Amy Whitcomb was pretty well-known in her own right before auditioning for The Voice, having been on the NBC show The Sing Off and being co-creator [with Hannah Juliano] of the a cappella group Delilah. The Florida native competed against Agina Alvarez, singing Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker,” securing her place on Adam’s team. Unfortunately, her performance was montaged during the episode’s airing, but we spoke with her via conference call to find out more about the performance, her thoughts on the montage, and how her former experiences help her in this competition. Follow Amy on Twitter @AmyLynnWhitcomb.
Adam actually has helped the most with my performance as opposed to my vocals. What we really started working on was staying grounded and staying emotionally in control and he really challenged me for that battle in particular to improve from my audition and to make sure that I had an intent a focus but that I wasn’t getting carried away. So, he’s taught me and helped me to be more poised and more professional on stage in just a short amount of time.
And you’re a voice teacher too. How does that help in this competition?
It’s really helpful, I think, because of my experience [from a technical aspect] as well as [knowing] what you do once you have a microphone in your hand – and how that kind of changes things about your voice. But, I don’t know if it necessarily benefited me or was an advantage in this competition – besides the fact that I know how to sing and I know how to make sure I’m not overusing or that I’m not doing anything that’s going to hurt my voice. Besides that, I don’t know. People have gotten up there [on The Voice stage] and hadn’t had a voice lesson in their life and are just as fantastic and fabulous. But I enjoy being technically sound that definitely gives me a level of comfort on stage.
Honestly it’s been very frustrating. A lot of it is because, I think, when I was on The Sing Off, I got a lot of face time and I was really grateful for that. This isn’t frustrating because… I’ve put in just as much work as everyone else who has been aired and I’m not really getting as much exposure but, you know, when it comes down it I know there’s a plan and I now there’s a bigger picture.
So, I really can’t be upset because it’s been a wonderful experience – and behind the scenes for me, growing as an artist and musician. Even though I really would love for America to hear me sing, I’ve still been learning quite a bit. Hopefully it will still open doors and create new opportunities for me.
Did they let you know that beforehand about the montage – or are you just sitting there watching the episode when you realize you’re part of a montage?
We do get a little blindsided by the montages, and I’m working hard to make sure that contestants know in advance just so they can prepare their family and friends and fans – not prepare them ahead of time but just be prepared – because there’s a lot of disappointment that comes with that.
So many people have been waiting, you know, to watch. Everyone has family friends and fans waiting to watch them, and it’s hard. There are a lot of contestants, there’s a lot of talent – and so, yes, it’s a bit of a shock when it happens but… you have to dust it off and keep on going.
For those who haven’t seen you in the past – who have just seen you in the montage – what can they expect to see from you in the next round?
I definitely have had a lot of fun preparing for this knockout round because I knew that I finally would have my moment. I think that there has been a ton of growth and improvement throughout the show already that hasn’t necessarily been seen. Hopefully I get to get out there and people will just – kind of see out of nowhere like “where did this girl come from?” – and I can just at least have that moment and treasure that moment. I’ve just been preparing to make sure I soak that all up and do the best that I can.
They described you on the show as a pop artist. Is that something that you are interested in or is that a little flub on your style?
I love pop and I see myself in the commercial vein of music… which is more generally called pop. But I definitely have quite a tendency to rock. So rock inflections – both in my vocals and I think even in my performance – I take a lot of inspiration from Kelly Clarkson who is a pop rocker of sorts, and Pink and then, of course, some of the most amazing classic artists Journey and Steven Tyler with Aerosmith and try to just fuse that all together in my performances.
I’m definitely charismatic and a little bit over the top. I don’t know if you saw my outfit but I was wearing a leopard jumpsuit and… I like to be hard hitting and I like to be intense and I love a nice blend of pop and rock. That’s my genre and I want to channel my female Steven Tyler as much as possible. So that’s kind of my direction and who I am as an artist in a nutshell.
You were on NBC’s The Sing Off on season three and now you’re on NBC’s The Voice. Has your experience on the Sing Off helped you at all on The Voice or is it two completely different experiences for you?
As different as the experiences have been I definitely don’t think I would be prepared for The Voice had I not done The Sing Off. It got me really prepared for the busy schedule and for interviews and just being good and quick on camera and just prepared for the whole TV aspect thing because I think a lot of contestants… they’re thinking they’re entering a singing competition but you’re really entering a TV show.
It’s different. It’s a different industry and fortunately with this show… there are amazing things to showcase talent – and the focus really is the artist. I’m just glad that I was able to come into – and not be blindsided by – the fact that they’re still trying to make a great TV show so things are glammed up they’re kind of blown out of proportion sometimes.
But, it’s necessary and it’s fun and so you just roll with it. Not to mention the singing experience on big stages like that and with a bunch of cameras… that was huge, too, because otherwise [had I not had The Sing Off experience], I think I would have even more terrified on stage than I already was.
So, you’d say that what you’ve been doing was a good set up for what you’re doing now?
Most definitely! Studying music and school, teaching voice, singing on a lot of different and big stages both national television and stadiums and around the country and the world… it’s been huge. All of that experience under your belt only helps. I look at some of the artists on the show and they are so young and I’m in absolute awe of them how they are so poised and how they deal with this experience so gracefully because I think I would have been a complete wreck, you know, if I were 17 trying to do this. But I definitely think that all of the experience I have had before has prepared me for this moment in time and it was definitely necessary for me to have that under my belt.
Could talk about what your fellow Delilah singers have said about your time on The Voice?
Well, they haven’t really seen much… but they were very supportive when I first auditioned and have been really excited for me to take on this experience they know that I want to be a solo artist and they completely respect that and are behind me 100%. So, I think they’re as frustrated as anyone else that they haven’t shown much of my singing or my performances – but they’re just pumped and super positive. I was just talking to Hannah [Juliano] last night and she’s like, “This is good; it’s awesome. You’re just going to be great!” … I have an incredible support system: family, friends, and those people that I do music with. They’re way excited for me.