"The Voice" Week 5: Team Blake & Team Adam

By Karen Moul

The Voice Week 5: With Final Auditions, Blake and Adam Complete Their Teams

The Voice on NBCThis week’s edition of The Voice brought us the fifth and final round of blind auditions as the coaches filled the few remaining spots on their teams. The contestants who made it through were a diverse crowd that included jazz, blues, Motown, country singers, and even a rock duo.

Before it was over, Blake Shelton chose sultry jazz singer Lex Land and fellow Oklahoman Adley Stump, while Adam Levine went with bluesman Orlando Napier and seasoned musician Whitney Myer, who’s been performing with her dad’s band since she was just 14 years old.

The successful contestants made time to speak with journalists about their backgrounds, why they chose their coaches, and what lies ahead.

NBC Conference Call
The Voice
Team Adam and Team Blake

Team Adam: Whitney Myer and Orlando Napier
Team Blake: Lex Land and Adley Stump

February 28, 2012


QUESTION: Whitney, can you talk about how Adam’s style and success fits with who you are musically?

WHITNEY MYER:
Absolutely. I really dig Adam Levine because I feel like he kind of straddles more than one genre, which I would like to think that I do as well. And that was part of my reason for choosing him because I feel like musically we’re a fit that way, because he has soulful influences…and I feel like I have similar qualities as an artist.

QUESTION
: Adley, I was just wanting to know if you ever did figure out why [your] heart was pointing [you] toward Blake, and if him being from Oklahoma and also being a fellow country singer played into [your] decision.Team Blake's Adley Stump

ADLEY STUMP:
Yes, absolutely. I agree it came down to Blake being (unintelligible), and I was fortunate to have that option in that - and actually what happened, I knew I wanted Blake from the beginning, not just because of how much I believed he could help me vocally, but also because of who he is and what he stands for. You know, Blake doesn’t let anybody else define who he is or what he does. And that’s what I wanted to surround myself with, and whether people disagree or agree with that, he has a strong sense of quality about [him]. And I felt like that had something to do - really (unintelligible) deeper than just vocally talented.

QUESTION:
So Adley, you mentioned that you had only started singing ten months prior to your audition. Can you tell us a little bit more about your journey? And it says here that you moved to Nashville, so obviously you progressed quite a bit in just a short period of time.

ADLEY STUMP:
I’ve been in Nashville about 8½ months. I got an offer to move here with an artist development deal, publishing and smaller record deal from a private company. And about a month before I graduated - at that time I had been singing about eight to nine months, just goofing around in Stillwater, and started to take it seriously about the last - my senior year in college is when I started taking it seriously, but never thought I could do it. I was playing in a saloon about once a month in Stillwater, Oklahoma, just goofing off for my friends. And we were able to gather a huge crowd, but it was all in good fun.

And then me and my mom put a video on the Internet and Nashville saw it, and said he saw a spark in me that he believed in, and he started conference calling and he asked me to move out to Nashville and said he would back me if I did. And so that’s kind of how that happened. And The Voice - so I was in a room in a mix at the exact same time, and I moved out here to Nashville and The Voice started almost right away.

QUESTION
: When you go into the battle rounds, do you have any idea what that’s like, who you’d like to be paired up against? Have you gotten that far yet?

ADLEY STUMP:
I do know, but I don’t think this is a question I can talk about.

QUESTION
: If you were going to do a battle round, who on Blake’s team would you like to be up against, and what would you like to sing? It’s a “what if” question.

ADLEY STUMP:
I - being on the show, it’s so new. You know, all of this is so new. I feel like I’m learning how to be an artist, how to grow vocally as I’m growing through this process. Part of that is me challenging myself…but I’m getting used to the sound and tones of my voice. I’d like - going into that I wanted to have connection (unintelligible) that my audition showed, you know, (unintelligible).

((Crosstalk))

QUESTION:
Sorry, you’re cutting out a little bit. Your audition showed that you could what?

ADLEY STUMP:
That I could be broad. You have (unintelligible) and that in-your-face rock sound, but going into battles, I told them that I wanted to be able to show a different side of my voice. I wanted to show something more well-rounded, to be able to show (unintelligible), that I had more to offer than the rock style.

QUESTION:
: This question is for Lex Land. I was wondering if going into the blind auditions, if you had a team preference.

LEX LAND:
Well, I did actually want to be on Blake Shelton’s team. I thought that he was a really great coach last year and I felt that, regardless of the outcome of the show, that if any coach was going to continue to support me and to mentor me with whatever happened that it would probably be him, so I was thrilled when he turned around.

And in the heat of the moment, I wasn’t really sure who I was going to choose, but I ended up sticking with my initial feeling, and I’m really glad that I did.

QUESTION:
My question is for Whitney. You had said that Adam felt very genuine in what he said to you and how he sold it. Prior to going in, did you have hopes for any specific coach, since you ended up with having all four to select from?

WHITNEY MYER:
Going into it, I did have a couple coaches in my mind. I was going back and forth between Cee Lo and Adam in my mind, and of course I didn’t expect to have such a variety of choices, I guess. But in the end Adam really sold it and he seemed very genuine, and he seemed - I felt like we had just a couple minutes of communication, was really good, and I really got a good feel for him, and the genuine thing is really important to me.

I just wanted to be able to relate to my coach. And not that Cee Lo was ingenuine, but I just felt like I connected quicker with Adam with what he was saying.

Lex Land earned a spot on Team BlakeSCIFI VISION: Lex, you guys auditioned a little bit late in the process when there were fewer spots available on the teams. Did you guys really feel that pressure? Were you aware of that when you were getting ready to sing?

LEX LAND:
You know, we were not aware of how the teams were filling up or when we would be auditioning. So we really didn’t have any ideas of anything like that.

SCIFI VISION: On the show you said that you were having a lot of anxiety before you performed. What was it like waiting to go on? Where was that coming from, for you?

LEX LAND:
It’s been a little bit strange, because I normally am not nervous. And I remember, I of course get butterflies or whatever any time before I perform. But once I’m on stage, it - being nervous on stage is just really foreign to me. So honestly that day, it felt the same. I had butterflies, and when I got on stage I felt totally fine, and I think that it’s a really nerve-wracking situation.

But when I started singing and the coaches turned, it was less nervousness and more of - almost being emotionally overwhelmed. I was just so happy that Louise and I had made it through that it was really hard to maintain my physical composure at that point. So there was definitely nerves involved, absolutely, but it was just one of those things that came out of the blue and smacked me in the face.

QUESTION
: Yes, this is for Lex again. Could you give us a little idea of your life before the show? Were you working full time as a musician or did you have a day job? And also they listed several things where songs you’d written were on TV shows, and I wasn’t sure if that meant that you’ve been successful writing songs for other people. Could you give us an example of how your songwriting has gone?

LEX LAND:
I’m sorry if I might need you to ask me the question again, because I think there were two parts. But as far as what I do, I’ve been a full-time musician for a little over a year now, maybe a little bit longer than that. I do pick up odd jobs when I can. I do administration before, like reception or I’ve - you know, I’m a cashier. But because I am a musician, I find it really difficult to keep jobs because I would have to leave to go on tour or to do special opportunities like The Voice or things like that, so my personal life can be a little difficult because of that, which is why an opportunity like The Voice is so huge. But mostly I am a full-time musician. I sing jazz  in restaurants and stuff, where nobody listens and they eat the steaks that I could never afford and all of that stuff, you know?

QUESTION:
And the other part of my question was they had listed several songs that they said were original songs of yours [that] had been TV shows like Castle and Private Practice. Does that mean you’ve had songs you’ve written for other people?

LEX LAND:
Yes. Yes, actually, my career has been going great. This is certainly going to be helpful for me and that’s another reason why The Voice is such a great opportunity. I have released albums already of my own material, and some of those songs have gotten TV things, so I think I don’t know. Maybe eight or ten TV shows have used my own original songs that I did record. They are me singing.

QUESTION
: This one’s for Adley. I’m just curious about what it was that helped you discover your passion for music, and what it was about The Voice that you felt you were ready to try out for it?

ADLEY STUMP:
Music has always been a driving force in my life, and this was a completely unknown gift to me that I had a completely unknown talent. And music had always been a huge part of my life. Never did I dream big enough to think that I could ever give it back.

I’ve done choreography my whole life. I was doing choreography for my sorority. They basically dared me to try out for the solo part for this show that I was choreographing, and I’ll take a dare from anybody, so I did it. And I think everybody was kind of shocked at how it sounded. I was kind of shocked by how it sounded, and they ended up giving me the part and I went on to win an award across Oklahoma State with it. And I felt like this torch had been lit in my heart that I just needed to go start a wildfire with. I’d been a performer my whole life but I’d never let myself sing. You know, I’d goof around in the shower and stuff, but then the encouragement of my friends and my sorority sisters at the time led me to start playing in that saloon. And I just - I mean, I couldn’t stop.

And I found The Voice - this is a funny story. I found The Voice because I was, you know, a broke college student, and I thought, man, I’m broke. I need to go be on Jeopardy. So I Googled how to be on Jeopardy, and there was a list of reality shows pulled up. I found The Voice on there, and I saw auditions in Nashville at the time I was interested, and I was like, “Oh, I always wanted to go to Nashville.” So I hopped in the car, drove through the night, and auditioned, on a whim. I didn’t expect this. I did not expect this, I was going left and God said, “No, you’re going right.” And I’m just trying to hold on and be the best version of myself to fill this role that I feel like I’ve been given to play.

QUESTION:
Whitney, we heard that you performed with your dad and uncle prior to the show. How will that experience help you through the show? Adam thinks Whitney Myer can win it all!
WHITNEY MYER:
The experience of performing with my dad and uncle has really been helpful in molding who I am and giving me the confidence to do what I do. And it was the first time that I’d really stepped away from that by myself, and it was a huge growing experience for me to do that and not have them behind me, and - but I mean, they’ve shaped who I am as a musician. I’ve played with my dad since I was 14, and with my uncle since I was about 16. And really, it’s given me the confidence to go out there and just have somewhat of a level of professionalism and give me the strength to sing in front of those megastars.

QUESTION:
Lex, I just have a question for you. Some of the judges compared you to the sounds of music icon Sade. And who do you compare your sound to, Lex, because you have a really cool sultry voice?

LEX LAND:
Thank you. You know, this is one of my - it’s the question that I get frequently and I am always at a loss. I listen to so much different music that I think it amalgamates and comes out as me. I definitely take a lot of cues from Judy Garland as one of my all-time favorite singers, and Jeff Buckley is another one of my all-time favorite singers. And I also listen to a lot of ja, and mid-country ja. So I would say if anything, I hope - maybe I’m flattering myself. I hope I would sound something like any of those people.

QUESTION:: My question's for both Lex and Adley. How are you approaching the competition, not only as competitors, but also teammates to support each other?

ADLEY STUMP:
No, Lex and I, we’re good friends. And we are apples and oranges. And so, we are directly competing against each other I guess, but you just think it’s what they’re looking for. If it’s Blake that chooses Lex over me, then she has the sound that he felt he could win with, you know? And there’s nothing I can do to change that, so it doesn’t change any of the friendships on the team. I mean, there was so much humility, and we became like family out there. So you just encourage each other, and it’s never a malicious thing, or it never was that I was aware of, like, “Oh, how can I take this person down?” It was whatever they’re looking for, I’m going to do my best. You do your best, and it’s really out of our hands from there.

LEX LAND:
I would say that it’s a strange situation to know that we’re all being pitted against each other, but we get to spend so much time with our teammates that we really do become like family and become very close friends, and we all know the situation that we’re in, but because of that, everyone’s just really happy to support one another, because it’s either going to - whatever happens, at blind auditions or battles or whatever, it’s going to be yes or no. And there’s so many variables and factors that could land someone going home or not going home. So we all know that, and so everyone’s in the same boat, and so we really do support one another. It’ll be interesting to see if that attitude continues the farther the show goes.

QUESTION: Adley, what is it about being from Oklahoma that puts the heart in your music and in your voice?

ADLEY STUMP:
Music is something that doesn’t have a language barrier to it. It has absolutely built me to be who I am. It’s been my biggest encourager in the hardest times of my life, and really just changed the way that I see the world and the way that I communicate with the world. And being from the south - Blake says it best when he says we are telling stories, and I released an EP in December that tells my story over the last eight months. I got here, we started writing it, and six months later we released it. And my producer (Chuck Emmett), he says that every project is like a time stamp in history for who you were at that moment in time. And looking back now, he couldn’t have been more accurate. That album is about strength, so I’ve latched onto that. Make me feel powerful. And songs are brave. They’re much braver than I am, and so to be able to write music and get on a stage and perform it with everything that I am, it’s the most vulnerable feeling in the world, but it’s the best thing I could possibly ever do.

QUESTION
: Adley, you come across very intelligent, very polished. You said singing came naturally to you. I’m wondering if the marketing and the business end of this whole equation has also come naturally for you.

ADLEY STUMP:
Thank you for the compliment. I’m just watching how God, from my eyes, placed the puzzle pieces of my past to be able to be in this moment and be the best that I can be. I worked for a non-profit called To Write Love on Her Arms: Presenting Hope and Finding Help for People Struggling with Depression, Addiction, Self-Injury and Suicide, for two and a half years, and I was the president of that at Oklahoma State, representing that, meeting the need where it’s at. And I formed community groups, and I was forced to speak to people. Every Tuesday night I was a discussion moderator, and never letting there be awkward, dead silences, and so through my experience with cheerleading, learning how to conquer stage fright, learning how to perform, learning how to be in front of an audience, between cheerleading before - between my leadership roles in my sorority Pi Phi, and between speaking every Tuesday night in front of a group, I feel like that has helped me so much to be able to focus on the music, focus on learning how to be an artist, learning how to sing, and going through this whole process has taught me really how to sing.

That’s been part of this journey for me, and I feel like America’s getting to watch me grow up and learn how to be a singer and how to be an artist. But I’m trying to pull from my record and other gifts that I felt like God had given me to be able to do what I’m supposed to do now.

QUESTION
: Yes, Adley, I was kind of surprised by the time line there. You mentioned you’ve got an album that you’ve already finished or that you’ve almost finished. And I thought this all happened to you within the last year. You know, there’s people who go to Nashville and they spend about 20 years trying to get an album made. Tell us the time line, from the time you had that first contest that you won in college to right now.

ADLEY STUMP:
Absolutely. It really was all jam packed in there. I won a contest the end of my junior year, had summer break, came back my senior year and I was like, “All right. I want to do this.” So I started playing out in that saloon once a month, and then that’s when my video got on the Internet. My mom posted it up, and an investor from Nashville. We started talking and he brought me to Nashville, and immediately we produced the album in five months. 

I probably won’t ever, ever do that again, but I wanted to have something. We were getting meetings very, very fast, and we were gaining some interest very, very fast, and I knew The Voice was coming, and I wanted to have something available to show people. You know, when you’re on TV, that’s not always the best representation of yourself, and it’s not always the full representation of yourself. And so I wanted to be able to show people, hey, I can write. And hey, this is what I sound like and this is what I’m going through. So we have an EP. It’s seven songs. It’s not a full album. We just put something together in five months, wanted to have it readily available for when the show hit and to show people at these meetings that we were getting with larger labels and agents and everything like that as a representation of hey, I’m Adley. Here’s who I am.

QUESTION:
That’s great. And when was that contest, the one you won at the end of your junior year?

ADLEY STUMP:
It was April. It was the very end of April, right before school let out I think.

QUESTION
: Of what year?

ADLEY STUMP:
You’re going to make me do math. I graduated May 2011, so April 2011.

QUESTION
: Whitney, what went through your mind when Adam thought you could win the whole thing?

WHITNEY MYER:
I was flabbergasted that you know, such a successful artist like Adam said that to me. I was completely awestruck and humbled by that comment. And at that moment, that’s honestly what sold me on Adam. I was leaning towards him anyways, because he was so genuine. But that comment, if somebody can get behind me that much, and he really thinks that I could do that well on the show, then of course I want to work with him. So that’s honestly - that was the selling point for me with Adam.

QUESTION
: If you couldn’t be on Adam’s team, who would be your second choice?

WHITNEY MYER:
I know we’re on the line here with Blake’s team. I think Blake’s so genuine and he seems like such a cool guy, and down to earth. And he said he was a fan, which was so cool. The other ones were very complimentary, but none of them said, “I would buy your album.” Blake said, “I would download your song.” That’s cool, and so I feel like I might have gone with Blake because he might not have been the first choice to think of for my genre, but he just seems like such a cool guy. I think I would have wanted to kick it with him and get some direction from him that way. So I think he would have been my second choice.

QUESTION
: I was just wondering what it’s like for you to have a newfound following on Twitter. Lex, you got a shout out from Allison Sweeney last night. There’s even some celebrities that are noticing you guys. How does that feel?

LEX LAND:
I would say that that’s probably the most exciting thing about this process thus far. Not to say that singing in front of the coaches and getting their well-wishing and fighting over you and all that stuff isn’t exciting, but to be able to build so much a career that I work so, so hard at all the time and have for a long time to get a little bit of this boost, and a new following pointed towards the career that I’ve already established is really, really rewarding and really validating and very, very exciting.

QUESTION
: Orlando, could you talk about being the last person chosen for Team Adam? How did that make you feel to be the one that sealed his team?

Team Adam's Orlando NapierORLANDO NAPIER:
I didn’t really know that I was the last person. It’s kind of similar to how Lex answered, so I didn’t really know that, but it feels great to know that he he wanted me on his team and he won last season. And that’s a big compliment itself, and I feel like he’s kind of picky I think, at least from watching him last season and knowing who he chose. So I feel really honored that he was fighting for me like that.

QUESTION:
Adley, I’m a mom of three, and I just wanted to know what the retribution was for her mentioning you singing on the potty as a little kid on national television.

ADLEY STUMP:
You know, my mom - as you all saw last night, obviously, she’s crazy. She’s a fireball, and some days, I’m like, “Mom!” It’s one of those things. You know, she’s so supportive, and I get a lot of my personality from her, just kind of fiery, and we don’t always have a filter. But you know, it’s all in good humor. I can take a joke, especially from her. So yes, apparently that was the first time I ever sang, or when she finally (unintelligible) me, was potty training. So you know, I’ve heard a lot worse, so it doesn’t faze me too much.

QUESTION: So despite the bug eyes, you didn’t have to get revenge on your mom or anything? My teenager would have kicked my butt.

ADLEY STUMP:
Oh, yes. I’m probably just used to it because she was my coach for forever in cheerleading, and she’s not afraid to embarrass you. But I’m not afraid to throw it back at her. So we have that kind of relationship. I figured she would do something like that, and she - (unintelligible), you know, spider monkey onto Carson Daly, and then I didn’t even know that and I came in and spider monkeyed on her. I was so excited. You can tell we have a similar personality and we get along well. So it’s all in good fun.

QUESTION
: Since your career is so new, were you surprised that [she said] she knew back when you were two that you had a great voice?

ADLEY STUMP:
That was more of her just probably trying to get joking. Her story is when I was potty training,if I sang the alphabet, she’d give me a Skittle. So it’s probably not genuine talent. I mean, this has been a whole shock for our whole family. I was looking for cubicle jobs in public relations my senior year and just playing in that saloon for fun, and never, ever, ever knew where this would lead. So when I got the offer, I said, “Mama, I’m going to move to Nashville. I only have one life to live. You know, I really don’t want to do PR that much.” So I mean I’d love to take this, see where it leads. And they were like, okay. They trust me and they trust the decisions I make, and so this was a shock. I don’t think she really thought I could sing when I was two.

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