While The Voice will crown its season three champion tonight, those contestants who didn't make it to the finals have already started to reenter the world after months of being sequestered by the show. Although people like Amanda Brown and Trevin Hunte have become familiar names to millions of fans of the show, they didn't know that. Brown tells Rolling Stone she found that out abruptly after speaking her mind on gun control.
"I was kind of reacting to what was happening on the news in Connecticut with the children – I kind of got a bit riled up and started talking about gun control, and that was a big no-no for people on social media," she says. "It was my first experience seeing how many people watch the show. It was kind of an awakening for me, because I really got to see just how many people watch The Voice based on the number of responses," she says.
Don't misunderstand: Brown has become a fan of the show and is thrilled with the opportunities it's afforded her, like singing with Stevie Wonder, as she did Saturday night in L.A. at his annual House Full of Toys benefit. "It's been a crazy, crazy ride, being on the show," she says. "And I'm happy that I did it, because I wouldn't be here tonight. I'm stoked."
Even though she now understands now how many people are aware her, Brown isn't going to let that change her as an artist. "I feel like I'm still the same person I was before. I still have opinions," she says.
There are several performers she cites as role models. "Look at Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Prince . . . look at people that commented on things that are happening in the world," she says. "So that's the kind of artist I am, and the kind of person I am."
She has already been in the studio, taking meetings and writing new material. "A friend of mine, I had him read some of my lyrics the other day and he sent me an email response – 'I was reading these and I got really nervous because they made me so uncomfortable.' I was like, 'Yes,'" she says, laughing.
It's clear she is not going to shy away from any subject matter. "It was a song I wrote about God and religion and about relationships. I was really inspired by [John] Lennon's 'God.' I wrote it as I was listening to that record. It's what I was feeling at the time," she says. "I'm really excited and a little nervous, but that's always good. I know I'm not gonna please everyone, so it'll be what it is."
Brown will be in the audience tonight rooting for either Cassadee Pope, Terry McDermott or Nicholas David to take home the Season Three crown. Understandably, after spending so much time with all three, she can't separate herself to make any predictions. "It's so hard, because you just make friends with everybody," she says.