Sa'Rayah: Aaron Gibson was the only 'The Voice' artist to which I wouldn't mind losing
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/17/2016
Sa'Rayah was eliminated from The Voice when the eleventh season's Top 11 artists were determined Tuesday night on NBC.
Sa'Rayah, a 28-year-old from Chicago, IL who currently resides in Country Club Hills, IL, landed in the bottom two with Aaron Gibson, a 25-year-old from Atlanta, GA who currently resides in Kennesaw, GA, based on home viewer votes cast following Monday night's Top 12 performance show.
After both artists sang a survival song last night, America tweeted via the show's "Instant Save" format to keep Aaron in the competition. Sa'Rayah was on The Voice coach Alicia Keys' team, while Aaron continues to represent Miley Cyrus' team going forward.
On Wednesday, Sa'Rayah talked to Reality TV World about her experience on The Voice. Below is what she had to say.
Reality TV World: When the Top 12 were determined, Alicia chose to save you over Josh Halverson and Kylie Rothfield. What was your reaction to her decision and did Alicia ever explain to you why she saved you? Do you think her choice was a personal one?
Sa'Rayah: I feel like over the time period that I've been on the show, Alicia has always shown some kind of connection to me as a person, just as far as she saw I'm somebody who is all about light and love. And I feel like she shared that same thing about herself.
She connected to that, and I think she honestly believed in me and what it is I'm able to do when I step up on that stage, and that's what called her to choose me. Now, I do think that, you know, we had a great connection.
I'm not going to say that it was any bigger than the connection she had with the other two, because they started with her. I didn't. You know, she actually stole me onto her team from Miley's team. So I do think that we did establish a great connection, but she saw something in me that she felt needed to stick around on the show, and she did express that.
Reality TV World: You were also up against Aaron in the Battle Round, so you must have been experiencing some major dejavu last night. Since Aaron had won that Battle, did it affect your confidence at all going into your "Instant Save" performance?
Sa'Rayah: No, no. Not at all. I kind of felt like if it was anybody I was going to lose against, I wouldn't mind it being Aaron. Because what people don't know is that we really established such a great relationship and a true love for one another.
And I think we established that during the times we were up against one another for Battles. And so, when it was he and I standing there hand in hand, we were literally like, "Listen, I love you." And he was like, "Whatever happens from here, it happens."
But I would rather it be nobody other than him, you know? Like, other than him. So, yeah, it was definitely like a deja vu moment happening, but I feel like I'm very happy with the results of everything at the end of the day.
Reality TV World: Could you compare your experiences working with Miley and Alicia? How did they differ as coaches in terms of their methods and styles, and did one help you more than the other?
Sa'Rayah: In this case, I feel like I spent a little more time with Alicia, because I was only with Miley for the very first portion of the show. The purpose that Miley served for me was kind of that first song that I was able to do with Aaron, that was something that was outside of my comfort zone a bit.
I had to rise to the occasion because the song was really more flattering for Aaron's voice. He has this rocky grit and it was more flattering for his voice, but I had to rise to the occasion and bring something to it that would cause me to shine as well.
She created a moment for me that was a lasting moment. People still talk about the Battle that Aaron and I had. It's a memorable moment, and that's what I feel like she made to happen by putting us together with that song choice.
However, I feel that Alicia Keys, because of the connection I was able to have with her, you know, she saw something great in me, she saw light and love and that's what she's all about. I believe she was very invested in making sure I stuck around on the show as long as I could, because that's necessary in the world that we are in today.
I feel like I had a greater connection with Alicia Keys the entire time than I ever could have had with Miley because I didn't spend enough time there. Alicia showed her interest in me from the very beginning and she stuck with that interest.
She made sure that I knew she believed in me the entire time, and everything she fought for in the Blind Audition, she held to it. And for that, I will say I got more out of that experience than the one I had with Miley.
Reality TV World: In "The Battle Round," Blake Shelton tried to steal you after you lost to Aaron on "Team Miley." Despite Blake saying you flat out won the Battle, you chose to join Alicia's team instead. Have you ever thought about how your experience on the show might've been different had you been on Blake's team?
Sa'Rayah: You know, I have thought about that! I honestly had a tough, tough time deciding between he and Alicia Keys when they both hit their buttons to steal me, because I noticed that along the way, Blake expressed a lot of interest in me and my talent.
He definitely showed that he had become a believer after that Battle between Aaron and I. He had never turned his chair for me in the Blind Audition, but after that Battle, he expressed that he saw something greater. He saw a hard worker, he saw somebody that's capable of doing anything.
And I believe that it has definitely -- I have a newfound respect and love for Blake Shelton because, the entire time that I've been there, he's fought for me and told me, "Hey, I don't care what anybody says, you won that." He saw me on a larger scale, and I truly do appreciate that.
But no, I feel like going with Alicia Keys was probably my best bet because I feel like she kept me around as long as she could, because she believed in me just that much, you know?