EXCLUSIVE: RaeLynn From “The Voice” On Her Battle Round And Beyond
RaeLynn keeps racking up the “firsts” for Team Blake on this season of NBC’s smash singing competition The Voice. She was the first singer selected by Blake Shelton for his team. Now she’s the first singer Blake picked as a winner in the Battle Rounds.
The 17-year-old was matched with Adley Stump for her Battle Round. The pairing brought together two different types of singers: The powerful voice of Adley vs the more stylish singing RaeLynn. Coaches Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green picked Adley as the winner, while Adam Levine went with RaeLynn. In the end the decision was Blake’s and he went with RaeLynn, taking style over power.
Clearly, Blake sees something special about RaeLynn. But will the viewing audience feel the same way when it comes time to vote? We’ll all have to stay tuned for the answer to that question.
In the meantime, we caught up with the talented Texan to get her thoughts on meeting Miranda Lambert, her Battle Round with Adley, preparing for the live shows and a product endorsement she could really sink her teeth into.
Did you honestly have no idea that you were going to be working with Miranda?
I was hoping that Miranda would be my advisor, but I thought it would be too good to be true. For some reason I was like, “Why would Blake bring Miranda in? He’s with her all the time!” But then I was thinking it’s his wife and she’s an amazing singer so why wouldn’t he?
But I kept thinking it was too good to be true. So I was thinking he might bring in other artists like Dolly or Loretta Lynn or maybe he was going to bring Reba back. I honestly did not know it was going to be Miranda Lambert.
And because it’s so much fun, would you talk about your reaction when you walked through that door and saw her?
All I could do was scream! When I opened up that door and saw her face – I can’t even tell you all the feelings. I was getting all these butterflies and I was getting nervous because I knew I was going to have to sing in front of her.
But then I was like, “Oh, my God! This is Miranda Lambert! This is really her! She’s right here! She’s about to mentor me! She’s my advisor!” All of these things were rolling through my head. It was such a crazy moment.
Then she told me that she was so happy that I sang “Hell On Hells” and that was such a compliment to me. And she was telling me to be myself. She’s was just amazing!
Was it difficult coming down from the excitement of meeting her and being able to focus on what she and Blake were telling you?
When I was standing on the little stage singing or when I was sitting right by her…you can see in the video that I was closing my eyes. I couldn’t even look at her and Blake! I was like, “I’m sitting with the king and queen of country right now and they’re mentoring me!”
I absolutely loved it! I was blown away! I was like, “This is so amazing! This is so cool!” I was in awe of the whole moment and it will be one that I’ll never forget.
We only got to see a little bit on the broadcast, but did you get to spend very much time working with Miranda and getting to know her or was what we saw all you got?
Well, they didn’t show everything, but we got to talk a bit more in-depth about the song and we practiced it a little more. And we had a little sit down interview (see video below). We were talking about how me and Adley are so different — Adley is such a powerhouse and I’m so unique – and what I should do to counteract that.
Blake gave me some great tips. He said I remind him of Miranda. And that Miranda doesn’t have a real loud voice but she’s powerful just because she’s unique and that he sees the same thing in me.
And they nicknamed me “Baby Annie.” All of the Pistol Annies have nicknames. Miranda is “Lonestar Annie” and Angaleena Presley is “Holler Annie” and Ashley Monroe is “Hippie Annie.” They nicknamed me “Baby Annie” and Blake Shelton is “Pistol Andy”! It’s just really cute! (Laughs)
They are so fun to be around. Miranda reminds me of myself. She’s like my big sister. When I hang around her or when I talk with her it’s like talking with a sister or someone I’ve known my whole life. We’re so much alike it’s kinda weird! (Laughs)
On to the Battle Round: What was your reaction when Blake told you the song would be Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’”?
I was actually thinking, “Thank you, Jesus! It’s a song that I kinda know!” All of the songs he gave all the battles (last year) they were all songs I had never heard of. I was like, “I don’t know that song!” and “Oh, God! I don’t know that song!” When he said “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty I was thankful that I kinda knew it. (Laughs)
You listen to some of those battles and they were singing “The Power of Love” I was just thankful for my little “Free Fallin’” song. I’m glad I didn’t have to sing Celine Dion’s song “The Power of Love.” That would’ve been crazy! (Laughs) So I was thankful for it, actually.
Adley has such a powerful voice. As you were working on the duet with her, were there ever any times you were a bit intimidated or were you always confident?
The first time we got the song and we were in the piano room with Blake and she started singing it, she was catching on faster than I was and I started getting worried. That’s why the next day when I saw Miranda that I was asking her so many questions. I was so happy to see her because I knew she would help me.
At first I was getting really nervous. Adley is a powerhouse and she’s very good. I got extremely nervous. I got confident when I got on stage, but it was really hard. I had to keep telling myself, “You’re going to do good! You’re going to do good!”
It’s just intimidating to be on the same stage. It’s really dramatic – you’re in a ring! And ultimately we both want to stay in the competition, so she’s givin’ it just as much as I’m givin’ it. So, of course I was really nervous!
After you performed, things didn’t look so good for you. Both Christina and Cee Lo said they would’ve gone with Adley. What were you thinking when you heard them say that?
I was thinking, “Okay…what am I going to say? I’m about to get voted off the show. Blake is amazing. Thank you for letting me meet Miranda. It’s a dream come true. I was so lucky to be in the Final 48.” I was running through my head what I was going to say to Blake.
But I was proud. I did the best I could do and I felt that I did my best, so I couldn’t get upset at myself. I was giving myself a pep talk in my head. You can probably see it because I was about to pass out on TV. But then when Adam said, “I would go with RaeLynn. She’s (Adley) a little overpowering because she has a powerful voice. If I had to pick, I’d go with RaeLynn.”
But still in the back of my head I was like, “Well, heck! Two of them said they were going to go with Adley.” So I was thinking, “Okay. I’m about to go home.” Then when Blake said my name…I think I bit my hand! I cried when I got off stage. It was ridiculous. It was crazy.
Blake picked you, so he obviously sees something special in you. Now how do you get the viewers to see the same thing so they vote for you?
Blake’s told me that there’s something so special about my voice and that’s what I admire so much about Blake: He’s stuck with his guns. He ultimately sees something in me and that means a lot to me.
All I can say is I’m gonna kill this next live show. It’ll be a song that I kinda get to help pick. I get to have input on what the song choice is. So this next song ain’t gonna be a “Free Fallin’.” It’s gonna be another kick-butt, “Hell On Hells” type of song. Because that’s the kinda stuff I like to sing.
They just better watch out because it’s gonna be awesome!
How can your fans best support you and Team RaeLynn?
All I can say is my fans have been amazing. There were a lot of people who wanted Adley to win and I got a lot of crap for it. But my fans came in and they were like, “We’re gonna stand behind you!” And they got “Free Fallin’” to #53 on the iTunes country chart and Blake tweeted about it and all of this crazy stuff.
I was just so proud of them and so happy. I just want all of my fans to keep tweeting about my iTunes and for everybody to vote for RaeLynn. I’m just so excited. I really don’t have to do much work. My fans are awesome! They’re so supportive!
I just want them to keep getting the word out. Tweet about it. Facebook about it. And tell your friends. The main thing is just getting the word out and social media is the best part about it.
The live shows won’t be until next month. Are you constantly working on show-related things or do you get down time to enjoy being a 17-year-old?
I’ve been home since January and my Mom’s been letting me go to some concerts and is letting me hang out with my friends and just be a 17-year-old. She told me that it was really important these next couple of months. She wanted me to be at home and take out the trash and do everything that she wants me to do. She said, “After The Voice you don’t know what’s gonna happen and I want you to be able to so really enjoy these last few months.” And I said, “You’re exactly right, Momma.”
So I’ve just been hanging out with my friends and I’ve still been practicing a lot and working on songs I want to do for the live shows and figuring out what songs I want to do. It hasn’t been all play time, but I’ve definitely had lots of fun being at home.
We must talk about your Kia commercial that aired during the show. Did the folks with Kia and The Voice know you didn’t have a driver’s license before they put you behind the wheel?
Actually they did. They thought it was funny! I actually didn’t drive the car. We were on a trailer. The car was being pulled around, so I actually didn’t drive it. That’s the whole funny part about it!
I told Blake, “I hope you realize I wasn’t really drivin’ that car. I don’t even have a license.” And he and Miranda were dyin’ laughin’! They thought it was so funny! I thought it was pretty humorous that they did that! (Laughs)
As one who follows you on Twitter, I’m guessing a commercial you’d really love to do is for a chicken wing place!
Oh, my gosh! I love wings! My friend hit the nail on the head yesterday. She was talking with someone and she said, “The three foods that RaeLynn eats is wings, Tex-Mex and barbecue.” And that’s all I eat. I don’t know why I’m not 500 pounds because that’s all I eat!
I love wings! We had wings yesterday and the day before and I had them Sunday after church. I had my honey barbecue wings from Bayou City Wings. It’s pretty bad. I would definitely do a wings commercial! And I’m not an attractive eater, either! I feel sorry for the guy I go on a date with! (Laughs)
Anything else you’d like to add as we all look forward to the live shows?
I just want to say again “Vote for RaeLynn!” I’m just super excited about this opportunity and I promise I’ll make you proud!