Page 134 - Cityview Magazine - July/August 2017
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H: You go down, and you try out. What happened?
B: I was a nervous wreck. I don’t think I told you this, but halfway there I started to turn the car around because I got afraid.
I got really scared. I just kept hearing what I was telling myself at home: “you’re not good enough, you won’t make it, they won’t like you.” I called my fiancé, and she helped me, and I think I called you too on the way down, and you helped me once again.
I went on down, got into the room with nine different people. I was the only person, the only one, that they called back. I went back to Atlanta. I don’t think I told you this: I just prayed over the car and said, “Lord, just help me make it.” I drove my car down on faith. They said, “We’ll give you a call back if we like you.” Out of all the people that were in the room that audi- tioned with me that day, I believe I was
the only person to get a call back.
H: You make it through, and you know you’re going to be on the show, and you
are just ecstatic. Meanwhile, your fiancé is going through some of the roughest stuff in her life. Talk about Steph.
B: Stephanie has been my rock, has been my gift, has been my strength, has been
my everything. It started with bone mar- row cancer. She’s in London and I’m in America. I’m having this high life, you know, a grand time. So many awesome things were happening for me, and so many terrible things were happening to her, and there was nothing I could do. The doctors said her cancer was stage three going into stage four—really severe. She just kept fighting. She only stands about five-foot- one, weighs a-hundred-and-twenty pounds soaking wet, a very petite young lady. But her heart is the size of the universe. She
just graduated from college, a straight-A student all the way through high school and college. She had the opportunity to go to Cambridge University, NYU, Harvard. She turned all of that down for me. She said, “I don’t know how I would do all of that and have a life with you.” She was there for me. But when she got sick, I feel like I let her down. I still struggle to forgive myself for that because she needed me. I should’ve
dropped everything I was doing. I should’ve forgotten about it all, just got on a plane, should’ve gone to see her, but I didn’t.
H: What’s her health status now?
B: She had to have an operation on her brain, the last one. Funny thing is she
called me and said, “Chris, I’m about to die.” I tried to encourage her and say, “No, you’re not going to die, everything is going to be okay.” She said, “When I hang up the phone, you’ll know I’m going to die, but I love you. Make sure that whomever you end up with, if they love you half as much as I love you, you’ll be loved for the rest of your life.” About fifteen or twenty minutes later, she flat lined, and I felt it because a part
of me just left; a part of me was gone. All I could do was pray. I sat on the living room floor for the entire night, and I didn’t move. I begged God to bring her back. I wouldn’t move, I didn’t eat, I didn’t do anything. No one could call me. I was going to shut my- self off from the world until he brought her back, and he did. About a week or two later, she went back to get checked up, and the doctor said that the cancer was gone. She was in remission. For the most part she’s doing a lot better.
H: Back to The Voice. Blind auditions, battle rounds. To advance the story: last day, last blind audition, last slot. Every couple of days you’re calling me saying, “Hey, I keep riding the van over, and I wait all day, and I don’t get to try out.” On that final day, you say, “This is it; if they don’t call me today, Hallerin, I’m coming home.” Last day, last slot—all the judges have se- lected all of their team members, and Alicia Keys has one left.
B: Unreal, man.
H: Blake and Adam have told her get over it—to just select somebody and move on. B: All the good ones have already gone; you’ve heard the best. Just pick somebody good, and let’s move on with the show already.
H: You get there that last day. It is the end of the day. If it doesn’t happen right then, you’re going home.
B: Out of all of the days of waiting, that was the most peaceful day I had. I went
to bed in peace. I woke up in peace. I don’t think I ate breakfast that day—I was prob- ably a little nervous. But I still had peace in my heart because I just knew: Lord, if you just get me on the stage, I know you’ll do the rest. My name was called.
H: What did you sing?
B: I sang “The Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Beautiful song, and the vocal coach looked at me right before we went out and said, “I need you, right now, to sing your face off.” I will never forget those words. I remem- ber sitting there like, “Okay, why is she saying this?” I thought there were plenty of spaces left. But she looked me in my eyes, square in my eyes, right before I walked in the door, and she said, “I need you to sing your face off.” She took pictures of me as I was walking to the stage. She said, “I don’t know why I took pictures of you. There was something about to happen, something magical.” Before, I had prayed to God, “I want you to choose a coach for me, but Alicia Keys is my number one option.” I get out there and start singing. The crowd was oohing and aahing. Finally, I start focus- ing on them, and I just begin to be present in the moment, and that’s when I heard
the loudest scream I had ever heard in my life. It was because Alicia Keys had turned around.
H: She was the only one that could turn around.
B: But I didn’t know this.
H: Every week you got better. You had a number of great moments, but you were adamant that you wanted some dance. But this show is called The Voice. The au- dacity! The people on set even said, “Are you sure you want to do ‘24K Magic’? You don’t come behind Bruno. Are you sure you want to do ‘Rhythm Nation’?” I was one of them. Here’s what readers may not know: for both performances, you had one rehearsal, one two-hour rehearsal to learn all of the choreography, all of the blocking. You crushed each one of those. I think it

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