Singer and guitarist Rudy Parris didn't last very long on the recently completed third season of NBC singing competition "The Voice," but he still gets recognized wherever he goes.
"I'm very glad I was on the show," said the longhaired Visalia resident, who was eliminated in the knockout round. "I'm forever indebted to those people to be given the opportunity to be on that show.
Parris, a 46-year-old grandfather, will perform with his band Jan. 5 at the West Side Theatre in Newman. He will perform his country-tinged version of "Every Breath You Take" the song that won him a spot on country singer Blake Shelton's team as well as other songs from the show and some originals. He said he might talk a little about his experiences on "The Voice."
"Expect to be very, very entertained," he said. "You're not going to walk out of there bored. You're going to walk out of there feeling exhilarated."
It took two tries for Parris to make it on "The Voice." He unsuccessfully first auditioned for Season 2, which featured contestant Lindsey Pavao, a Manteca native. Parris said he got picked for Season 3 because he chose the right combination of songs.
He thinks he could have lasted longer in the competition if he would have chosen Cee Lo Green as his coach over Shelton (remaining coaches Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera weren't options because they didn't turn their chairs around for him during blind auditions).
"He would have understood me more as an artist," Parris said. "Blake didn't know what to do with me."
Parris said he also didn't like the songs the producers had him sing. "The bottom line is they didn't let me do what I wanted to do as an artist." Third-place finisher Nicholas David ended up performing the songs Parris wished he could have sung.
He said the show is a lot harder work than it appears to TV viewers. All the contestants had to spend long days in front of the camera, attending legal meetings and getting training on interviews and social media. Some segments that looked as if they were filmed on one day were actually filmed over several days. He said that one day, he worked 18 hours. The typical workday was 12 hours.
Though Parris was eliminated fairly early in the competition, he was one of a handful of contestants invited to come back to perform in the final episodes. He appeared with the rest of Shelton's team to sing backup for Shelton on "White Christmas." The team is featured on Shelton's new album, "Cheers, It's Christmas."
Terry McDermott, who ultimately placed second, also invited Parris back to sing with him and a few other eliminated contestants on Kiss' "Rock and Roll All Nite."
Parris, who roomed with McDermott during the competition, said McDermott was his favorite singer on the show. But days before the final live episode aired, Parris correctly predicted that Cassadee Pope would win "The Voice." He said she was the most marketable of all the contestants and had the biggest shot at a successful pop career.
Parris said "The Voice" definitely is helping his career now. It's easier for him to get concert bookings, and offers are starting to come in. "I'm figuring out who's going to be the best situation for us," he said.
WHAT: Rudy Parris, contestant on NBC's"The Voice"
WHEN: 8 p.m. Jan. 5
WHERE: West Side Theatre, 1331 Main St., Newman
TICKETS: $20 general, $23 reserved
CALL: (209) 862-4490
ONLINE: www.westside theatre.org