With “The Voice” Season 10 in full swing, the first solo performer of the year was sent packing on Tuesday, but the artist in question couldn’t be more sanguine about the entire experience. Emily Keener was sent back home to Cleveland, Ohio, but she’s confident that her journey is just beginning.
Keener took the stage on Monday to sing “Lilac Wine” by Jeff Buckley against her 11 other competitors on NBC's 2016 show. Sadly, the powerful performance that she arranged with her coach, Pharrell Williams, wasn’t enough to keep her out of the bottom two as America placed its votes elsewhere. In the live save she went with a bold song choice again with “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” by Willie Nelson, but Team Adam’s Owen Danoff edged her out by a tiny margin.
“I was shocked honestly. After that performance, I thought I’d be around a couple more weeks, but that doesn’t mean it’s all over for me,” Kenner told International Business Times and other members of the media in a press call on Wednesday. “I was a little shocked, but I’m glad I was able to go out on a positive note. Everything I did on the show was exactly what I wanted to do and that’s a lot more than most people can say. I’m grateful for that.”
It’s easy for someone with Keener’s talent and career to shrug off a loss on “The Voice” as she can already boast an active music career. Although she’s only 17-years-old, the musician has already released an album, “A Book of New Beginnings,” and performs close to five nights a week. Although it’s never fun to hear that America didn’t vote you through to the next round, she’s confident that “The Voice” was her springboard, not her big break.
“I’m still so young. Honestly I just want to do music at home. I’m back to the grind. I’m recording as much as I can, I’m hoping to have a new record out very, very soon. This year is going to be a big one. I want to play shows, I want to be touring,” she said. “It’s going to be the biggest year yet. It’s only up from here. I’m just excited for everyone to hear my new music and see my life.”
So, those looking to follow the artist’s career beyond the confines of the NBC reality competition can do so while expecting some originals from her in the near future. As for what will be different about them, Keener confesses that what people saw on the show is pretty much who she is as an artist.
“I’m just grateful for the time we’ve had together. I’m sad to go, but I’m also really proud of the work I did on the show with Pharrell,” she said. “I’m glad I was able to do the things I wanted to do week after week. I never compromised on my musical taste and I never made a decision based on other people. It was always about music and what I thought would touch people truly. It was never about popularity to me. So not moving forward on the show isn’t disheartening at all. Now I get to go home and keep doing the things I want to do.”
While Keener’s career moves on to the next stage, “The Voice” continues on Monday night where the remaining 11 performers will compete for a spot in the top 10 of 2016.