Courtney Harrell talks 'The Voice' elimination: I saw it coming, I was not my best self and it's a numbers game
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/02/2016
Courtney Harrell was eliminated from The Voice when the eleventh season's Top 8 artists were determined Tuesday night on NBC.
Courtney, a 36-year-old professional songwriter from Boston, MA who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, landed in the bottom three with Austin Allsup, a 32-year-old who currently resides in Springtown, TX, and Aaron Gibson, a 25-year-old who currently resides in Kennesaw, GA, based on home viewer votes cast following Monday night's Top 10 performance show.
"Was I surprised I was in the bottom three? No, not at all. I expected it," Courtney told Reality TV World during a Thursday interview.
"I saw it coming... and for a couple of reasons. I started to notice that while I had many people who appreciated how I delivered the songs, there were a lot of people who didn't like my song choices. And there were a lot of people who heard pitch issues, which were definitely there."
After the three artists sang a survival song, America tweeted to "instantly save" Aaron for the third week in a row. Aaron represents Miley Cyrus' team, while both Austin and Courtney were on Blake Shelton's team.
"Was I surprised that Aaron won? No. I actually really wanted him to," Courtney admitted. "I also wanted Austin; I would've been happy if it were Austin or Aaron or myself. I think one of the most amazing experiences for me in this whole thing is how much we all really do love and support each other."
Courtney was "really inspired" by Aaron's journey this season onThe Voice so far.
"Aaron had found himself there [in the bottom] twice before and just climbed himself out of that. It just was remarkable to me, and the fact he had a chance to do that again was just really cool. I love the underdog story and how he just kept coming back. It was so inspiring to me," Courtney said.
"When they called his name, I literally jumped up and down and hugged him and encouraged him, Aaron, because I just believe in him. I believe in everyone who's up there. And I feel like part of that is the mother hen in me and the one who is used to supporting other artists in that way. I don't think I'll ever lose that."
For her regular performance on Monday night, Courtney sang "If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher, and for her "Instant Save" song on Tuesday night's live results show, she belted out "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts.
While Courtney previously acknowledged their were pitch issues and such, she told Reality TV World, "but those people never knew what I was challenged with while I was singing or, you know, the injury I had vocally -- or have, still currently -- that I was trying to push through."
"And so, you know, I was not my best self and it was clear," she added.
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Courtney was also up against some powerhouse vocalists like Ali Caldwell and Billy Gilman, whom the coaches often compliment for having perfect delivery.
"For those who are looking for that kind of flawless performance, you aren't going to find that with me. When the live [shows] started for me, I had both personal challenges and then the physical challenges that were just really hard for me to overcome, and overcome vocally," Courtney explained.
"I saw how the people had not nice things to say and wanted me gone. And I expected it because it's a singing competition and there were some that I felt were, not better singers, but I think stronger than me at that time that I was there."
Courtney said she also "just kind of knew" her time was up because of Blake's following on social media.
"I'm also on a team that is -- while Blake is the show's favorite -- I think you have Miley and [Adam Levine] and [Alicia Keys] who are huge mainstream pop stars with a mainstream following in terms of social media. So when you start to consider all of that, it also becomes a numbers game," Courtney said, referencing how home viewers' votes can be influenced on Twitter by the coaches.
"And if I was concerned with the numbers, I would've gone with Alicia when she had chosen me, but I wanted to go in a direction that I thought would be helpful in my development as an artist and also as a songwriter."
Courtney is very pleased with her overall experience on The Voice and having worked with Blake.
"I just kind of took it as it was and didn't have my hopes set on the people wanting me. My hope was set on me growing and discovering who I am. And so, I did that and was happy with my time ending when it did," Courtney said.