‘The Voice’ Contestant Talks Surviving Blind Audition and Joining Team Alicia

Blind auditions for The Voice, season 11 are officially over and teams Adam, Blake, Miley and Alicia are complete. For contestant Michael Sanchez of San Diego, the blind audition jitters are still fresh. He was picked up by Alicia Keys in the fourth and final round, Monday night.

AJ: What goes through your mind in your audition? Is it hard to concentrate on your singing when you’re waiting or those chairs to turn?

Michael Sanchez: I’ll tell you. So, I start off the song thinking maybe I can get somebody to turn for me, but halfway through the song, where I thought, ‘OK, here’s the spot where I think they’ll turn around,’ and I kind of look up, and it’s like, OK, nobody’s turned around. What am I going to do? So, like, you know what? Forget what I was planning on doing, this isn’t going to work. And I just started growling a bunch, and kind of going to town, and kind of went for it. At the very end of the song I thought, ‘Oh man, I guess I’m walking away with nobody turning, and then, at the last millisecond, [Alicia Keys] turns, and I was just… You can see it in the video. I jumped really high in the air.



AJ: People seem to get to the point where they go, ‘Oh my God, nobody’s turning around and  they either lose all the wind out of their sails or they go ‘It’s on now!’ You seem to be the latter.

Michael Sanchez: Yeah, you have nothing to lose, might as well put all the cards on the table, you know?

AJ: Where/How did you pre-audition for this season?

Michael Sanchez: Well, it’s kind of funny. So, I played a lot of restaurants around [San Diego] and at one of the restaurants I had a friend, and she kind of knew, she auditioned for the show a bunch, and she said, “Hey, you should come with me and audition, as well.” I was like, “No, I don’t really do that. I’m cool,” and she was like, “No. You should do it! You should do it!” I kept saying no, and, finally, I told my wife, “Hey this girl keeps saying I should audition for this.” And my wife is like, “Hey, why not? It’s free and the worst they can say is no. You should do it.” So, I went.

I went up there and then I did pre-audition stuff – I played piano and sang. They liked me a lot, and they kept liking me, and it kept going well, and all of a sudden, I was like, wait a second, I’m standing in front of Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton, Adam and Miley, and, you know, I’m singing!

AJ: What restaurants were you performing at?

Michael Sanchez: Well, you know, one of them is called Season 52 out in La Jolla. I’ve been taking a little break because I’ve been doing a lot of The Voice stuff, but I’ve been playing there for about 2 or 3 years. And I play a place called True Lux in La Jolla, as well. I do a lot of church music, as well. I play at a place called Chapel of Grossmont in La Mesa.

AJ: Now you’re on team Alicia. Do you look at that as an advantage that you’re on with some of the stronger talent, does it get in your head, does it matter?

Michael Sanchez: Well, I mean, really, you didn’t’ get to see it because they don’t show all the interview stuff, but in all my interviews I was saying, “Man, I really want to be on team Alicia.” They’d say, “Who do you want to be on?” and I’d say, “Team Alicia.” They’d ask, “Who could sway you?” “Oh, maybe Adam, but I really want to be on team Alicia.” I was just so stoked when she turned around. I was like, that’s all I wanted, was just team Alicia, so…

AJ: What’s the best advice that she’s given you so far?

Michael Sanchez: Well, just really like, letting loose and just being yourself, you know? Just kind of leaving your all on the stage and making moments with people, I think that’s one of the things the show really, really, like loves, is connecting with the audience, making moments and, you know, just connecting with music.

More from Evonne Ermey

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