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Exclusive: Billy Gilman talks 'The Voice' -- What's next for him personally and professionally?


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/22/2016 

Billy Gilman finished as the runner-up of The Voice's eleventh season behind Sundance Head.

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Billy, a 28-year-old former child country star and powerhouse vocalist from Westerly, RI, was seemingly the favorite to win Season 11, but Sundance gave him a run for his money with a few epic performances in the semifinal and final rounds in which the family man wrote and arranged songs himself.

Billy competed on Adam Levine's team the entire season, revealing he's always wanted to be a pop star. Although he didn't walk away with an immediate recording contract or the title of "The Voice," Billy gained respect for his determination and admiration of his talent.

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World following The Voice finale, Billy opened up about his journey on the show. Below is the concluding portion of what he had to say. Check Reality TV World's The Voice 11 page for more from Billy.

Reality TV World: What's next for you, Billy? What are your plans for the near future? I'd have a hard time believing different record labels aren't trying to scoop you up right now. 

Billy Gilman: Yeah, you know, because of the Christmas month, everything shuts down. We don't know if the companies under The Voice still want to work, because there's always that option where they hold you and want to work with you. So we don't know what that is.

As far as I know, people could've found something out today that I didn't know. We're having a meeting at 8PM tonight, so I don't know. But as far as I know, we still have to wait to be released from all of those contracts, but there are some very, very interesting things that are already in the works.

And I can honestly say that a lot of it is touring, but some of it is records and record-driving in that lane. So, yeah, and it will happen fast! We can't wait, you know what I mean? And that's the great thing. I think people in the industry who are interested in knocking on my door know that you have to capitalize on this quickly, so we might see a faster turnaround than you think.

Reality TV World: And what about in your personal life? What's next? I know you're in a relationship right now...

Billy Gilman: Yeah! Listen, that was partially why I found myself ready to do this new journey, because I had finally found happiness in my musical life and knew that my voice was ready to conquer a medium like this.

And I also found personal happiness, and people were okay with that, which is a huge thing in someone's life when you're trying to convey lyrics and be emotional and show emotion. You have to be aligned with life in many ways. So yeah, that's going to keep going forward and I'm very happily in a relationship.

Who knows what will happen during this year! My main focus is my music right this minute and everything else is great. I'm in a good place everywhere else, and the work continues both personally and professionally. So, yeah! (Laughs) You never know.

Reality TV World: Glad to hear it. What was your reaction when you found out you were going to sing with Kelly Clarkson? And since she was on a reality singing competition herself, American Idol, was she able to give you any insight that helped you to relate to her better?

Billy Gilman: Yes, she was so awesome! She was on my list as one person I wanted to sing with just because the amount of hits she's had is ridiculous. And she's such a phenomenal singer. I've never met her, but I always heard that she is just a great human being, and I love that.

So when I met her, we got into the little dressing room and we were rehearsing the song, and it came from one of the biggest, smash musicals out right now, Hamilton. We instantly clicked and connected, and it was so awesome.

So one thing she left me with was. "Never lose sight of what you are. You always have to stick to that concrete foundation of what makes you work, because that's why the people fell in love with you in the first place."

So [she said] to never lose sight of that. Just because someone is offering something or someone is suggesting something, don't just go to "yes, yes and yes," because you don't want to diminish your opportunity. The opportunity will always be there if you keep presenting yourself and you're 100% you.

So I thought that was the coolest thing. She was so level-headed and I was so honored to sing with her. She sounded amazing and it was great. That was a big moment for me and will continue to be a big moment for me for a while now.

Reality TV World: Tease what fans can expect from your current tour. Are you going to sing your newer pop stuff or old country songs?

Billy Gilman: Absolutely! My shows have always been my favorite part of my career because it allows me to do whatever I want to do and just give someone two hours worth of entertainment. I'll do everything from 80s rock to pop stuff. I will go backwards and do some of my "what was before" in a new key with new arrangements.

And of course I'll do some Adele! It's just a variety show and I'm really excited about doing some of this new stuff as well. So, yeah, I'm excited. I really am. And I can't wait because that will be the first time I'll be in front of my home state, you know? So I'm sure it will be a great time.

To read whether Billy Gilman thought he was going to win or even wanted to win, and why he was hesitant to audition for The Voice to begin with, click here.


Billy Gilman/Instagram

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