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The Voice Contestants Dish On Their Mentors And Other Influences

September 25, 2012 11:51 AM by Stephanie Gustafson


The third season of The Voice is off to a great start, with blind auditions bringing in some amazing vocal talent. In a press conference today, Terisa Griffin, Suzanna Chofell, Jordan Pruitt, Diego Val, Dez Duron and Alexis Marceaux talked about their time on The Voice thus far, as well as the factors hat led them to try out in the first place.Several of our favorites from this season of The Voice sat down for a press interview earlier today. They talked about everything from their love of volunteering (Diego) to the difficulties faced in returning to a reality show after being cut in an earlier season (Dez). Check out their fascinating responses:


Question: Jordan, what have you learned from performing in front of audiences in your earlier years?

 The main thing I’ve learned is how to interact with my fans on a personal level…just being their friends. The fans want to know you as a person, not just as an artist.


Question: Terisa, we don’t see a lot of contestants grilling the judges. Was that planned, and where did you get the confidence to do it?

They told me to ask questions, so I just asked questions…I didn’t quite know my alter-ego would have so much fun. I figured, at 42, I’ve gone through quite a lot. I recently had a breast cancer scare, so I wanted to go for it. I love writing music and what I’m hoping is…even in your 40s, people buy adult music. That’s the sad part of the music industry. Once you get to a certain age, people stop marketing to adults. You can’t stop aging.


Question: Terisa, what was it like working with Jerry Butler?

My mentor (he’s also walking me down the aisle) has taught me everything I know…not to oversing things, when there’s a peak moment in the song. He’s such an amazing, amazing person. I was living in my car when I met him. He heard me sing at a tribute to him. Someone told me if I sang there I would get a gig. I never dreamt I would end up with a gig with him. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor or more dedicated person.


Question: Dez, can you talk about your song choice this year compared to last year?

I put a lot more thought into my song choice this year. The first season I was on my way to a football meeting and I got a call from a friend: “Hey man, I got a Voice audition, if you can get on a plane at 6 in the morning.” It was very last minute…I wanted something this season that I could show off what I learned from my gospel background. I wanted something that has the low notes, has the high notes.


Question: Susanna, how do you describe your style?

That’s always a hard question for me to answer. I describe it as indie-soul-pop, brought on by an influence of country, of folk, jazz, hip hop, reggae. I’m probably too influenced by too many styles of music.


Terisa, are you getting married soon?

I’m getting married on November 24th in Chicago to the man of my dreams. I love The Voice but I love my husband-to-be too. Hopefully God will work it out…I have to get married now – I can’t put that man on hold!


Question: Jordan, was Christina the perfect fit given her background with Disney?

Definitely..I grew up listening to Christina. Her first album was the first CD I’d ever gotten. I had her Barbie doll. Genie in a Bottle is my favorite music video. I was floored when she turned her chair around for me.


Question: Dez, was it always your intent to return after you were cut from season 2?

It wasn’t always my intent…I was pretty down when it happened to me. It was really hard for me…I definitely didn’t want to be that guy who didn’t make it twice on The Voice. It took a lot of time for me to build up the courage and the desire to come back for season 3. Had to take the risk and take the jump.


Question: Diego, why is it so important for you to share your time and talent with the children in the hospital?

I want to give back. I spent so much time in the hospital as a kid. I remember feeling lonely. It sucked. Nobody would even look at me because of the way I looked. I do it because I know they need it…they’ve done studies on what music can do for people when they are ill. I think it’s way easier to perform in front of 20 million on live TV than to perform for a kid who has cancer and might pass away tomorrow. It’s so natural to do that. I always give a shout-out to people who work in hospitals…it’s probably one of the hardest thing in my life.


Question: Dez, what have you been up to since season 2?

Took another semester off of Yale and stayed out in California…working on my voice, becoming a better singer. And working on different instruments. It’s been a hard two months, but it’s been so much fun because it’s what I love to do.


Question: Diego, what made you choose Neon Trees and how did you come up with the arrangement?

The reason I picked that song is that I don’t really sing any covers. That was the only cover I had in my head that I could right away record. When I heard the track, I was thinking it would be way neater if I could make the song my song. Since I’m not used to singing covers, I had to transform the song into my song so I could feel comfortable with it. I wanted to give five seconds to my people…South American, Latin American. Why not put a Spanish arrangement and let’s see what happens.


Question: Diego, is Spanish a trend on The Voice?

I think you guys will definitely see more. We’ve got Julio representing Mexico. I respect everybody, I love everybody, but I just have to put it out there that I’m Spanish and I’m here to represent.


Question: Suzanna, what beyond a voice does it take to win a show like this?

I think you have to have really strong stage presence and keep your head above the water. This is a test of how strong you can be to not let other things get to you, other people affect you and really stay true to your sound, your style on TV. Having a strong sense of who you are and showing that on stage.


Suzanna certainly has the right attitude! And the perspectives from the other contestants are interesting as well! Stay tuned for a new episode of The Voice tonight!

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Photo Credit: NBC

Topics: NBC Reality TV Shows, The Voice |

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1 Comment »

One Response to “The Voice Contestants Dish On Their Mentors And Other Influences”

  1. catherine Says:
    April 8th, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Didn’t The Voice have a couple of blind auditions where they did not show the TV audience the singers to let them experience the same thing judges did?
    If so, what season and what show?



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