McKenna Aiello | Downtown News
NBC’s breakout singing competition “The Voice” is hitting the road this summer for a 31-stop tour across the U.S.
This season’s finalists as well as past contestants will come together to perform in San Diego on July 27 at the San Diego Civic Theatre. San Diego Downtown News spoke with season six finalist Christina Grimmie about life on the road and her musical journey thus far.
The 20-year-old pop powerhouse and pianist entered the competition with clear advantages — an already established fan base and experience performing for a live audience caught the judge’s attention early on. After singing covers on YouTube for five years, an endeavor that has since garnered her more than 2.7 million subscribers, and catching the eye of pop artist Selena Gomez, who she opened for during two international tours in 2011 and 2013, Grimmie says she knows these experiences gave her an edge going into the competition.
“I don’t think I would have been able to handle ‘The Voice’ if I hadn’t gone through what I went through when I went on tour with Selena [Gomez],” Grimmie said. “I feel like that really guided and helped me so much.”
Grimmie acknowledged that although she may have had an upper hand in comparison to other contestants, she said she never took advantage of her fame to get ahead of the competition.
“What I never wanted to do on ‘The Voice’ was utilize YouTube because I didn’t want it to seem unfair,” Grimmie said. “I never went to YouTube to talk with fans or gain fans; I mostly used Facebook and Twitter like everybody else.”
But regardless of her previous success in the music industry, it was Grimmie’s version of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” that secured her spot as a fan favorite and landed her on judge Adam Levine’s team; it is also the only performance of the tour she would reveal.
“Well I don’t want to give a whole lot of it away,” Grimmie said. “I will say that I’m singing ‘Wrecking Ball’ so that’s going to be fun, but I’m also singing a duet with someone else … I don’t want to say who it is, but it’s really beautiful.”
Although the New Jersey-native would not give up too many secrets of the concert, currently making its way through New York and Connecticut, Grimmie could sum up the whole show in two words: “a party.”
“The whole thing is super fun, you can expect some big surprise moments and some tear jerking moments,” she said. “We’ve kind of got the whole thing.”
And having the “whole thing” is exactly what boosted Grimmie to the finale where she finished third behind winner Josh Kaufman and country artist Jake Worthington, both of whom are also featured on “The Voice” tour.
When asked if she has shared any tips for getting through life on the road with fellow tour mates, Grimmie said the adjustment has been a group effort.
“We’ve had some people who also have experience touring, but other than that, the bus is kind of new to everyone,” she said. “To be honest, there’s just no real privacy, which is the main issue. There’s a lounge in the back if you want to read or listen to music or talk. In the front, it’s more of a party.”
Grimmie also wasn’t shy to share advice for aspiring singers who have chosen what she calls the “new way to go” when breaking into a music career via YouTube.
“No one likes to hear the same song sung the same way … I would say to just change things up. If you think you can arrange songs and music then by all means do it,” said Grimmie, who herself was often praised for singing complex arrangements of popular songs on “The Voice.”
Looking towards the future, Grimmie said she will continue to work on her album while on the road and hopes to release a single within the next few months.
Joining season six’s finalists on tour are “Voice” alumni Kristen Merlin, Tessanne Chin, Will Champlin, Jacquie Lee and Dia Frampton.
“The Voice Tour” will make its way to the San Diego on July 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the San Diego Civic Theatre, located at 1100 Third Ave., Downtown.
Tickets for “The Voice” tour are now on sale, and can be purchased online through sandiegotheatres.org/the-voice-tour or by calling 619-570-1100.