'Voice' contestant Stephanie Anne Johnson relieved by last-minute save

Staff WriterOctober 23, 2013 

Stephanie Anne Johnson survived a battle round on NBC's "The Voice" Tuesday night when coach CeeLo Green claimed her for his team.

CRAIG SAILOR — The News Tribune Buy Photo

The day after she was “saved” on national television, Tacoma cruise ship singer Stephanie Anne Johnson said she had visions of returning to the sea before CeeLo Green threw her a life preserver.

“Being let go by (coach) Christina (Aguilera) … I thought it was over. I was seeing the ocean in my mind. I’m getting back on a cruise ship. And then CeeLo pushed his button (to claim her for his team). It came as a big relief,” Johnson said.

Johnson advanced to the next phase of the show, the knockout rounds which begin on Monday. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Eatonville singer Emily Randolph was ousted from the NBC reality show during Tuesday night's episode.

Johnson, 29, competed against fellow contestant Olivia Henken, 25, performing a duet of The Band Perry’s “Done.” It was Aguilera’s decision to keep Henken and drop Johnson. But pop star Green, who had tried to get Johnson to join his team earlier this season, quickly exercised his option to “steal” Johnson.

After her performance with Henken, Johnson said she is not going to add country to her repertoire anytime soon.

“I really like country music. But I tend to like the golden age country music – Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Conway Twitty. My experience with modern country ends with Gretchen Wilson, so I wasn’t quite prepared for The Band Perry.”

After the save, Johnson thanked Green backstage. “I’m sure I cried on his leather,” Johnson said. During the broadcast of the previously taped show, Johnson’s grandmother, Freddie Mae Barnett, was seen hugging Green and telling him she could hardly breathe, presumably from excitement.

“My grandmother had never heard of CeeLo Green in her life,” Johnson said Wednesday. “I think she still thinks his name is (pronounced) KeeLo. She told me as I was leaving the house this morning to be nice to Mr. KeeLo.”

Johnson said she didn’t know that Green had the option to save her before it happened. Though her head-to-head with Henken was the final of the battle rounds broadcast, all of them are taped as one big mass and edited. Aguilera’s dress never changed during the entire multi-week run of the battle rounds.

Randolph went up against Brandon Chase, 20, during her battle round, little of which was shown on Tuesday night’s broadcast.

“I wish they had shown the coaches’ comments. It was definitely a tough decision for Blake (Shelton). Emily did an awesome job,” Chase said on Wednesday.

Though the coaching sessions and the knockout rounds have already been taped, contestants are not allowed to reveal the outcomes before broadcast. But Johnson did indicate she’s enjoyed working with Green.

“I knew I wanted Christina because she’s an amazing iconic woman in the business. But CeeLo Green has the soul on lock and he really lets the artists on his team be who they want to be,” Johnson said.

Earlier this week, another Washingtonian – Austin Jenckes of Duvall – advanced to the show’s next round. He’s competing on Shelton’s team.

The knockout rounds begin on Monday. The singers will be paired again with another team member but this time at the last minute. Each contestant performs his or her own song while a competitor watches. Their coach will choose a winner with the loser sent home.

In the final live performance broadcasts of the competition, viewers vote to save their favorite contestants. The two singers with the lowest number of votes will be sent home each week. The ultimate winner of “The Voice” will receive a recording contract.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541


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