Veteran cruise ship singer Stephanie Anne Johnson’s voyage on The Voice ended during live eliminations broadcast Thursday, when she failed to garner enough votes to continue on the smash reality music show (much to the dismay of those of us here at Cruise Critic, who were rooting for her from the beginning).
During her time on TV, Johnson – who worked as a contract performer on Holland America’s Amsterdam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam, as well Seabourn Quest — had one of the more emotional rides, switching coaches several times. We had a chance to talk to Johnson, 29, briefly by phone Friday.
Q: How did your time on cruise ships prepare you for The Voice?
A: The thing about being at sea that prepared me the most was the fact that I had to constantly learn a lot of new songs and new tunes, based on what was being requested. Being able to work and turn something around in 24 hours is a skill that I learned on ships.
Q: It was sort of a bumpy road for you, going back and forth between the judges (first Christina Aguilera, then CeeLo Green, then Xtina again). Did anything from your time on the ships prepare you for that?
A: I guess the only parallel I could draw was the time I was asked to play a game of Liars Club onboard. It’s the game where you’re on a panel of three or four people and the cruise director gives you a word, and only one of you knows the meaning. The rest of you are lying! That’s the only parallel I can draw.
Q: Would you ever go back to cruise ships?
A: I really enjoyed my time on ships. Should the right opportunity to make music on a ship appear, I don’t know that I would be in a position to say no. My favorite part — aside from playing music –- my favorite part of cruising was the sunset at sea. You can’t see that type of beauty anywhere else on the world. You never feel as small and as human as you are when you look out over the Atlantic and all you see around you is water. It’s beautiful.
Q: At times, you seemed ambivalent about working on ships again. Is that because, as you mentioned at one point during the show, you miss being away from your family for so long?
A: It’s partly being away for so long. But also, I am an artist. As an artist, I reserve the right to evolve. I do think that I have evolved past the format of playing a four-hour long set. When I was 25, I could do that and feel good about it. I’m almost 30 years old now, and that’s a long set for me.
Q: Did any fans who you met on the ships contact you during the show?
A: I definitely had some ship friends that I met. #shipfriends! (laughs) … There was a pretty great response from people I had cruised with before…(especially) former crew members and cruise directors. Holland America in general was very good about me being on The Voice … I owe them a big thank you.
Q: What’s your biggest takeaway from The Voice experience?
A: The biggest takeaway for me is you can’t assume that life is going to go one way or another, so it’s best to lie back and let it happen to you. Especially when you find yourself in very exciting locations.
Q: What’s next for you?
The website, the weeklycover.com, is going to come out. I’ll do a cover song a week, using YouTube to interact with viewers. I’ll see if that will be a good format for me.
I am also hoping to start touring soon. I’ve never toured inside the Continental U.S.. My manager is looking for some locations … We are also gearing up to make a music video for one of my songs that got released before The Voice. It’s pretty cool. So there is a wonderful path in front of me.
You can follow Stephanie on her website, as well as her Twitter feed, Facebook page and YouTube channel.