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'The Voice' finalist Josh Kaufman awaits his destiny

Josh Kaufman
Josh Kaufman
Trae Patton/NBC

Josh Kaufman, whose fan base has gone well beyond the confines of Indianapolis, his adopted city, gave a huge sigh of relief Tuesday after surviving the semi-final elimination round on NBC’s “The Voice.” That’s when he, Christina Grimmie and Jake Worthington moved into the top three, setting the stage for them to compete for the title of The Voice. The finals will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. EST on NBC, Monday, May 19, with the eliminations taking place Tuesday, May 20, when the winner will be chosen.

Josh Kaufman, Christina Grimmie & Jake Worthington
Trae Patton/NBC

On Wednesday, the day after the semi-finals,, once again, had the pleasure of chatting by phone with Kaufman who took time from his frenzied schedule to discuss the aftermath of his most recent achievement.

What did you think of the iTunes response for the songs you sung in the semi-finals? Surprised?

I am always a little bit surprised at the support I get. It’s amazing how much people get behind it. It was great to see those two songs. One at number four (“All of Me") and the other one (“Love Runs Out”) at number twelve.

That must give you an indication of how you’ll do once you put records out there, right? Doesn’t that give you a lot of encouragement?

Absolutely. It tells me that people are connecting with what I am doing and hopefully that continues on after the show is over and I can continue to do that kind of thing.

Well no matter what happens, your music is out there all over the world. Isn’t that cool?

Right, I was just talking to one of the producers of the show the other day and after we are done with the show, we all basically have an album of music out there. It’s quite a few songs.

How did you feel the moment you heard your name called last night?

It was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. It was a relief and a lot of nerves gong away and the beginning of some excitement about what’s about to happen.

What does it feel like during that long pause before they make the announcement about who stays?

It’s funny because when you watch it on TV it almost seems like it’s kind of over dramatic but when you are on that stage it works. (laiughs). It really builds the tension. My heart was racing was racing both times when they had that pause and I was waiting for them to call a name.

What was the very first thing you did once you were off the air?

Once I got off the stage, everything happened very quickly. I returned stage and we (top three) took some pictures and then immediately afterwards, we went to do some press stuff with different news outlets. Then as soon as I had a chance I called home to talk to my wife and the family/

What was your family’s reaction?

They’re super excited. This has been the goal. We’ve had to work through all of this and make it work. It’s been tough so at this point, it just makes it really worthwhile.

Did your kids get on the phone and if so, what did they say to you?

They talked to me a little bit. The oldest one is six. She gets it the most. She is really excited and she told me that she really wants me to win and hopes I win but she wants me to come home too. (laughs)

Are they coming out to California for the finals?

Yes. They’ll fly out Sunday and be here Monday and Tuesday.

I’m sure having them present will be special, will it not?

Oh, absolutely. To have them there to share that experience makes it so much greater.

Did you get a private moment with Usher after the show? If so, what did he say to you?

Actually he did. After the show, I met up with him and we talked. He said he was really proud of me and hoped we could continue to move forward and win this thing. He definitely wants to win it this year. He’s honestly excited about it. We talked about that for a little, then we went right to figuring out songs for this coming week. There are a lot of things that we have to do but as far as my solo song and duet with Usher, those two have been picked.

Were you able to sleep last night after the finals?

Yes, I actually was. Once I got through everything…I had to listen to my songs a couple of times because I knew I was going to have to rehearse them today. Once I got that done, I crashed pretty easily. I could have used a few more hours but I had to get up early and start working today.

What are your thoughts about your competition, Christian and Jake? By now you all must really have a strong bond, do you not?

Yes, they are great. I think it’s a fun mix because it’s three really different styles. Jake does that classic old style country. Christina is more of a pop artist and I have the soul thing so it’s three things so I think it will make for a great show.

Do you consider yourself competitive?

Yes, in a way. I definitely want to go out there and win. That’s what I am here to do and that’s what I’m working for and that’s kind of been my mindset the whole time is to do everything I can do to get to that point. At the same time, we are all being competitive as individuals. We all want to sound and perform the very best that we can. It’s less about beating them than going out and doing the absolute best that I can.

Do you live in the moment?

Actually, I have tried to focus on that through this whole process because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I really want to make sure I get everything out of it, savor it and appreciate it for what it is. I try to keep a balance between looking forward and having the goal of trying to win but at the same time not forgetting what I am doing right now.

By the way, how do you like the styling the done for you in terms of the clothes you wear on the show? Do you have input?

Oh yes, I have a lot of input on that. I gave them ideas of what I wanted to do upfront and they worked with that. They never forced me to wear anything I don’t want to wear. It’s always stuff that I like. I definitely like it.

How would you describe your look?

Gosh, I don’t know. I think it fits the music I do because it’s pretty classic, with a modern edge to it. (laughs)

What’s your message to your fans?

First of all, I would say I am so grateful for all the support I have received and honored to be in this position because obviously, people voting is why I am here. I really appreciate it and I hope they continue like what they hear and what they see on the stage and again thank you and we’ll see what happens next week.

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