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Exclusive: 'The Voice' runner-up Emily Ann Roberts: I got down on myself but Blake Shelton picked me back up


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/18/2015 

The Voice artist Emily Ann Roberts finished the NBC reality singing competition's ninth season in second place during Tuesday night's live finale broadcast.

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Emily Ann was a member of Blake Shelton's team, along with the third-place contestant Barrett Baber.

Jordan Smith, who was on coach Adam Levine's team, was declared the champion of The Voice. Gwen Stefani's team member, Jeffery Austin, landed in fourth place based on home viewer votes.

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Emily Ann talked about her experience on the show. Below is what she had to say. Check back with us soon for our interview with Jeffery.

Reality TV World: Blake has made a pattern of staying close to artists he worked with on The Voice, they've sung with him in shows and things like that. Do you expect to maintain a close relationship with Blake like that now that the show is done?

Emily Ann Roberts: Blake is such an incredible guy and he's such an incredible artist, so it's awesome to have someone like him standing in my corner. I definitely think that me and Blake got close over the season and I'm really excited to see what happens next, but I definitely think that we will stay in touch. He has become such a friend to me.

Reality TV World: How did Blake prepare you for life in the real world after The Voice and having a career in the music industry? Did he give you any advice in particular?

Emily Ann Roberts: Well, you know, we didn't have a whole lot of down time. Everything happened really quick and we didn't really get a chance to talk a lot after the show, but he has helped me so much and reminded me to stay true to who I am no matter what, and never let anybody change me.

And I think that's really, really important. And coming from him, it just makes me really want to trust my gut and just stay true to who I am because I think it's really easy to sway from that when you're mixed up with the wrong people. He just wants me to always stay myself, and I love that. I love that he supports me for who I am.

Reality TV World: Based on you and Barrett making the Final 4, and Zach Seabaugh being extremely close to the finals, would you say you had a little bit of an advantage being a country artist?

Emily Ann Roberts: Country fans are awesome and loyal. I think that country singers kind of do have a tiny bit of an advantage. I think we're all on the same level, but the country fans are really loyal and they're awesome and they care. So I think that's super awesome for us, but you know, I don't feel like anyone had a huge advantage over anyone in that kind of situation.

The only thing we can control is our performance and what we put out there, and I think all of us were just so focused on being the best we could be. But yeah, I think the country fans are awesome and it was awesome to be able to experience them rooting for us.

Reality TV World: In the finale, did you feel like the artists were on a level playing field, or because Jordan was sort of in a league of his own, it was really a race for second place?

Emily Ann Roberts: Well, Jordan is phenomenal and I think it was obvious to everyone that he was so incredible. He just shines so bright in this competition and he deserved the win. He really did. We're all so happy for him, and I wouldn't want anyone else but him. He really deserves it.

I want the best for everyone, but I am. I'm really happy for him, and I think that we all knew and I think that a bunch of the viewers knew that Jordan was kind of the frontrunner the whole time. But I don't think that affected any of us.

I think if anything, it made us want to go out there and try even harder -- not exactly to win but to give it our all, because he leaves his whole heart and soul onstage every time he sings. And that's so inspiring. I think it really inspired us to do our best. 

When I made it to Top 4, that was a win for me. I wasn't really trying to compete after that. I was just trying to perform and have a good time, and I had so much fun that last Monday and Tuesday, so I feel like I was just able to have fun. But yeah, Top 4 was a total win for me. I never imagined I would make it that far, and so, I think the competing kind of stopped there.

Reality TV World: How much of a struggle was it for you to choose songs that really appeal to the larger audience of The Voice, to basically rack in votes, versus sing less popular songs you love that showed off your personal artistry? In that regard, was it difficult to choose your song each week?

Emily Ann Roberts: That was hard! Song choice was a super huge factor obviously. If you got stuck with the wrong song one week, then it could make or break you sometimes. And we saw that happen so much. But my coach, especially, Blake is so supportive and he just wants us to be totally true to who we are.

There was one week when he really, really was thinking about a song for me, and I just wasn't feeling it. And I was really scared to go against what he said, but he trusted me and I trusted him. And we collaborated on it. And that week, I got to sing the Patsy Cline song "She's Got You," and it ended up being a huge success.

It's awesome that we get the chance to collaborate and work with these awesome coaches, because I mean, he might've made changes to that song and fixed it in ways that I never would have thought of. He made it maybe even better.

And every single time he pitched a song to me, that was one of the times I made it to No. 1 on the country charts. He's so smart and he knows what he's doing. So I don't know how it was for everyone else, but Blake is just such an incredible coach. He really supports us in whatever we want to do.

Reality TV World: At only 17-years-old, what's next for you? Will you pursue music as a career?

Emily Ann Roberts: I want to try to pursue music, but I am only 17 and I do have to continue with school and do the best I can staying grounded and not just forgetting everything to pack it up and try to pursue this.

I think what's next for me is going back to school next semester, and starting write down, I'm going to be writing. I want to start getting some stuff together that is a true representation of who I am and who I am as an artist. That's definitely the next step for me.

Reality TV World: What was the most difficult part of the competition for you and what will go down as your favorite moment of the season?

Emily Ann Roberts: The most difficult part of the competition was definitely -- it's not something that I think a lot of people realize. We don't have a whole lot of down time during [live shows], but towards the beginning, we did because there were so many of us that we at least had one off day. There were times I would sit and listen to everyone's song and everyone was so talented.

It was really hard to not get down on myself, and say, "Oh, I can't sing that strongly," or, "I can't hit that note," or, "I can't do that run." You know what I'm saying? So that was definitely a hard part, just getting down on myself and having a lack of confidence just because I'm comparing myself to everyone else.

But Blake really helped with that and told me there's only one me, and I can only do me. It's important to stick to who I am and that really helped out with that part.

And definitely the most fun that I had was performing with Ricky Skaggs. That was such a dream come true. He was so kind and I was so grateful he came out and was a part of the show. I was listening to his music since I was in a carseat.

Reality TV World: It's obviously been confirmed for a while now that Blake and Gwen are dating. Did you get to experience their dynamic at all and maybe even receive some additional advice from Gwen if she was kind of lurking around more? (Laughs)

Emily Ann Roberts: Well, we stayed really busy, and so, I didn't have a lot of downtime with the coaches. But Gwen is so, so precious, and she's always been so kind to me. She's so cute! And there were some times that I got to talk to her, but we didn't really have a lot of time. But she was always so sweet and supportive and so complimentary. She's just a really beautiful person inside and out.

Reality TV World: What have you really taken away from this competition?

Emily Ann Roberts: That I am who I am for a reason and I sing the way I sing for a reason, and I need to be content with that.

Reality TV World: Did you receive an awesome piece of advice from either Pharrell Williams, Adam or Gwen?

Emily Ann Roberts: Pharrell stopped me the night of the finale and said that he always wanted me to remember that I'm special and I was different. That's so helpful and so kind of him, to come up and say that to me.

Because he's not my coach and he didn't have to do that. But he did and that meant a lot to me. So he told me, "Never forget that. Never forget this conversation that we had." He's an awesome guy -- so supportive. So that was really great to hear that from.

Check back with Reality TV World soon for our exclusive The Voice interview with Jeffery Austin.



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