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Interview with contestants from
"The Voice" on NBC 10/3/18
Moderator: Abby Freemire
October 3, 2018
1:00 pm CT
Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you
for standing by and welcome to The Voice Season 15 Artists
Advancing Press and Media conference call. As a reminder,
this conference is being recorded, Wednesday, October 3,
2018. I would now like to turn the conference over to Abby
Freemire with Voice PR. Please go ahead.
Freemire: Hi, everyone. Thanks so much for joining our call
today. And joining us today from Team Adam we have Reagan
Strange and Fousheť. From Team Blake we have Chris Kroeze.
From Team Jennifer we have MaKenzie Thomas. And from Team
Kelly we have SandyRedd. I will now go ahead and turn the
call over to the Question and Answer portion.
Operator: Okay. Ladies and gentlemen, 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 technology
request. And the first question comes from the line of Mark
Franklin with Voice Views. Please go ahead.
Franklin: Yes. My question is for MaKenzie. MaKenzie, how
are you today?
MaKenzie Thomas: Iím doing great.
Thanks. How are you?
Mark Franklin: Pretty good. Hey,
I was wondering if you could tell me what you think was
different for you auditioning for The Voice this time
MaKenzie Thomas: Okay. Well this time around,
I can say that I was actually ready for my audition. You
know, I was ready to be in that spotlight. Last season - I
was still kind of nervous about performing. And I mean, I
still have pretty bad stage-fright but being on national
television once already, itís really helped me, kind of,
conquer that fear a little bit. It really lessened it and I
feel like the practice and just being more prepared and
knowing what I was going into really helped out and I feel
like thatís part of what kept me going during that audition.
Mark Franklin: Good. And where are you hoping this leads
you? What are your musical goals?
Well, Iím a huge Tori Kelly fan and Iím a really big fan of
gospel music as well. And she recently put out an album that
is a gospel album; she did it with Kirk Franklin. And my
(unintelligible) so, you know, gospel music but just kind of
a twist on it. Something a little bit more acoustic and I
guess up my alley. But I mean mainly my goal is to be able
to minister to people, so, yes.
Mark Franklin: Okay.
Thank you very much and best of luck.
Thomas: Thank you.
Operator: The next question comes
from the line of Krista Chain with TV MegaSite. Please go
Krista Chain: Hi. My question is for
SandyRedd. How are you today?
SandyRedd: Iím (here).
Good. How are you?
Krista Chain: Iím great. I guess
my question is I think everybody pretty much just expected
you to pick Jennifer. Can you tell us what went through your
head when you had the four-chair turn and how you went about
SandyRedd: Yes. Basically, I mean,
of course I love and respect every last one of the coaches
on the panel and I have so many things that I admire about
each and every one of them. But Iím a very spiritual person
and Iím always just led by God I feel. I feel like these
certain things that lead me to certain moments. And so I
felt like everything that Kelly was saying to me. Mentioned
the rock and the soul that she felt coming from me and my
genre is rock-soul. When she was saying that she felt the
rock and she felt the soul and not wanting to put me in a
box and everything. And the fact that she said that she
didnít care who I picked because she just wanted to continue
to see me move on in the actual show just showed me that she
was coming from a very genuine, very selfless place and I
just felt like everything she was saying to me led me to
Krista Chain: Okay, great. Well thank you and
SandyRedd: Thank you. I appreciate
Operator: And the next question comes from the
line of MJ Santilli, youíre with MJís BigBlog. Please go
MJ Santilli: Hi. This question is for Sandy.
Like you said, you mix elements of different genres like
rock and soul together. And I was wondering if you could
talk a little bit about your musical influences?
SandyRedd: My first and foremost musical influence is
definitely my mom. My foundation comes from our gospel
background, you know, I grew up on the Clark Sisters and
BeBe and CeCe Winans and, you know, just all of the gospel
And then, you know, as I grew up, listening
to people like Michael Jackson and, Tina Turner and those
musical forces I feel that changed the atmospheres of a
place or a room or were able to exude emotion out of their
music. Those was the kind of people that Iím influenced by
the most, you know, your Whitney Houston and people like
MJ Santilli: Do you have any favorite rock
SandyRedd: I actually do not have any
favorite rock and roll performers. I just love the energy
that rock music gives just across-the-board and thatís part
of the reason why I choose to do rock-soul. And itís not
about it being actual rock music because what I do is soul
music thatís delivered in, sort of, a rock-style energy.
MJ Santilli: Got it. Thank you.
Operator: The next question comes from the line
of Abigail Warren with the Commercial Appeal. Please go
Abigail Warren: Reagan - Youíre obviously one
of the youngest contestants in the competition. You got on
stage and you didnít seem frightened. Do you think your
pageant past kind of played into that? What do you think
played into you going up and being able to seem really
confident up there?
Reagan Strange: So I would say
that the biggest thing for me going on that stage is just
the past performances that Iíve had in my lifetime. It is
going on stage and knowing that my voice can sometimes make
people smile and that just encourages me to do my best and
really nail it up there.
Abigail Warren: Where do you
see this ending for you?
Reagan Strange: I would hope
to let people hear my voice and to get my music out there.
And if that leads to fame thatís a really great thing for me
but really I want people to hear my voice and my message and
what Iím trying to say with my songs.
And that message is?
Reagan Strange: Just that I want
to spread joy with my music. I donít want to spread any sort
of hate. I want it to be purely joy and I want to put a
smile on peopleís faces.
Abigail Warren: Great.
Reagan Strange: Thank you.
The next question comes from the line of Elizabeth
Kwiatkowski with Reality TV World. Please go ahead.
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski: Hi. A question for SandyRedd. Which
coach were you hoping to work with going into your blind
audition? And were you close to choosing a different coach
until Kelly made that one comment that had a really big
impact on you?
SandyRedd: Definitely. I mean my heart
was definitely set on Jennifer because, you know, I
definitely look up to her. Of course we are both from
Chicago and we do have a lot in common. Our backgrounds are
extremely similar and I have so much love and respect for
her journey and her story.
The fact that sheís
travelled the road Iím going down so, you know, I did have
Jennifer in mind. It was between Jennifer and Kelly in my
mind but I was definitely leaning towards Jennifer at first
walking on the stage. Like I said, again, I deal in moments
and why Iím led and at that moment, led me to Kelly.
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski: So would you say it was purely an
emotional decision to join Kellyís Team? Or was there any
strategy involved? Like, maybe you thought Jenniferís Team
might have more artists like you that youíd have to compete
SandyRedd: Not at all. I feel like - Iím a
firm believer in the fact that where God has for me is for
me. And so I feel like all the teams have extremely dynamic
performers that are all just as good as I am.
there was no strategy involved in my decision. I felt like
everything that Kelly said out of her mouth and the genuine
nature that it came from it just - it felt right. That felt
like where I was supposed to be at that time.
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski: Perfect. Thank you.
Operator: The next question comes
from the line of Paula G with Paula G Media. Please go
Paula G: Greetings everyone and greetings
SandyRedd. This is Paula G of the Paula G Show. How are you,
SandyRedd: Iím good, Paula how are you?
Paula G: I am fabulous. Many, many congratulations to you.
My question for youÖ
SandyRedd: Thank you.
Paula G: My question for you is what went into the selection
of that particular song? You have so many performances and
sung so many different types of music. With that one moment,
what went into selecting that song?
really wanted to focus on songs that I havenít touched
before, that I wasnít familiar with. I wanted to step
outside of my comfort zone and show that I could do
something that people that are already familiar with me
hadnít seen me try. So I wanted to give myself a challenge
and I felt like River was definitely a song that was up my
But it took me out of my comfort zone. It took
a lot of practicing and a lot of going back and forth on
different ideas of ways to execute it. So that was really my
biggest focus is just stepping outside of my own comfort.
Paula G: And taking a risk?
Paula G: And it paid off. It paid off.
SandyRedd: It definitely paid off yes maíam.
Paula G: Yes. Well thank you so much and much success to you
and your Plan A.
SandyRedd: Thank you.
Operator: We have a follow up question from the line of
Krista Chain with TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.
Krista Chain: My question is for MaKenzie. Hi MaKenzie. How
MaKenzie Thomas: Iím good thanks. How are
Krista Chain: Iím great. My question was just
that - first of all, congratulations and applaud you for
having the courage to come back and try a second time.
And my question is, were you going into it - did you
have an idea in your head of who you wanted to turn around
or were you just hoping that this time that you would have a
MaKenzie Thomas: Thatís actually a really
good question because Iíve been asked that a lot and my
answer, you know, it pretty well stays the same throughout.
Going into it, obviously, I was hoping, you know, just
for somebody to turn. But a couple of days before my
audition I was trying to get in the mindset that I needed to
be when getting on that stage. So I kind of started this
what I call speaking things into existence. So, you know, my
heart wanted Jennifer. Thatís who I really wanted to turn
more than anybody else.
So all day, for like three
days I just kind of spoke that into existence. I was like,
Jenniferís going to turn. Jenniferís going to turn. Itís my
time, you know? Just kind of - yes. I mean, I donít really
know how else to say that other than speaking it into
existence, you know, kind of like a mantra. But, yes,
Jenniferís who my heart was set on and so when she turned I
Krista Chain: Well congratulations and
I hope you go far.
MaKenzie Thomas: Thank you so
much. I appreciate it.
Operator: The next question
comes from the line of Mark Franklin with Voice Views.
Please go ahead.
Mark Franklin: Yes. My question is
for Reagan. Reagan how are you today?
Iím great. How are you?
Mark Franklin: Pretty good.
Hey, I was wondering, you were on the show where some of the
contestants had been performing since before you were born.
Why did you decide to try out for The Voice at such a young
Reagan Strange: Well I literally have been
watching the show since Season 1. I was about 6 or 7 years
old when I started watching the show. And I was inside, was
sitting on the couch as a little girl, I had always
envisioned myself on that stage and itís always been my
dream. And as soon as they lowered the age to 13 I just
thought, now is my time. It is my time. So I just decided to
fill an online submission out and once I saw that they
wanted to see me for a private call that is when I knew that
- I said this is my time to myself, and Iím going to do my
best and see what happens.
So after that and once I
ended up making it on that stage for the blind audition is
when I knew that this is meant to be. And I guess it kind of
went along with my song choice anyway so, yes, as soon as
all the process just came together is when I knew that
although I am so young it was my time.
Okay. And why Adam?
Reagan Strange: So I originally
went in wanting either Blake or Kelly and my heart was
really, really set on Blake. But when I got on stage and I
heard the words that Adam said and it just, I guess my gut
feeling was just telling me, Adam.
While I did really
want Blake itís just the whole mix of things - I think my
heart was just also set on Adam and then in the moment, he
was the name I said.
Mark Franklin: Okay. Well thank
you very much and best of luck.
Thanks so much.
Operator: And the next question is
also follow up question from the line of MJ Santilli with
MJís BigBlog. Please go ahead.
MJ Santilli: My -yes
this question is for Fousheť. Everybody seems surprised that
you chose Adam as your coach. Could you talk a little bit
about why you did that?
Fousheť: Hi. How are you? It
was a really hard choice in the moment. Like, when I first
came to the show I remember watching the last season and I
really thought if I were to go on the show I would pick
So when they announced the new judges I
knew that Adam would be the closest pick for me for the
genre that I want to be in and with the type of music that I
wanted to sing.
But of course Jennifer - I grew up
listening to her. I was a big fan of hers so it was a hard
choice. But I really connect with Adamís career the most and
I felt like he would understand, you know, who I was as an
artist creatively. Because I kind of - I do identify as a
singer but as an artist first and songwriting is a big part
of it for me so I admire that about him and his music.
MJ Santilli: Yes. Well just could you talk a little bit
about that, about your musical influences?
Yes. My musical influences. Itís just a melting pot of so
many different things. But where I sing right now, where I
have my residency, itís a place called Cafť Wha? Every
musician comes from a different background of music. We have
from Latin to Jazz to Blues to Rock and Soul, of course. So
I grew up listening to R&B and my mom, she was a big Bob
Marley fan being from Jamaica and was a mix of so many
And then - as I started doing
music, I felt like my music was a mix of everything. It
wasnít just one thing so I kind of gravitate towards artists
who incorporate a lot of different sounds in their music.
MJ Santilli: Thank you.
Fousheť Thank you.
Operator: And the question comes from the line of
Abigail Warren of the Commercial Appeal. Please go ahead.
Abigail Warren: Hey, Reagan I have one more question for
you. So youíre the second person to be chosen from Memphis.
So whatís it like to be able to represent Memphis to, I
mean, like, not only LA while youíre out there but also, you
know, America as a whole and our music?
Strange: So Memphis really, really has a music root to it.
And so when I went out to LA for this audition I knew in
some way I had to represent my home.
And so I just
really, with my voice, I just want to show the world that
Memphis is still striving with music and that I just really
wanted to represent Memphis very well and just show them
that even though I am so young - I can still go out there
and represent Memphis the best I can.
Reagan Strange: Thank you.
Operator: The next question comes from the line of Elizabeth
Kwiatkowski with Reality TV World. Please go ahead.
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski: Hi. Just a question for Reagan. The
blind auditions are only the beginning of a very long and
stressful journey with, you know, long hours and a lot of
scrutiny from fans. At this stage in the game, I mean, given
your young age, were you intimidated by any of that?
Reagan Strange: In my mindset I guess had prepared myself
for what I knew was going to happen. Walking into this, I
was told by my mom and my family, they said, ďitís going to
be a lot going into this and there will be times where it is
stressful.Ē But I knew I was ready for it and this was
something that Iíve always wanted. And so mentally, I was
ready and I was really excited for it.
So waking up
knowing that I have fans and people that are there to
support me even keeps me going even more than before so I
really truly enjoy it.
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski: Thatís
great. And, Chris, welcome to the call, I have a question
for you. Did Jennifer really stand a chance of becoming your
coach or did you have your heart set on Blake? And how did
it feel to hear Blake say that you could make it to the
finale this season?
Chris Kroeze: I donít know. I
donít want to say she didnít have a chance but it wasnít a
very big chance. Nothing against her music or anything like
that I just have a lot more in common with Blake. And yes,
that felt cool. It is something everybody wants to hear and
itís just cool to hear it said for you. And, I donít know, a
definite confidence booster.
Okay. Thank you.
Chris Kroeze: Yes. Thanks.
Operator: And the next question is also follow up question
from line of Mark Franklin with The Voice Views. Please go
Mark Franklin: Yes, and this is for Sandy.
Sandy how are you?
SandyRedd: Iím wonderful. How are
Mark Franklin: Pretty good. Hey, I was
wondering, youíve been performing for a while what led you
to The Voice at this point?
SandyRedd: Youíre totally
right. I have been performing for quite some time. But when
I first started I was very green, I was very nervous, I had
no showmanship and I was all over the place - I had no look.
I was just not ready. I was extremely afraid. But my desire
to sing was bigger than my fears so I started doing open
mics and any karaoke or anything I could get my hands on
music-wise and just started, you know, preparing from there.
And I felt like from then until now, I feel like Iím
ready now. So when the opportunity to do The Voice came
about, it just felt like the right time.
Franklin: Okay. Thank you very much and best of luck.
SandyRedd: Thank you.
Operator: The next question
is a follow up question from line of Paula G with Paula G
Media. Please go ahead.
Paula G: Thank you. This
question is for Fousheť. First of all, congratulations to
Fousheť: Thank you so much.
And my question for you. If the Fousheť of this moment - and
you know your own personal journey and what youíve learned
on this journey thus far, the lessons that youíve learned -
trials and tribulations that youíve learned on this journey
just thus far. If the Fousheť of this moment could go back
and sit in front of this Fousheť, and perhaps her darkest
moments for lack of a better word, what would she speak to
her? What would she say to encourage her?
Girl thatís a good question. My, my, my. I think I would
just tell her to keep her head up and, like, keep working
regardless because, like, you have to have faith when
thereís nothing there to make faith of. You have to make
faith out of empty space. So Iíll just tell her regardless
of what you see and what you think is possible, keep working
and putting in the effort and the hard work and just, like -
man - and thereís going be light at the end of the tunnel.
I would tell her that youíre perfect with
all your imperfections. I would tell her that being
different is beautiful and to embrace it.
Yes. Yes. Yes. How did that moment feel for you on The Voice
when you were finally there on stage?
Fousheť: Oh my
gosh. I donít know how to explain it because I just felt
like there was no one just like me who had made it to a
platform like that.
Iím from a little town in New
Jersey and, you know, there were so many obstacles that
wouldíve made anyone stop. And there was so many times that
I wanted to quit and stop because Iím an introvert. Because,
you know, lack of money; because of my ageÖbecause of, oh,
many different things.
But so to finally make it on
that stage, I felt like I already won regardless of what the
outcome was. It was so powerful. It was so beautiful. And to
know that people at home would be watching that and then I
was so proud. I felt like I was representing New York, New
Jersey, Jamaica. I was representing, you know,
(unintelligible) and people over 25 still and going hard at
their dream, not giving up. Everything and I just felt
Paula G: Thereís a phrase and it says, ďLeap
and the net will appear.Ē And I encourage you to continue to
leap and congratulations to you.
Fousheť: Thank you
so much. I want to write that down.
Paula G: ďLeap
and the net will appear.Ē I donít know who the original
author of that quote is but, ďLeap and the net will appear.Ē
Paula G: Continue to leap. Yes, continue to leap my
darling. Thank you so much and congratulations. Yes, and
this is Paula G of the Paula G Show.
Paula G: Youíre welcome.
and gentlemen, as a reminder, to register for a question,
press the 1-4 on your telephone. Once again, 1-4 on your
And the next question is a follow up
question from line of MJ Santilli with MJís BigBlog. Please
Operator: And the next question is from the
line of Paula G with Paula G Media. Please go ahead.
Paula G: Yes, thank you, this question is for Reagan. How
are you, love?
Reagan Strange: Hi. How are you doing
Paula G: Hi.
Reagan Strange: Oh, Iím
amazing, how are you?
Paula G: And that you are,
darling, you are.
Reagan Strange: Thank you so much.
Paula G: You did an amazing job on the show. Share with
us a bit as a young person, how do you juggle your time
management in regard to your academics and your rehearsing
and performance? How does a young lady like yourself, a
powerhouse like yourself, manage your time?
Strange: Well, especially with how much that has been going
on over this past year with this amazing opportunity, Iíve
started home schooling this year and that has helped so much
to keep me on schedule with my school work.
the past, I even made sure I always got my school work done
before I would go to any of my practices and all of my
lessons and things but this year, really itís all about
scheduling and organizing for me.
Iíve had to lay
everything out and almost do a to do list for every single
day just to make sure I was getting my priorities straight.
And so after I had completed all of that, I just make sure
everything that is important to me I get done first and then
all my necessities and then stuff thatís important and then
stuff thatís just extra, like, curricular activities is
always the last thing I do. Education and family are very
important to me and so is singing. But I just make sure I
get everything out and I lay it out to make sure I get it
Paula G: Wow. Wow. Is there anything that
you feel that, man, Iím missing out on this as a teenager
but itís worth it? Is there anything that, you know, proms
or football games, you know? Anything of that nature that
you can say, man, you know, Iím kind of missing out on this
but itís worth it?
Reagan Strange: I mean, honestly,
I wouldnít trade anything in the world for this opportunity.
As far as football games and getting to go to a movie every
once in a while but, I mean, of course I miss things like
that but this incredible opportunity is arose for me and
itís something that Iíve wanted for so long and the fact
that I have it, I never want to complain about anything ever
Paula G: That is certainly understandable.
Itís certainly understandable. Well you continue to do what
you are doing and the sky is the limit young lady. Thank you
Reagan Strange: Thank you so much. Hope you
have a great day.
Paula G: You too.
And we do have a question from the line of Beth Beacham with
Hollywood Junket. Please go ahead.
Beth Beacham: Oh,
hi, everyone. This questionís also for Reagan. Hi Reagan,
how are you?
Reagan Strange: Iím great. How are you?
Beth Beacham: Good. Was wondering when Kelly mentioned
that Adam didnít have anyone Country on his team, does that
kind of sway you a little bit to want to be on his team? And
also, I was curious if you were going to perform more of any
other genres like pop or soul on the show?
Strange: So when I was in my blind audition, I was asked the
question by Adam after Kelly said that, if I was strictly
Country. And as for my genre, I have more reach to the
pop-soul vibe of music.
And so just the fact that I
got to do pop-country in my audition and then reaching on
later in the show, I can spread out to my true genre. While
I donít stick mainly to one genre, I really like to spread
it out all across music and so I think the fact that I get
to do that on the show is a really great thing for me.
Beth Beacham: Okay. Thank you so much, have a good day.
Reagan Strange: Thank you, you too.
There are no further questions at this time.
Freemire: Great. All right, thanks so much everyone. That
wraps up our call for today. Thanks again so much for
joining and enjoy the rest of your day.
Ladies and gentlemen, that 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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