Brennley Brown on 'The Voice': The fight coaches give plays a huge role in the save, I left my heart onstage
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/22/2017
Brennley Brown was eliminated from The Voice's twelfth season just before the finals round, but at such a young age, she made a huge impression.
Brennley, a 15-year-old from Apple Valley, CA, from Gwen Stefani's team found herself singing to be saved during the semifinals' live results show along with fellow "Team Gwen" member Hunter Plake and Adam Levine's only remaining team member, Jesse Larson. For her save song, she sang "Warrior."
This news came after Vanessa Ferguson and Terry "TSoul" Pinkard had been automatically eliminated for receiving the fewest amount of home viewer votes cast following the Top 8 performance show. That night, she took the stage with "Suds in the Bucket."
Following her ouster, Brennley talked to Reality TV World about her The Voice experience. Below is what she had to say.
Reality TV World: I'm wondering how much you think the "Instant Save" is about the contestants' performances vs. the coaches' arguments on your behalf? Because Adam made a great point before voting that if Jesse made the finals, he'd be the first one-chair turn to ever do so. Do you think that swayed the audience?
Brennley Brown: You know, I believe 100 percent that the coaches' argument has a huge role in whether or not you move forward. I think your vocals and your performance are very important, but I do think with the fight that the coaches give, I think that has a huge role in it all.
And I think America kind of may choose, you know, according to the comments by the coaches. But at the same time, I think we all did our very best in that moment and that's all we could have done.
Reality TV World: I'm assuming Gwen was pretty devastated to lose both of her artists last night before the finals. Did she say anything to you after the show?
Brennley Brown: I think for both of us, it was a hard moment. I think for Gwen to lose both of her team members in one night, you know, [it was tough]. But we talked after and she just said, "This is a TV show," and you know, "This is just the beginning for both of you and you guys are so talented and you have your original music that you're working on and want to release."
Because we've gotten to know each other pretty well. She is just, man, she is so genuine! Gwen is so genuine and so real and honest and just beautiful inside and out. And her heart is just -- man, her heart, she just has such a beautiful heart. She just really encouraged us after the show to continue working hard and that this is definitely not the end.
Adam and Alicia Keys came up to us both and talked to us also and just said, "This is literally just the beginning and you know what? It's just a TV show and you guys are going to do amazing, great, beautiful things."
So that was super encouraging to hear from her, and she's so wise and I've loved getting advice from her throughout this whole process. Things that she has told me, I will just take with me the rest of my music career and will be forever grateful to her for her belief in me and just her support throughout this whole process.
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Reality TV World: I noticed that Hunter and yourself were eliminated after trying something new. You performed a spunky uptempo song, and Hunter really honored the original rendition of the U2 song without changing it up as much as he usually would. While one might say the semifinals is the perfect time to show a new side of yourself, after last night's results do you agree with that? Was the timing right to change things up when ballads were obviously working for you?
Brennley Brown: You know, honestly, I definitely wanted to do an uptempo on the show before I left. So I'm really happy that I did because I think people didn't really get to see that fun, spunky side, you know? But do I have any regret? No. Every week I just tried to sing from my heart and even in "Suds in the Bucket," I did that too, you know?
And I think leaving with that, it makes me feel so satisfied, because that's all I wanted to do, was just sing from my heart and really just be myself up on that stage. That's what I was able to do every week. I think trying something new, I was a little bit nervous about it because I didn't know how people were going to react to it, but I'm really glad that I did.
I got to show a different side to myself that maybe people wouldn't have been able to see, you know? And I don't have any regret. I think at the last minute, the music department here, they really encouraged me to go for "Suds in the Bucket" and just show a new side to myself, and Gwen was like, "You know what, let's just do it, let's just try it."
And I'm so glad that I did because as an artist, I think you have to push yourself and do something maybe that you wouldn't normally do, you know?
And I'm very glad that I did, and I know everything happens for a reason. I do. I believe that with my whole heart. I trust God and I know that this is definitely just the beginning for me. I'm 15-years-old and I'm just going to keep working hard and release my original music.
Also during the conference call, Brennley talked to reporters about how much say she had on her performances and what rehearsals were like with Gwen.
How much input did you have overall during your time on The Voice when it came to songs, wardrobe, performance techniques, etc?
Brennley Brown: I think The Voice does such an amazing job with allowing you to be the kind of artist you want to be onstage, from your wardrobe and to the stage production and the lights and everything, hair and makeup. So it was really so much fun to kind of explore.
My style as a country artist, I love cowgirl boots, so that was something from the beginning that I was like, "Can I always wear cowgirl boots?" And they were like, "Yes, totally." And they brought in a lot of cowgirl boots, so I had a lot of fun with that.
But, you know, honestly it was so amazing to kind of watch my vision for the song come to life onstage every week and from wardrobe, the hair and makeup, I had just a blast.
I'm so incredibly grateful to The Voice for just, man, every week, it was like a Grammy performance. Every single person's performance was like a Grammy level, just the production and everything. So I'm just so grateful, and it was amazing to watch my songs come to life onstage every week.
What was your dynamic with Gwen like when it came to choosing songs and rehearsing?
Brennley Brown: Every week it was a little bit different. I think I had a lot of ideas. You know, I grew up with classic country music, so every week's performance, I kind of wanted to just bring that feel to it with any song. A lot of times, me and Gwen would email back and forth about songs and, you know, I had a lot of ideas, she had a lot of ideas.
She was talking with Blake Shelton about, you know, country songs, and it was really fun to kind of pick and choose. Also, there is the music department who is very helpful in kind of helping you navigate each week's song. But it was really fun to explore.
I did songs on the show that I probably wouldn't normally do if I was doing my own set at a concert or at home or at a gig or whatnot. But it really pushed me out of my comfort zone and I had a lot of fun with it.
I also got to do songs that I absolutely loved, you know, "River" and "Long, Long Time," those two were my absolute favorite. It was so much fun to just kind of put myself into each week's song. But Gwen was so nice and so open to my ideas and I was open to hers, and it was a really great experience getting to choose songs.
But I will tell you, me and Gwen took the longest time to make a final decision. I remember when I sang "Anyway" by Martina McBride last week, literally 30 minutes before the rehearsal, we had to make a decision. We were like, "Okay, we're just going to go with this one because it feels right and we just went with that song."
It was a crazy, fast-paced experience for me because each week was different and I didn't know exactly what I was going to sing each week. But it was just so much fun getting to explore songs and, you know, get to put my little twist on them.
To read what Hunter Plake had to say about his elimination, click here.