It’s pretty safe to say that everyone experienced a collective sigh of relief when Evan McKeel’s name was called as one of the contestants saved by America on The Voice Tuesday. For Evan, the tension this week was very different than in past weeks.
“The entire situation was so different,” he said from Los Angeles. “Only one person going home and adding in the Twitter instant save was very stressful. I think everyone was a little bit more relaxed than last week, losing only one contestant instead of 12. It was tough to watch the numbers get down to those last two. It was so difficult to have Mark and Korin up there, one of them a close teammate of mine and one of them a best friend. I had to lose someone close to me either way.”
As the minutes in the show ticked by and Evan’s name had not been called, he said he tried to remember not to panic. “Even if I was in the bottom two I wasn’t automatically going home, I would have had the chance to sing for a spot in the Top 11,” he said.
This week Evan sang This is It, a song he had never performed. “When I first got This Is It from Pharrell I was a little bit confused and wasn’t sure why he picked that,” he said. “But the more I listened to it the more I realized that it suited my voice and personality so well, and that I would have a lot of fun performing it.”
Rehearsals and sessions with Pharrell have changed the way Evan approaches a performance. “I used to plan out exactly what I wanted to do on stage and how I wanted the performance to go but Pharrell has taught me to be in the moment and sing from my heart and not be in my head,” Evan said. “He has taught me that feeling is the most important part of singing and performing and that I have to completely be myself when I sing.”
And that’s been important in Evan’s performances each week. The last two songs he’s performed have been vary different from one another, both challenging in their own way. “Overjoyed is intricate, complex and beautiful while This Is It is energetic, powerful and fun. I think with Overjoyed I showed my vocal ability more while with This Is It I was able to show more stage presence and personality.”
Even though his free time is limited, Evan still finds moments to hang out with other contestants. “The friendships here are amazing,” he said. “I am never at a loss for someone to have a laugh with.”
He’s been working hard on Monday’s song. “It’s a song that I know and love very much,” he said. “I was a big part in picking it this week. I’m excited to show a different side to my music this week.”
Evan continues to be extremely grateful for the support he has received from friends, family and fans. “I would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who is voting for me and giving me a chance to keep performing in this incredible atmosphere,” he said “I’ve grown so much on this show, and I still have so much to learn and would love to be here as long as possible. I’m blown away by everyone’s support – at my church, from all of Richmond and everyone around the country who is voting.”
He is thrilled to have his parents in Los Angeles to watch him perform and has been chowing down on the vanilla Tootsie Rolls his mom brought to him. “They are one of my favorite treats. That was an awesome surprise,” he said. “Mom’s always know.”
His parents have gotten a chance to peak into the world of The Voice during their stay. “My mom was even able to join me for a special part of the process that you will see next week,” Evan said.
The Voice will air on Monday at eight o’clock.