

Jamie Steinberg: Take care.

Steve Memmolo: Take care.

Operator: Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Mark Franklin with Voice Views. Please proceed.

Mark Franklin: Yes my question is for Steve as well. Steve how are you today?

Steve Memmolo: Iím great. Iím fantastic. How are you?

Mark Franklin: Good. Hey you talked about how youíd like to get to the point where youíre doing more of your own music during your bio clip.

Steve Memmolo: Yes.

Mark Franklin: I was wondering if you could describe that music to us and tell us whether youíve released anything this month?

Steve Memmolo: Yes I have a few singles that are out on Spotify and iTunes. So I have a soul crooner kind of a background. And Iíve definitely tried to meld those two worlds together and create kind of a throwback pop music thatís also kind of relevant. The newer stuff Iím working on I would call it soul, electro soul. And the stuff that I do have out I would call it kind of more soul pop. But it all has this very Motown crooner feel. Itís like Sinatra meets Frankie Valley and Stevie Wonder all rolled into one. But I definitely Iím trying to bring that old soul feeling into call it pop, you know, current music.

Mark Franklin: Okay good. And why did you go with Adam?

Steve Memmolo: You know, like I said on my interviews and on the show Iíve always been a fan of Maroon 5. Songs about Jane was one of my favorite albums in college. And I just thought man it was such an obvious choice being a male front man -- you know, Iím a front man in my band as well -- we have a lot of the same influences. I had to go do some digging but I found that he was inspired by Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding at a lot of the same, you know, we just have a lot of the same taste in music so it just felt like the obvious choice. And like I said I go with my gut and thatís what was talking for me that day.

Mark Franklin: Okay thank you very much and best of luck.

Steve Memmolo: Thanks so much.

Operator: Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of MJ Santilli from Mjsbigblog.com Please proceed

MJ Santilli: Hi this question is for Audri. What did you learn from yout dad, you know, the rapper about music?

Audri Bartholomew: Yes growing up, my first experience in the studio was with my dad. We kind of have like an in-home studio so anytime he would make songs he would always ask me to sing on his tracks and whether it would be like little ad libs or actually singing the (hook). I remember when I was 3 years old there was like an interlude on one of the songs. And I remember like hearing myself say, ĎDaddy, daddy push me faster,í and I was on my little swings. So he just puts those little sound bites from me. And I think I learned about how to relate to people through music from him and yes just the basic fundamentals, you know, what a 16 bar is and things like that and so yes.

MJ Santilli: Could you talk a little bit about some of your other musical influences?

Audri Bartholomew: Yes Beyoncť is definitely my biggest musical influence. I just admire how hard-working she is and sheís a great performer. And I think thatís whatís important about being an artist is not only having that vocal ability but also being able to entrance your audience through performance as well. Vocally obviously Whitney Houston is a legend and sheís someone that I definitely look up to and aspire to be.

MJ Santilli: Well thank you.

Audri Bartholomew: Thank you so much.

Operator: Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Beth Beacham with Hollywood Junket. Please proceed.

Beth Beacham: Hi. This questionís for Kymberli. Hi Kymberli.

Kymberli Joye: Hi.

Beth Beacham: Hi. How are you? Congratulations and I was wondering when Jennifer was blocked how were you feeling inside? Like what was your reaction? Were you upset or what were you thinking?

Kymberli Joye: Well I didnít really realize that Jennifer had been blocked until I was finished singing and when I saw that my first reaction was to laugh just because of Jenniferís facial expressions. I love her and, you know, I feel bad that she was disappointed but I will have to say that Iím slightly grateful for the block because before going in I was torn between Jennifer and Kelly if they both turned around. And I was like God I donít know how Iím going to choose if both of them turn around. So I like to think that God help me out on that one and made the choice a little easier but it was crazy. It was a crazy feeling. Itís big thing for a coach to use their block on you so Iím humbled and honored for that.

Beth Beacham: Okay thank you. Best of luck.

Kymberli Joye: Thank you so much.

Operator: Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Mark Franklin with Voice Views. Please proceed.

Mark Franklin: Yes my question is for Chevel. Chevel how are you today?

Chevel Shepherd: Iím great. How are you?

Mark Franklin: Pretty good. Hey was that the Chevy Chevel that was supposed to be your first car that we saw you and your dad working on in the bio clip?

Chevel Shepherd: No that was not a Chevel.

Mark Franklin: Okay. But you owned a Chevel at some point?

Chevel Shepherd: Yes, my dad bought me a 72 Chevel for my first car but we had to get rid of it because I couldnít reach the pedals and I couldnít see over the steering wheel.

Mark Franklin: Okay. Can you tell us anything more about that? Did you guys have to restore it or anything?

Chevel Shepherd: Well he bought it and it was just the body and there was no motor in it or anything. So we were going to build it together so that whenever I drove it it was just a memory me and my dad have of us working on it together. But after I sat in it we decided to get rid of it and we didnít really ever start building it together.

Mark Franklin: Okay. And have you gotten a replacement?

Chevel Shepherd: Not yet but we are going to get another Chevel and hopefully one thatís were put together so that we can work on it and make it to where it fits me better.

Mark Franklin: Okay. All right. Thank you very much Chevel.

Chevel Shepherd: Thank you so much.

Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen as a reminder to register for a question itís 1, 4. Next question comes from the line of MJ Santilli with Mjsbigblog.com Please proceed.

MJ Santilli: Hi. This question is for Natasia. Was wondering if you could share why you chose Jennifer instead of Kelly?

Natasia Greycloud: Thatís a great question. I actually went completely with my gut on stage. I was leaning towards Kelly to begin with but I definitely look up to both of those artists. So yes it was just kind of a matter of like in the moment like going with what I knew was going to be right for me. So you can see a little bit of surprise on my face when I chose Jennifer but it was the perfect choice and Iím just glad I went with my got.

MJ Santilli: Yes can you talk a little bit about working with her?

Natasia Greycloud: Yes, sheís incredible. Sheís really like the perfect coach for me. She has like people have said before, she has so much experience and theater and film and music and just being an artist in general and she understands the whole process. So she has definitely pulled out a lot of things in me as an artist that I am grateful for.

MJ Santilli: Thank you.

Natasia Greycloud: Thank you.

Operator: And our next question comes from the line of Krista Chain with a TV Megasite. Please proceed.

Krista Chain: Hi my question is for Dave. I just wanted to know did you have your mind set that you were going to pick Blake before you went on and did you ever think about choosing Kelly?

Dave Fenley: Oh, you know, my mom had told me going into it that she was, you know, the whole neck hug thing was totally genuine like she wanted it so bad. And I had a good feeling that I want to go that way just for her. But you donít know whoís going to turn in a moment and Kelly was so sweet and so convincing and pouring love and it really did make it hard. I think in my gut I knew where I wanted to go and I think thatís why I chose Blake.

Krista Chain: Okay well thank you and congratulations. I really enjoyed your songs.

Dave Fenley: Thank you so much.

Mark Franklin: Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Mark Franklin with the Voice Views. Please proceed.

Mark Franklin: Yes my question is for Dave as well. Dave great audition. How are you today?

Dave Fenley: Great. Iím good. Itís crazy. My phone is going to melt from all the (unintelligible) stuff.

Mark Franklin: Hey, you wound up singing Make America Great Again at the Republican National Convention. I was wondering if you could tell us how that opportunity came about, what it was like and whether youíd do it again in 2020 if you got the chance.

Dave Fenley: Okay so thereís a former contestant from The Voice actually a friend of mine named (Geordie Thursday). And he had the opportunity to go and perform at the Republican Convention and his booking person contacted me and said, you know, (Geordie) said, ĎYou might be a good fit and want to do this.Ē So yes I mean I like money so I said I do it. And then for a birthday present so friend of mine I was like letís just have some fun and write a song, and see what happens.

And so we wrote the song Make America Great Again and, but sure enough they said, ĎYes we want you to perform that at the convention.Ē So that I had to perform with GE Smith and it was just an amazing opportunity. Iím not an overly political person at all. And in lieu of, you know, the tide of America and things like that it probably wouldnít be a good decision for my career to align with anything right now politically so Iím not sure if I would do it again in 2020 but it was an amazing experience and quite an honor.

Mark Franklin: Okay all right. Thank you very much and again best of luck.

Dave Fenley: Thanks a lot.

Operator: Thank you. Once again ladies and gentlemen as a reminder to register for a question itís 1, 4. Next question comes from the line of MJ Santilli with Mjsbigblog.com Please proceed.

MJ Santilli: Hi. This question is for Rachel. You seem to love old school country and I was wondering if you could describe your sound?

Rachel Messer: Well thank you so much. Yes I do definitely love the classic country and I pull a lot of my influence from, you know, the classics like Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline and definitely, you know, Tammy Wynette and also Reba McIntyre. A lot of the classic country sounds is just what Iíve grown up on.

MJ Santilli: Yes what does your - like how do you incorporate that into your sound like the music that you make now? Is it, you know, just completely old-school or do you have some contemporary influences?

Rachel Messer: Yes I mean I love newer country so, you know, I definitely feel like I would describe my sound as, you know, the old school with a modern twist on to it. But yes definitely, I definitely love the classics though I love to incorporate, obviously a lot of steel and things like that.

MJ Santilli: Well thank you.

Rachel Messer: Thank you.

Operator: Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of Mark Franklin with Voice Views. Please proceed.

Mark Franklin: Yes so my question is for Rachel as well. Rachel, why Blake?

Rachel Messer: Oh my goodness well going into it, you know, I had my heart set on Blake Shelton. And I just felt like, that he would be a really great match for me style-wise and also he does seem like a very relatable person. But, you know, Kelly turned around and she was just being so sweet and I was almost convinced. I almost went with Kelly but I just had to go with my gut and it was with Blake.

MJ Santilli: Yes she is putting up quite a fight.

Rachel Messer: She was. It was very (unintelligible).

MJ Santilli: Okay thank you very much.

Rachel Messer: Thank you.

MJ Santilli: Goodbye.

Operator: Thank you. Once again to register for a question itís 1, 4. We have another question from the line of Mark Franklin with Voice Views. Please proceed.

Mark Franklin: Yes this is for Anthony. Anthony how are you?

Anthony Arya: Hi good. How about you?

Mark Franklin: Hey Anthony I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about why you decided to try out? Youíre just 15 as the show said as opposed to waiting a little to do that?

Anthony Arya: Well, you know, on the show like I said, Iíve been busking and performing for a few years and I really felt like I was ready when the opportunity popped up. And I was actually part of the Instagram Knockout contest on Instagram casting for the show and thatís how I got started working with the Voice. And I have been watching since season one and so itís just been a dream come true to have that opportunity to come on the show. And I really thought I was ready to share my voice.

Mark Franklin: Okay. Then how do you feel about the matchup of you and Adam?

Anthony Arya: Iím so thrilled to be able to work with him. I mean he started his band Karas Flowers which turned into Maroon 5 when he was in high school so I really admire that. And I think he obviously has so much success in the music industry that itís just a dream come true to be able to work with him.

Mark Franklin: Okay. Thank you very much and best of luck.

Anthony Arya: Thank you.

Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen as a final reminder please press 1, 4. And our next question comes from the line of MJ Santilli with Mjsbigblog.com Please proceed.

MJ Santilli: Hey, this question is for Delaney. Hi.

Delaney Silvernell: Yes. Hello.

MJ Santilli: I was wondering I know that something that Kelly told you was that she compared you to herself and said that maybe you were in your head too much. And I was wondering, you know, if you, what you thought of that observation in is if - and Iím sorry and if she has helped you with that issue?

Delaney Silvernell: Yes well first of all I was really taken aback when she said that because it was so true. And I was surprised that she could really just pick that right out from my minute or minute and a half of singing. I think it was extremely intuitive of her to do. And obviously like growing up listening to Kelly Clarkson Iím so flattered that she saw a little bit of herself in me, you know, very encouraging. And yes I think she is a great fit for me as a coach just because she was able to identify that in me and has been really helpful.

MJ Santilli: Well and what did you think of her comparing you to Cassidy Pope? Were you surprised by that?

Delaney Silvernell: Well before that I wasnít extremely familiar with Cassidy Pope. I do remember her winning a few years back so I recognized the name. But, you know, looking at her now sheís got a successful career and seems to be doing really well so even that was super flattering to me so...

MJ Santilli: Great, thank you.

Delaney Silvernell: Great, thank you.

Operator: Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Mark Franklin with Voice Views. Please proceed.

Mark Franklin: Yes and I had another question for Chevel please.

Chevel Shepherd: Okay.

Mark Franklin: And Chevel I wanted to ask you pretty much the same question as Anthony. Youíre only 16 and youíve auditioned for a show where youíre up against some really seasoned professionals. I was wondering why now is a good time for you to audition? What prompted you to do that?

Chevel Shepherd: Well I have always watched the Voice since the beginning and Iíve always loved how it was different from other shows that are on like American Idol and everything. And I like how they listen to your voice and how they work with you instead of just putting up against like a whole bunch of people like American Idol does. So I thought it was different. And Iíve always wanted to start a career for myself because I love to sing and perform so I just thought Iíd do the Voice and give it a try and here I am.

Mark Franklin: Okay, great addition. Thanks again.

Chevel Shepherd: Thank you so much.

Operator: Thank you. And there are no further questions at this time Miss Freemire.

Abby Freemire: All right then that wraps our call for today. Thanks so much everyone and enjoy the rest of your day..

Operator: Thank you ladies and gentlemen. That does conclude the conference call for today. We thank you for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your line.

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