The Voice: May 8th Audience Experience

I just wanted to share some impressions of the Voice taping this past Monday. (May 8th) I won’t go into too much detail on how to sign up for tickets with 1iota.com because I have blogged about that process before. However, Monday things went super smoothly, even though I had general admission and not priority I did end up in the pit. I wanted to be on Blake side of the pit, like I was previously. However, I ended up on Adam’s side of the pit, which gave me an excellent view of all the coaches including Gwen. (by the time, we got up in line, the Blake side of the pit was full)

When the coaches first came out, I think it Gwen, Adam, and Alicia. The first time I saw Blake I saw peaking around Gwen’s chair kind of the way he does on the Voice Snapchat videos (kind of mischievous and cute) when Gwen was seated. Then he went on stage and performed “Every time I Hear That Song”. This was before the live portion of the show started filming.

On Twitter, I read all these rave reviews of the stage set for that song. I found that set, with the “steel” red columns frustrating. I think Blake did too. I think Blake likes to connect with the audience while performing and literally make eye contact. (I noticed this at the IHeartRadio.com concert and I’m sure those who have seen him perform on up close in concert get that feeling too) I think he’s all about the singing along, and the eye contact and interaction with the audience. Well, directly in front of him during that performance where the coaches (and there are seats behind the coaches) and to the severe left and right of the stage were the two pits. (Each divided by a runaway) So there are four sections total to the pit part of the audience. I couldn’t see him perform with the band, unless he took a step back behind the column while playing his guitar. And I think he felt the same way, I noticed he kept stepping back and turning his head to the side of the pit to step back from the columns so he could see us and we could see him. I know he did this at least 2-4 times during the song. So that was frustrating.

But when he took a step back and looked into our side of the pit, he made eye contact with us. (I saw it on the youtube version of the performance, he keeps turning his head quickly to the side.) Well, as the Voice MC said, the people in the audience at the Voice aren’t there to “watch the show” they are there to be part of the live show. They announced after the first version of that song that they would be taping it again. So, in between, Blake went to the columns and was leaning on them in a mocking male model pose.

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Hands in his pockets, one knee bent and boot on the column. It reminded me of the quote of Blake’s he said all his album covers are like him leaning on something. He also did arms crossed leaning on the column, and his pageant boy which I put on the IG. (Which everyone included the coaches thought was funny) Then Blake performed the song again, and I must say a few on IG said “Oh he’s sad, he was thinking of ML etc.….” Blake is a performer. If he can perform that song and like turn it off in like five seconds later and being doing funny male model poses on stage in between songs shows he is a performer expressing an emotion in a song. He can turn it on and off at will. I didn’t find his performance sad. I found it more intense and rocking.

I kept looking over at Gwen watching it, and she was singing along to it, mouthing the words at her seat. So, I guess the song doesn’t affect her on a personal level and as usual she’s a fan of the song and of course a fan of Blake. At the end of the second song, all the coaches stood up for standing ovation and Adam had a big smile on his face. Gwen stood there clapping with her elbows her sides, beaming and smiling.

Now on Twitter and IG I saw a lot of people said oh he pointed at all three coaches and mouthed “I love you” at Gwen. I didn’t see that. To me he was pointing right at Alicia, and I felt like he was mouthing things to her (like being funny / mock dramatic) and she pointed back like “I feel you!” and was pointing at him too. Gwen just kept her elbows to her sides and was clapping Gwen style. (and smiling towards Blake of course)

So perhaps from my angle in the pit, I only saw him pointing at Alicia. (And I agree he really did that. I did see a tiny clip on Twitter, he was pointing three times towards the coaches) In person, it seemed kind of funny, like he was being teasing semi-serious with the pointing etc… (that was my memory of that whole thing) I thought on twitter esp. that was reaching epic portions of speculation that he was mouthing I love you to Gwen. You realize how Shefani moments can be exaggerated, and sensationalized so quickly in social media. (It’s not just tabloid press folks…it’s the fans too!)

Also, you got to know that the Voice edits the coaches’ reactions to songs and each other, and mixes them up and places them where they want within the show. I think fans see what they want to see, and find a seed of something and literally make a whole made up, gigantic overblown story over a small movement or behavior. (My opinion) It could have happened, he could have said “I love you” but also just as true he might have said it in a playful (yet seemingly dramatic) fashion.

At the very end of the second taping of the song, before the show went live while people were applauding, Gwen stood up and walked to the middle of the area in front of the four chairs and waited for him to get off stage. Blake walked towards her and put his arm around her tiny waist (her waist always strikes me as so tiny in person) and they walked together back stage. Kind of the same way they walked together after the Oscars Vanity Fair party, with his hand around her waist. She looks up at him and he looks down at her, and they are in a walking embrace and in their own little word talking to each other and they walked off together like that. (That was my favorite memory of the whole night)

Then the live show started and all the coaches came out again. I won’t go into too much detail about all the performances and coaches’ reactions to each. I do know on T-Soul segment, when they were talking around how tiny T-Soul’s Mom was compared to Blake, Gwen thought that was funny and did her Gwen laugh in reaction to that.

I saw Danillo a lot at Gwen’s chair, fixing her chignon hairstyle and keeping it in perfect place.  I saw him taking pictures of her hair which I later saw on Instagram. Mariel was there doing wardrobe check. Half way through the show, Behati came out with Dusty Rose, and Dusty Rose was wearing same little white knit that she had on at the Hollywood Star ceremony. Behati had a messy pony tail, and kind of a slouchy almost off the shoulder plain white T shirt. She handed Dusty Rose to Adam, and then all three of them walked off stage with Adam of course holding the baby. I didn’t see Gwen interact with Behati or the baby, but maybe she did that previously back stage.

I saw members of Blake’s band performing with him of course, and also Jenee and Kara too and they are both so pretty in person.

Gwen did pay a lot of attention to Alicia’s son when he was at Alicia’s chair and Alicia was taking pictures with her son on her lap. I saw Sophie of Entertainment tonight said Gwen hugged Alicia’s son, and she could have. I didn’t see that but it could have happened.

One performance worth mentioning was Aliyah’s because she started crying at the end of her performance. (I mean as we all saw she was really crying) I actually had family members of hers with me, in the pit, standing in the part of the pit I was in.

Again, I read on Twitter both Adam AND Blake went back stage to comfort her after she performed. All I remember is Blake giving her the big hug on the end on stage, (he usually doesn’t go onstage after her contestants’ performance) just gets up to hug them at the edge of the stage and the runway. I did see him go backstage after her performance, and then come back after a while. Gwen and Alicia were talking to him when he got back and I think quizzing him like how is she etc.…and I guess even telling him what to do next. All I know is that whatever they asked and he was still standing next to his chair and he was about to sit down again and he said “No….” and laughed softly and kind of shook his head.

Blake was on his cell as much as usual. I didn’t see so much back and forth texting between Gwen and Blake as in Season 9. I remember Season 9 I would see Blake scrolling a lot which meant he was on Twitter. Didn’t see him scroll much at all. It seems like he would read something intently for a while and stayed on his phone. Gwen was always being fixed by make-up girl or Danillo, or even Mariel, so she tends to stay still in her chair.

Gwen talked to Alicia and Adam a lot at their individual chairs. Alicia and Gwen seem like old friends. Adam and Alicia would talk awhile smile and laugh, Alicia going over to Adam. They all seem like good friends and this is a good combination of coaches. (Makes me a bit sad we won’t see this combination again for a while if ever as coaches)

Blake and Gwen talked a lot. Blake going over to Gwen’s chair more than vice versa. Sometimes Gwen would go over to Alicia’s chair and Blake would join in the conversation. One of the cutest things I saw was one of the VIPs or special guests of the show, they came over to meet Gwen at a commercial break, and like Blake got up out of his chair and like stood next to her chair and it reminded me of very husband and wife, like I need to meet these people that are talking to Gwen. It was super cute. Blake was shaking these people’s hands and Gwen was sitting there in her red chair smiling.

The longest segment I saw them talking was in the middle of the live portion of the show, they played back, Every Time I Hear the Song (whatever version they chose to air) and Blake went to Gwen’s chair and was leaning over her table and leaning into her chair, and they were in talking in their own world. Gwen reached up and stroked his arm, and smiled up into his face, and kept rubbing his arm. Sometimes Blake would turn around and watch the play back on the big screen and then turn to Gwen and they would analyze it maybe a little bit, and then go back to their conversation. Gwen still mouthing the words or singing the words at her chair with Blake right there. He probably turned and looked over his shoulder about 3 times during the playback but then would quickly turn around and be deep in conversation with her again.

At the end of the song, when they showed Blake bowing and people applauding on big screen, Blake stood in front of the little stage area in front of the chairs and stood there and like did fake comedy bowing like thank you, thank you very much, with the playback Blake on big screen behind him at the same time. That was funny and cute too.

One time I saw him leave the room for a while and when he came back to his chair, he looked over at Gwen’s chair like he had to check out what she was doing, and he had that kind of unguarded look, I’ve seen in a million videos and still pictures, almost a look of longing.

So that was about it, they gave me a more solid, committed, stable feeling then the Season 9 finale which was still secretive, and kind of flirty and intense. I feel like my impression, is the love has deepened and it’s steady, and it’s a solid and committed relationship and they are very much together. I’m 99.9 percent sure living together at this point. (With all these references to being driving home, talking about songs at home etc.…)

I said I wouldn’t review the different contestants, but I personally thought Brennley did a finale worthy performance of “Anyways”. I literally got chills up and down my spine, and I thought this is Carrie Underwood worthy performance and it’s ironic I read the Rolling Stone Country review of that performance and they mentioned Carrie Underwood vibe too.

I thought Brennley had the most consistent vocal, she has a magnetic personality, total pro performer on stage, and yet still charming and youthful. She reached down into the pit, and held hands with a young audience member. I liked Hunter’s take on Higher Love, but still it didn’t strike me as much as Brennley’s. (Plus I couldn’t even see Hunter from the pit, he was standing so far back in the depth of the stage I literally only see the lasar beams as part of his set)

Brennley should a lot of confidence and control beyond her years. Just an interesting note, Gwen was singing Sign of the Times, at her chair by Harry Styles while Mark Isiah was performing it. I guess she really likes that song, and is emotionally effected by it.

At the end of the live portion of the show, we were ushered out as a group by 1iota personal, but we pit people walked right by the chairs and were eye level with them. Gwen was having hair and make-up fixed again and it was apparent they were going to film more without audience there. Blake was leaning over the side of his chair towards Gwen and the rest of the coaches and I made eye contact with him. Gwen doesn’t really react to people calling out her name (like I love you Gwen etc.…) but Blake and Adam will occasionally look over and interact with the audience. (From what I found the three times I’ve been to the Voice. I don’t think Gwen literally hears people when they are yelling out her name or is that focused on what is going on in the audience.

So that is my experience this Monday. I think it was only fitting I saw G and B a day before my birthday cause last year ON my birthday (May 9th) I met Blake and saw Gwen and Blake perform “Go Ahead and Break My Heart” at I Heart Radio concert. Makes it worth getting another year older, and what a nice tradition to have that I see them every year on my birthday.

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