Betsy Ade — our local contestant on NBC's "The Voice" — may have switched teams, but she's still focused on the singing.
As viewers saw last Monday night, Ade was in a "battle" with Lisa Ramey, a fellow member of John Legend's team.
At the end of their performance, Legend chose to keep Ramey on his team.
Luckily for Ade — and her fans — fellow "Voice" judge Kelly Clarkson hit her big red button, “stealing” Ade and bringing her over to join Team Kelly.
Ade, 40, a substitute teacher for Kenosha Unified School District and the lead singer for the band Well-Known Strangers, is in Los Angeles preparing for the live episodes of "The Voice."
In those few seconds on stage before Clarkson "saved" her, Ade said she was "a ball of nerves. There's a sense of relief after you're done singing and part of you is thinking, 'Let's go home and have a cheeseburger,' but you want to listen closely to the coaches; you want to focus in on what they're saying and learn from it."
There was "a hint of disappointment," Ade said when Legend chose Ramey, but she was quick to praise her former team member.
"I was really happy for her because she deserves to win," she said in a phone interview last week. "So I was disappointed but happy.
"I got a hug from John Legend and then I heard a 'whoosh' and saw a bright light. I turned, and Kelly (Clarkson) was there and gave me a big hug. I said something silly like, 'You saved me!' It's quite an honor."
On Team Kelly
Ironically, Ade had decided before her “Voice” audition she wanted to be on Clarkson’s team, but Clarkson didn’t choose Ade during the blind auditions.
Now that she's on Team Kelly, Ade is feeling the love.
Her new coach "is bubbly; she's a cheerleader by nature. And that's what artists need, someone in their corner."
Clarkson likes to "highlight the good stuff," Ade said, explaining, "Artists can go to dark places sometimes. It's hard to put yourself out there, and you can be super critical of yourself. Other people hone in on the negative stuff, too, so I'm happy all the 'Voice' coaches are positive."
Ade still sounds amazed she's working with pop superstar Clarkson.
"We sat and discussed music together already, and she's great," Ade said. "I think out of all the coaches, I want to learn what she can do. I'm not a powerful singer, and I'd like to keep increasing my range. I also want to learn the control she has over her voice: the breath control, her placement of the notes. She's the perfect coach for me."
Life in L.A.
As she prepares for the live episodes that start Monday, Ade is living in a hotel with the rest of "The Voice" singers.
"I have Lisa (Ramey, who she "battled" on stage) as my roommate again, even though we're now on different teams. We're really good friends. We don't like to make things ugly; we keep it positive."
Singing on live TV, Ade said, adds "the excitement of the unknown. That's what drives people who perform in general; you don't know what can happen."
The live factor also means an element of "the fear of the unknown" will be present when she takes the stage, but Ade has a lot of experience.
"I love performing live, and I do have that advantage," she said. "I have felt some of that pressure — from singing at a White Sox game, at a Bulls game and at Summerfest. It's exciting."
Learning so much
Ade came into "The Voice" with a lot of experience as a performer, but she says the experience has still taught her a lot.
"I've learned a lot of things, including a lot about social media and how to conduct myself," she said, thanks to "a lot of good tutors here with our younger contestants." (You can keep up with Ade on her Facebook page, Betsy Ade Music.)
"I am growing as a performer in so many different ways. This is a great experience and a great opportunity."
Vote for Betsy
Until this week, the show's coaches have decided who stays on the show and who leaves.
Starting Monday, "the public gets involved," Ade said. "It's in their hands now. People can vote on NBC.com and on the 'Voice' app."
Asked why people should vote for her, Ade said, "I have so much songwriting and music in me that I would like to share — music that has a meaningful message. I want to write and advocate for issues like kids on the autism spectrum, teachers, human trafficking, LGBTQ rights, equality ... things that are a part of my life and social issues that I support."
Overall, Ade would like to "use my music as my way of contributing to help people who are in need of help."