As the only non-country artist left in the game, “The Voice” Season 4 finalist Michelle Chamuel has a lot riding on her shoulders. Not only is she newbie coach Usher‘s only hope at possibly upsetting fellow coach Blake Shelton‘s near-inevitable three-peat — and the only hope for electropop music fans at home to have a victory of their own — but there’s also that recording contract up for grabs.
After her final night of performances on Monday (June 17), Chamuel spoke with reporters backstage, where she opened up about song choices, preparation for the week and how she felt she handled the night’s performances.
“There was a lot more multi-tasking,” Chamuel says, regarding prepping for the week. “So, we’re in the car, I’m listening to the song; I’m going to sleep, I’m listening to the songs; I’m getting my hair done, I’m listening — you know, there’s a lot less time. I guess the main difference is there’s a lot more rehearsing and it’s on a different level because your energy’s all sorts of spread out.”
For the big night, Chamuel had to prepare four songs: One brand new solo performance, a reprisal of a coach-chosen “defining moment,” a duet with her coach and a group performance that surprisingly included Season 4’s entire Top 16.
For her “defining moment,” coach Usher chose her performance of Taylor Swift‘s “I Knew You Were Trouble” — a song Chamuel had only performed a few weeks prior. When asked why she felt a song sung so recently was chosen again, Chamuel offered, “I don’t fully know. I think it’s just the energy of that was one of the most unique for me, as far as what I’m able to show… This is like the top of the energy chain for me. It’s like, ‘Alright, let’s turn it back up to 11. Let’s go back there.'”
As for whether she would’ve chosen the song for herself, Chamuel says that, while she respects her coach’s choice, she would’ve opted for something else: “I would’ve picked ‘Grenade’ [by Bruno Mars] because that was the first time I felt all these interlocking pieces come together; the score and the movement, you know? So that, for me, is what I would’ve picked.”
When asked what it meant to be able to come together with Usher on U2’s “One,” Chamuel says, “It’s a classic song and, I think, one of the best written songs and tracks. It’s also about unity, so that in itself was a big part of it.”
She adds that it was a special moment for her and her mentor, saying, “I think just getting to sing the song and the harmonies … It was about singing one of our favorite records and being able to do that together and supporting each other. You can kinda carry each other.”
One of the night’s biggest surprises was the return of the season’s Top 16 during a performance of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Home,” a performance Chamuel said was “one of the highlights of my night.”
“The second they showed up, I was like, ‘Man, it should be like this all the time,'” she says. “‘The Voice’ should be a show where we just have a cast and then we stay the whole time and then it’s over and everyone goes home.”
While “The Voice” may not be a show where everyone stays the whole time, it is a show that Chamuel’s managed to avoid eviction from. With her fate now in the voting public’s hands, the singer says she’s pleased with her final performances. “I did that best I could, whatever that is. I’m very happy I was able to be at capacity for myself.”
The Season 4 finale of “The Voice” airs live Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.