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Published:May 10th, 2011 08:08 EST

Former American Idol's Frenchie Davis Battles on The Voice

By Paulette Cohn

The battle rounds on NBC`s The Voice premiere tonight, pitting members of the same team against each other in an elimination process that will be decided by their mentor. For Frenchie Davis, who got thisclose to being one of the contestants on American Idol, her singoff will be against teammate Tarralyn as the two perform Beyoncé "s Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It). 


You will have to tune in tonight at 10 p.m. to find out if Christina Aguilera chooses Frenchie or Terralyn to go on, but first we talk to the 32-year-old to get her take on her The Voice experience so far.

You`ve been through all of this before on American Idol.  How is this whole experience different for you this time?

Frenchie Davis: Because I wasn`t allowed to compete on Idol, I don`t really have a full breadth of experience to fully compare the two shows. I did audition for Idol and, yes, I did sing with Kim Locke during Hollywood Week but I never got to the point where I was performing for a studio audience or any of that.

The differences that I can point out between the shows is that No. 1, it`s a serious competition. All of the artists auditioning for it are serious about it; they are good singers, everybody can sing. There are no bad people who are cast on purpose so that we can sit at home and watch our televisions and laugh at them.

And another difference, as well, is it`s not just a panel of judges telling you, "You suck." This is a panel of coaches who are saying, "This is where I think you can grow as a singer and this is how I think I can help you do that."  I think those are major differences that I can say between the two shows.

The judges kind of made you work before one of them turned around. What was going through your mind while you were waiting for one of them to swivel around?

Frenchie Davis: I came into this expecting to have to work. I don`t feel entitled to any of this. So I`m totally okay with having to work for it. And what was going through my brain " I think you can see from my reaction when Christina did turn around that I was genuinely excited, happy and honored. A lot of singers auditioned for this and each coach could only pick eight.

Was there a moment of internal freak-out at all while you were singing? 

Frenchie Davis: No. I couldn`t let myself go there, because at the end of the day, whether someone turned around or not, there was still an audience there that I felt like I needed to give a good performance to.     There were some singers who nobody turned around for and I disagreed with the judges and I`m sure that there will be people in the viewing audience who will disagree with some of the people who the coaches decide not to turn around for because everybody was really good; everybody could sing. So I felt like I couldn`t allow myself to freak out too much because I had to focus on still giving a good performance for the audience.

Have you bonded with Christina and how has your experience been so far and her team?

Frenchie Davis: I`ve been having a wonderful experience being on her team. You know, what`s been most pleasantly surprising about being on Christina`s team is that she`s very insightful and she`s really kind of smart. I love that the advice and even critiques that she gives it`s really coming from of place of " it`s not like from someone who doesn`t know anything about this. She`s a singer and, she`s really insightful; I think that`s the best word I can use to describe how she`s been as a coach is insightful and kind of a momma bear a little. And I`ve been loving it; it`s been a wonderful experience. I`m learning from her and working with her.

How challenging was it to overcome what happened with American Idol and forge ahead with a career and still be singing today?

Frenchie Davis: It certainly was not easy. But, you know, I choose to focus on the positive and the positive is that I`ve been able to make a living doing what I love. And, you know, Broadway was a wonderful blessing and that was hard work; there were eight shows a week. And that`s been my life up until now. All I can say is that I`m thankful that I`ve had this time to just grow as a performer and grow as a singer. And, you know, it was difficult but I just choose to focus on all of the good that came out of it.

Do you see The Voice as your last shot at a recording contract?

Frenchie Davis: I don`t see anything as a last shot. I`m sure that some people saw American Idol as my last shot and clearly it was not. I believe that it`s never your last shot as long as you are willing to continue working and continue pushing forward. What this show was about for me is  not even about necessarily winning; I feel like we`ve all won by being on the show.

When I did leave Idol most people remembered me because of the scandal surrounding my leaving the show. And if I couldn`t sing then maybe I could live with that. And so what this show represents for me is a chance to reintroduce my talent to the world because they didn`t get to see it in the two minutes of air time that I was on Idol.

And this time win, or lose, I walk away being remembered for my talent and nothing else.

Are you guys given a list of songs to choose from? Do feel like it affects your performances? 

Frenchie Davis: Yes we`re given a list of songs to choose from. And I know a lot of my fans were disappointed with the I Kissed a Girl. They wanted me to go out there and belt out Aretha or Whitney. But I do want to add that the singer who sang an Aretha song " no one turned around for her. But we were given a list of songs, and I was the song that was left that hadn`t already been selected for another girl that would be auditioning. So, yes, I do think song choice plays a role, which is why I`m hoping that we`ll get to choose our own songs soon.

The Voice airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. on NBC.