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Johnny Hayes: Success on 'The Voice' is 80 percent mental preparation and not all about talent


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/21/2017 

Johnny Hayes is heading into The Voice's twelfth-season "The Battle Round" as a member of Adam Levine's team.

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Johnny, a 29-year-old landscaper and musician from Mobile, AL, returned to The Voice this season after failing to make a team on Season 11.

For his Blind Audition, Johnny performed "Try a Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding, and both Adam and Gwen Stefani turned their chairs around for him. Adam simply said he "couldn't deal" with not having Johnny on his team, so despite a couple good arguments from Gwen, the artist chose to team up with the Maroon 5 frontman.

Johnny recently talked to Reality TV World about choosing to join "Team Adam." Below is what he had to say.

Reality TV World: Going into your Blind Audition, which coach/es were you hoping would turn around for you? And why did you ultimately decide to have Adam as your coach?

Johnny Hayes: Since I started watching the show, I mean, I think Adam's always been kind of on the forefront of my mind. Because if I could pick a coach -- once they added [Alicia Keys] to Season 11, I was kind of interesting in going that route because R&B is kind of the base for me [in terms] of what I do and how I sing.

So I would have been happy with that, but you know, with Gwen being back this year, I thought when she was talking, I was honestly like, "Oh man," I was almost there! So like, "Should I go with her or should I go with Adam?"

And I looked over at my mom and she was like, "Go with Adam." So that's kind of why initially I went with him, but I just think he's kind of a perfect fit as far as a coach goes for me. So yes, there was a whole lot of thinking involved. I'm hoping for the best this time.

Also during the conference call, Johnny talked to reporters about how he prepared for his Blind Audition and whether he has a gameplan going forward.

Tell me a little bit about how you got ready to audition for The Voice this time around.

Johnny Hayes: To do it two times in the same year, I think that definitely helped me. Obviously the mental preparation was like, for me, it's about 80 percent of what goes into what we do, because everybody is good and talent is not really the [be-all and end-all].

Obviously you need it, but being mentally prepared, focused, and strong helped me a lot. It was a lot of reading and self-centering to kind of prepare myself for the moment, and then kind of reminding myself and keeping in mind it was just another performance and I just wanted to treat it like that for me.

Obviously it's just a special performance, so it's a little bit different, but I just wanted to put the least amount of pressure on myself as possible, because I think that's where I went wrong last time.

Do you have a strategy to make it far on The Voice and maybe even potentially win the show?

Johnny Hayes: Strategy-wise, I don't really have a strategy per se. You know, I hate to sound cliche, but I'm kind of on the same page as some of the other artists here. You know, music for me has never been a competition so to speak, so it's kind of a new way of looking at it -- kind of having to think ahead a little bit.

But you know, my plan in general in life is to take things one minute at a time, because I don't know what's going to happen next. And so, that really is, that's my strategy.

It's to stay focused on doing my best as an artist and as a performer, and I think whatever is supposed to happen will happen after that.



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