Last night was huge for Evan McKeel who won his Knockout Round against Tim Atlas and secured his place on Pharrell’s team for the live playoffs. But now that he’s in the Top 20 the stakes are much higher. “Everyone here had a great performance and has built a fan base,” he said on The Voice conference call today. “Two out of the three performers that will go through will be decided by America’s vote.”
Evan knows that he could have a great performance and still go home. “It’s not in your control anymore,” he said.
Preparing for the live shows is a different process than he faced in the Battle and Knockout rounds. “Everything moves faster,” he said, noting that he is using his stage background to help him adjust. “I’m excited about it. I know what song I am singing and everything else is a mystery to me.”
He feels that he has definitely seen a lot personal growth during this process. “Especially as a vocalist,” he said.
In the past, Evan has concentrated more on his musicianship and his songwriting than on his actual singing but that has changed since The Voice. “That is where I have seen the most growth, singing. There is so much more that I can do with my voice now,” he said. He welcomes the advice and feedback he has received over the past few months. He believes he would be doing himself a disservice if he were “anything other than a sponge,” he said.
Between his theatrical background and the show he’s used to switching things around and changing direction at the last minute. Last night Rihanna asked him to put down his guitar and take control of the stage. He didn’t flinch. “I was going to make the song (“Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot) more intimate but she wanted me to dig into it more emotionally,” he said. “Find the message and adjust the song around it. Make it intense emotionally and pour my heart and soul into it. [Her advice] helped me to do that.”
What she was asking Evan to do was exactly what he had done in his first two performances. “It wasn’t what I planned to do with the song but it was just as comfortable to me,” he said.
His teammate and Battle Round competitor Riley Biederer said that both her Battle Round and Knockout performances were stressful because she knew she “was up against an amazing performer” each time. She, however, believes that being up against Evan and Regina Love has helped her step up her game.
So what’s next? The live playoffs start next week and the Top 20 artists perform, hoping to score their spot in the live shows. America’s votes will save two artists from each team and the coaches will save one more artist. All three saved will then move onto the live shows. Here’s hoping that we see Evan on those live shows.
Thanks to RFM entertainment writer, Joan Tupponce