Mark, a 19-year-old from Mt Pocono, PA, got a taste of fame when he won a Justin Bieber contest at a younger age. As fans may recall, he struggled with insecurity over his weight but lost 40 pounds when he got to college and became a new person.
For his blind audition, Mark sang "Mercy," and both Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani turned around. The coaches agreed he belongs in the current landscape of pop music and is radio ready. After hearing Adam and Gwen state their cases, Mark chose to join "Team Adam."
During a recent conference call, Mark talked to Reality TV World about his blind audition. Below is what he had to say.
Reality TV World: Which coach were you hoping to win going into the Blind Auditions and why did you end up picking the coach you did? For example, if you picked someone different than you initially anticipated choosing, what argument or plea changed your mind?
Mark Isaiah: So in the beginning, I was always like looking forward to working with Alicia to be honest, because I just love the way that she performs and just plays piano. She's just super talented, like this is crazy.
And she's from New York too. That's where I was born. I was born in New York. Born and raised in New York. And then I moved to Jersey and then to Pennsylvania. So now I kind of live in Pennsylvania. That's who I'm representing here, but yes, I really wanted to work with Alicia and Adam. Those are like my Top 2 choices.
And I was able to have two choices, Gwen and Adam. Gwen was really beautiful. She was really nice. She told me so many positives; she gave me a lot of positive notes and stuff like that.
But at the end, you know, I did have my mind kind of set on who I wanted to be with, and Adam was just like, you know, he was really fighting for me as well and he is really experienced on the show. So I just decided to go with him and I think it was a good choice. So far, it's been great working with him.
Also during the call, Mark talked to reporters about whether he has a strategy for the competition as well as what he's learned so far.
Do you have some kind of game plan, a strategy, to help you win The Voice?
Mark Isaiah: I don't really have, like, a strategy. Basically my plan, I mean, I just go up on the stage and show what I've got and try to enjoy every moment on there. [I want to] take in those four coaches in front of the audience. The audience really pumps me up and, you know, just watching my family there supporting me all the way through really gives me that confidence.
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So I just want to get the message out there that no matter what you do or how you look, just go up there and follow your dreams. That's basically the biggest message I have: Just follow your dream and make sure you don't let anything bring you down. Do what you got to do. And I'm enjoying every step of the way so far.
What did you do to prepare for being on the premiere episode? And what did you learn?
Mark Isaiah: I mean, yesterday was a crazy night. As you could see, we're getting so many followers and such, it's been crazy. But to prepare for the blind, it was such a long process. There was so much you had to keep in mind, especially for me.
I'm not someone to perform out onstage in front of so many people because I've struggled with my confidence back in the past, so it was pretty hard for me to do. But eventually though, I got through and it was all mental. So I just had to prepare myself and say, "I have to do this. This is what I want to do. Music is my life."
So I just got up there and did my best. My family supported me 100 percent, always, and it was an amazing feeling, you know, seeing the crowd and then watching our coaches really say nice stuff about me and enjoy my performance. It was just amazing.