"We’re now 12 out of 45,000 people, so over this whole trip we’ve really become a family," Nicholas David, from The Voice's Team Cee Lo, told Rolling Stone as he stood by the bar at the House of Blues on Thursday night. Seeing the odds in those terms, the rigorous road that the 12 finalists for the title of "The Voice" in Season Three have traveled becomes clear. So they certainly deserved the night of celebration they got this week when, after making it to the next round of live shows, the dozen joined their coaches at House of Blues Los Angeles for a performance and party.
The party was more for journalists and industry types, however, with the coaches and finalists putting on the evening’s entertainment after making their way to the venue and going through rounds of interviews. Terry McDermott, one of the three finalists from Blake Shelton’s team, planned to relish this soiree anyway.
"I’ve been in situations in music where you saw your future mapped out in front of you. My band came over here with a record deal, for us the route was very clear," McDermott told Rolling Stone. "Then I’ve also seen where that’s been taken away and we’ve been in a position where you don’t know what the future holds. So nights like this, working or not, I’ll savor every second of it.”
For Michaela Paige, who earned Shelton’s save to move on, the night brought on a mix of feelings. "Being on this show is an emotional roller coaster," she said. "A night like tonight comes along and I’m standing up there on the verge of going home with two of the most amazing talents that I’ve ever met and I’m sure in my head that I’m preparing my goodbye speech, to be saved is just the biggest relief. I am so grateful and thankful."
There is little time on The Voice to bask in credit, however. Several of the finalists, including Paige, were already looking ahead to next week. "I am so ready to perform on Monday and show America and Blake why I deserve to be here. I can tell you that on Monday, surprises are in order," she said. "Keeping true to who I am as an artist, that pop/rock, that soul, that blues, that’s what I’m all about and that’s what I’m gonna showcase."
Also looking ahead was Team Cee Lo’s Cody Belew, who, like Paige, made it through with help from his coach. "We’re pushing all cylinders, both Cee Lo and I, especially for the next week’s performance, cause every week we’re just gonna bring that shock value that he’s known for and that I’ve always wanted to do," he said.
Belew is looking beyond next week as well, and if he does go forward, he has a particular song in mind for the finals. "The one song that I’ve kind of got on a back burner slowly simmering, is 'The Show Must Go On,' by Queen, because I just want to nail the shit to the wall," he said.
If he does make it to the finals, he fully expects to see Amanda Brown there. "She is the baddest bitch in town and that rhymes all the way to the bank. She is my very best friend here," he says. "We joke all the time about going straight to the end together, we’ve got this secret song together we want to do that was made famous by two other rivals."
Brown, the show’s favorite after her virtuoso performance of "Dream On" this week, has some of her own song choices in mind going forward. "Maybe 'Alone' by Heart, I’d like to maybe do 'Barracuda' also," she says. "I’d love to do a Queen song. There are so many great songs."
She'd love to sing with Belew on the show – "Cody’s my buddy," she said – but when the Amanda Brown album comes down the line, and it will come whether she wins or not, she has loftier collaborations in mind. And who would she most like to work with? Steven Tyler.
The refreshingly humble Trevin Hunte also has dream musical partners in mind for when he makes his debut album. "Some of my idols like Beyoncé, Rihanna, even my amazing coach Cee Lo, I would love to do a duet or collab with them," he said.
Hunte is another favorite, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at his reaction last night when he was voted forward by fans. He may have been the only one surprised by the choice, but that’s because he makes a conscious effort to tune out all the internet buzz. "I kind of try and stay away from that because it can be positive and negative, so I don’t really watch on Twitter or read any comments," he says.
Hunte need only look to fellow competitor McDermott for accolades. "Trevin Hunte has absolutely floored me with his voice, just incredible," McDermott said. "I would love to find a way of combining our rock and R&B vocals that works in a song."
Some of the veterans, like David and McDermott, know that at this point the ride can end at any time, so they will just stay on as long as the show will have them. "Right at the moment, I just want to ride this roller coaster until I fall off, frankly," McDermott said.
It’s a thought seconded by David. "The whole thing is an honor. It just keeps unfolding and all I can do is eat it and it tastes good," he said.