Lancaster’s James Wolpert is advancing to the live rounds on The Voice.
The 22-year-old is understandably thrilled by that.
He wasn’t nearly as thrilled about the performance that got him there.
In fact, he was almost apologetic to fans after his knockout round aired Tuesday night and during a Wednesday afternoon conference call with the media.
James sang “More Than a Feeling” on Tuesday’s show, a song he slayed during rehearsals, said his coach, Adam Levine.
“Everything seemed to be going great and then, as soon as I got on stage, something just kind of went wrong,” James said of a performance that Adam described as “shaky” early on and that left Christina Aguilera saying his “pitch was all over the place.”
That assessment was timid compared to James’.
“I’m my own worst critic, so I completely recognize that it was just atrocious compared to what it could have been.”
James said he picked the classic rock tune by Boston because “it’s super challenging, it pushes limits.”
But if he had it to do over again, he said he’d probably select a song that was a better fit for his voice “rather than just taking an unreasonable risk.”
The good news: Even if the performance didn’t match James’ expectations, Adam declared him the winner over teen pop singer Juhi, largely because of the potential he’d shown in the earlier rounds.Remember, this guy was one of only six contestants to turn all four chairs with his blind audition. He then defeated Will Champlin with an impressive rendition of “Radioactive” in the battle round.
James said he “was humbled” by the confidence Adam showed in him. “That made my night a whole lot better.”
To his fans, he tweeted: “Gonna rehearse tirelessly to make sure I put on a good show — putting on a bad one is my worst nightmare. I won’t let you down.”
After all, the knockout round the experience reinforced a lesson he’s learned on The Voice. That “it takes such hard work and dedication and tireless rehearsal to make something good and something lasting.”
It’s a lesson James says he plans to apply to his post-show music career, “however long it lasts.”
As for that post-Voice future?
He says he sees The Voice “as a gigantic job interview” and has a wide range of aspirations, from producing to performing.
“You won’t be able to shut me up (after the show),” the Lampeter-Strasburg High School grad said. “I will make plenty of music and put out as much of it as I can, and I hope people enjoy it.”