Raleigh’s Kat Robichaud successfully defended her spot on Team CeeLo this past Monday, advancing into The Voice’
s top 20. The win came after facing off against fellow contestant Monika Leigh with a version of Alanis Morisette’s “You Oughta Know.” After the performance, Christina Aguilera stood and clapped. Adam Levine called her a “rock star.” CeeLo had a big smile and a relatively quick decision to make.
The reward for telling her teammate to hit the road? A spot on the live shows airing this coming November 4th and 5th.
We caught up with Kat
, already in LA preparing for the show and (hopefully) the long, televised battle ahead.
INDY: Has it been hard to keep all this a secret?
: Yeah, it’s been really hard. People will invite me to go to things and then I have to tread the fine line. I don’t want to lie to them, but I also don’t want to offend them by saying, “Oh, I can’t do this. I can’t do that.” “Well, why not?” “Uhh…cause I don’t like you!”
I’ve hosted little viewing parties for The Blinds and The Battles, and I couldn’t for The Knockouts because I’m in Los Angeles right now getting ready for the Live Rounds. So I sent a few emails to my friends saying, ‘Hey, I’m not going to be able to have a viewing party or whatever. I’m going to be in the mountains with my mom.” I hate lying, but I figured that wasn’t so bad. Now, it’s a lot more fun because nothing has happened yet. I’m not having to keep any secrets.
Has the experience changed the way you see or think about TV competitions?
Maybe a little bit just because I realize how things are shot now. You know when you’re watching a reality show and you see something happen and then you see that they’re in the confessional booth and they’re talking about what just happened? It’s pretty good the way they do it here. We’ll have a taped rehearsal with a coach, and immediately afterward they’ll put you in the confessional booth to ask you how you felt about things. Then they edit it in such a way that it doesn’t seem like you’re crazy, and it flows with the show.
may be a little different from a lot of reality shows because they’re really not staging anything. They’re not filming us in our hotel rooms. They’re not filming anything that’s not the meat of the show. There’s no drama. None of that’s happening. We enjoy hanging out together. Tonight, the second episode of The Knockout rounds air; we’re all going to have a pizza party and watch it together.
A life of glamour.
Last night, I didn’t even get to watch my episode because I was at a wardrobe fitting. I had to wait until this morning to watch it on Hulu.
It’s funny because you want to behave the best that you possibly can. All these people are so wonderful to work with, and you want them to know how appreciative you are to be here because all of this is for free and they’re taking very, very good care of us. So last night, I got to wardrobe fittings at about 4 in the afternoon. Around 7:15, I started getting a little antsy. I was like, “Hey ladies, just to let you know, my episode is at 8 o’clock, and I really want to see it.” The head of wardrobe was like, ‘This is a wardrobe fitting, you’re not going anywhere. “OK, yes ma'am.”
he Voice is so plugged into social media, you’d have no problem finding it.
A few friends of mine texted me: “Where can I see your performance?” I almost wanted to text back, “Are you kidding me? Come on!” I would feel different if it was like a 60-year-old woman calling me. But it’s a 25-year-old girl: “You know this! Come on!” We’re literally plugged into the Internet all times of the day.
To stay on top of the competition, you have to constantly post online. Right before [our interview], I was conducting a little Facebook “Ask Kat Anything,” where I set up a post and then people write questions in the comment section. This is the third time I’ve done it, and I usually get about 80–90 questions. I’m trying to stay away from reading blogs, unless it’s sent to me. People will say really, really super nice things and then not so nice things. It’s like, “what the hell? What did I ever do to you?” So unless somebody sends me something, I avoid it.
When The Blinds happened, I spent two days Googling myself. You just do that. I was not even trying to be cool about it. What would you do if you were on television? You’d go and see what people were saying about you.
What do people want to know?
What songs are you going to sing? What’s your favorite song? What’s your favorite band? What’s your favorite food? What’s your favorite album? I’ve had people ask me what CeeLo smells like, what Christina smells like. They’re really interested in what they smell like. They ask me a lot of questions about Christina. I’m not on her team. I don’t know.
The worst thing that’s happened so far is somebody last night sent me a picture of their—uh, of their—of their penis. They’re like, “Haha Kat! Look how you make me feel. I love you so much.” I could not block them fast enough. It was horrifying. It was totally an Anthony Weiner situation where it was in his pants, but you could tell that it was hard.
On the positive side of things, this is a show about mentorship. What do you feel like’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten so far?
CeeLo gives really great advice. When he’s giving advice, the cameras are rolling, so he’s very much put on the spot. You don’t ever know what he would say to you if the cameras weren’t rolling. Because the show is live, we’ve pre-taped a few rehearsals, so that it’s ready to go when the show is live.
We had our first rehearsal several days ago, and that was the most fun I’ve had with him so far. We’d gotten to know each other a little bit better, and we were both more relaxed. We were just shooting the shit and being silly and talking about Muppets
and inappropriate things.
CeeLo has been really, really good at helping me connect with the songs that I’m singing. He’s boosted my confidence. A lot of people might think, “Oh Kat, she’s so cocky,” but just because I’m up on stage and I have that presence and I think I know who I am, I’m just trying to stay in the game, especially when I go against somebody like Monica or someone like Renard, both incredible singers.
It’s horrifying going up against people like that. With Renard, I didn’t really have time to think because we were performing at the same time, but when I was on stage during my competitors Knockout performance? The entire time I was watching Monica, I was mentally preparing myself to go home because she was amazing. I don’t walk around thinking that I have it all figured out, and I’m just the best. I don’t think that at all. My whole thing is, “Oh my god, stay in this as long as you possibly can,” because I am surrounded by incredibly talented people that just floor me.
I learn so much from the other contestants. I’ve learned a lot from CeeLo. A lot of what you guys don’t see, that’s not filmed, is we have rehearsals with just the band. The musical director, Paul Mirkovich, will give me a ton of advice. We also have vocal lessons with a woman named Trelawny Rose, who’s fantastic. It’s a very, very nurturing environment. It’s not like they’re holding you’re hand and saying, “Oh, you sounded so good. Oh, you’re perfect.” They’re making sure that you’re prepared.
Tell me about the preparations.
When I get off the phone with you, I’ll go over my song for a few hours, and then tomorrow morning, I have a band rehearsal. I’m going in there with questions that need to be asked because you only get a brief window, maybe 30 minutes to an hour each time. You want to make sure you go in there prepared with the right questions to ask: “What do I want to improve on? What can the band help me with? What can we achieve together?”
It’s never just you getting up there being like, “I’m gonna do this!” It’s working together with the band. They’re there to support what you do, and you need to make sure that you’re on the same page. You also need to make sure that you take the advice that you’re coach gave you—cause they didn’t forget what advice they gave you. They’re waiting to see if you took that advice.
This seems like a show where they realize that, if they let someone go up there and mess up, that’s going to get ratings for one night. But if they help someone to really succeed, that’s going to build a career that they can be a part of for a long time.
If you’re good to them, they are very good to you. A lot of the contestants have come back. Terry McDermott was asked to come back and interview all of us back stage for The Battles. Cody Belew was asked to come back and do a silly segment on YouTube. A lot of the contestants want to come back.
These songs that we’re doing on iTunes, we make a percentage of and they make money off of you. The songs are on iTunes forever: If we continue to do well, then they continue to do well. And they want that.
You do get very close to the people that work on the show, especially now. But even when I was one of a thousand people, they knew who I was, they knew my name and I’ll never forget that. That blew my mind. Now there are 20 of us. It’s a very small group. We started the process in March, so it’s been months and months of us being in LA and filming and hanging out in the hotel. They drive us to Target. They make sure that we’re okay. If we’ve gotten sick, they make sure [we’re taken care of]. If somebody’s bullying us online, they make sure that that’s taken care of. I do feel like the relationships that I am forming now with my fellow contestants are going to be life-long.
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.