Wednesday, Oct 31 2012 06:33 PM

MATT MUNOZ: Parris gives 'Voice' to last round

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    Visalia singer Rudy Parris was eliminated Tuesday from NBC's reality competition "The Voice."

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By The Bakersfield Californian

On Tuesday night, Rudy Parris' run on "The Voice" came to an end after his rendition of Chris Brown's "Forever" was knocked as an odd choice for the country singer by his own coach Blake Shelton and rival coach Christina Aguilera.

Now that he's out of the running, the 46-year-old singer from Visalia was able to dish about his experience on network TV, which involved more than six months of filming with a few two-week breaks. From who he's rooting for (pal Terry McDermott) to how much time he spent with Shelton (about an hour), Parris weighed in on as many of our questions as he was allowed to answer.

Why did you choose Chris Brown's "Forever"?

They give you a list and ask you to pick songs. I did, and gave them my list, and they didn't like the songs. They asked me to pick some more, and I gave them another list. Just for the heck of it, my manager and I decided to put that song "Forever," as the last song on the second list, and they picked the last song on my list.

Were you a Chris Brown fan?

I'd never even heard that song.

You had no background on Chris Brown or the song at all?

No. ... His (my manager's) idea was he was just looking out for me, to show people, "Look, Rudy can take this song, a pop song, and he can still turn it around, recreate it, and make it his own." See, at this point, we weren't really clear in the competition where we were at or what it was about. I think, looking back, if we had known this was a transitional point that was important, then we would have done something different. This would have been something great for the live rounds. I guess at that point it wasn't a time to be creative, or artistic. It was just a time to get through.

What song would you have chosen?

If I'd had a little more clearer vision at the time of my decision making as to what's really happening at that portion of the show, I would have done things a little bit different. But, I stand by what I did and very proud of my decision.

I would have liked to have done what I had originally asked to do, "What's Goin' On," by Marvin Gaye or an Al Green song, something that I excel in. Or even an opportunity to sing a country song, which I never did. I probably would have done Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, probably a country ballad.

Were you aware that Blake Shelton's wife, Miranda Lambert, had a Twitter feud with Chris Brown during this year's Grammys over his assault on Rihanna?

No, I don't know anything about that. That's interesting. I had no clue. I kind of almost wanna contact Blake and tell him I had no idea, I'm sorry if he thought anything weird about that.

Do you think that had something to do with not being picked?

The bottom line is, what everyone needs to understand and realize is, beyond that and everything else is -- this is a reality television show. Period.

What did you think of your performance when you saw it broadcast?

I was very proud of what I did. I'm glad I didn't go out singing karaoke. You know, basically taking something and not truing in to something else as an artist. I'm glad I made it my own thing.

I was a bit confused at that point during my involvement of the show as to what was exactly happening, so when I found I was supposed to do a song that I kind of already knew, I was kind of a little bit puzzled. And when I went back to try and change it, it was too late.

So, you know, it is what it is, and I strongly believe in whatever's supposed to happen, happened.

What did you think of your opponent, Terry McDermott's, performance of Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed"?

Terry is a very, very, great friend. It's ironic that they put us together. We were roommates from day one. For six months, we lived together and we became really close as brothers. And if you could see the look on his face when they announced him as the winner, he didn't, "Yeah," or jump for joy. He kind of put his head down, and he looked kind of sad. That's because we love each other so much. And although we both wanted to win, we wanted to go into this together.

At one point, I know we would have had to come against each other. But again, this is a reality TV show, and our relationship goes well beyond that. And I know that I've made a lifelong friend.

What was the living situation like?

We were roommates. We worked a lot. There were several hours put into filming. They do a lot of extra. I guess just in case they need it.

Who are you rooting to win?

My boy Terry.

These things typically move fast. Have you gotten any offers for more projects?

Oh yeah. Today alone, so many offers came in. My team is working on moving forward and that's their No. 1 priority right now. To get me where I need to be to be able to capitalize on the exposure that I just received from the show.

What advice do you have for others who may want to try out for "The Voice"?

I'm very appreciative of all the support. A lot of people were very encouraging and there were also a lot of people that really need to step back and realize what the situation is. Again, it's a reality TV show. It's not the beginning and end-all of people's lives. It's a great stepping stone and it's a great opportunity for artists, but it's not going to make or break a true artist. And I believe that this is only the beginning of many things to come.

Not to put anyone else down, but I'm proud I didn't go out like a karaoke singer to just go out and sing to a track the way everyone else in the world sings it. I'm glad I did something to it to show what a musician and artist that I am.

What's next for you?

I want to put some music out, hit the bus, go out on tour, and go meet all of my new friends and play music for them. The reality of my existence is that I'm here to entertain.

Do you have a message for Bakersfield fans?

Don't feel this is the end of the road. This is only the beginning and when God is in control nothing can come against you.

Matt's pick

Break 'Em Off 3 at the Garden, 900 22nd St., 2 p.m. Saturday. $12.

Continuing to spin the flag for b-boy and b-girl loyalists committed to hip-hop culture in all of its many colorful forms, the Break 'Em Off series, hosted by Manny Styles of the Soul Movements Crew, returns bigger and deffer. Dance crews can showcase their skills before the battle starts at 6 p.m. The field will be narrowed down to eight crews, which will face off in two-vs.-two battle before the final round for a $2,000 prize.

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