Season 6 of The Voice kicked off its live shows on Monday, but not without a bump in the road.
During Kristen Merlin's performance of Sugarland's "Stay," her microphone suddenly went out towards the end of the tune. Although the Team Shakira finalist kept singing without proper back-up, she was barely audible to the coaches and sounded silent to viewers at home during arguably the song's most emotional moment.
"I wanted to run off stage and cry," Merlin told TVGuide.com after Monday's live show. "I freaked out a little bit and just tried to go through: 'What's the problem? Is it my in ear? I took that out. No, it's the mic? OK, just keep going, maybe it will come back. Just keep going with it.' I was having a great time anyways and I was going to go down swinging."
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Going into the singing competition's first live performance, Merlin admits she thought her nerves would be her biggest obstacle on stage. "I was keeping myself in my own head, kind of just trying to contain all of my craziness that was going on inside of me," she recalled. "My only thought was, 'Push through this. You have to end this. You have to keep going.'"
Merlin not only got through her whole performance, but she was the only member of the top 12 to get a standing ovation from all four coaches after her performance. "It moved me to tears. And it was just overwhelming like I got chills," Merlin said. "It's such a good feeling and that support is tremendous. It's beyond words."
Adam Levine called the snafu something that happens once in a million, but praised Merlin's instincts. "It was really cool to see how she didn't crumble. ... This was her biggest moment," he said. "The fact that she was able to take all of that and process it and relax and not freak — to me, that's probably better than any one of us who are all professionals, better than we could have handled it."
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Host and executive producer Carson Daly said he was just grateful that the microphone didn't go out earlier in her performance. "I didn't think much of it to be honest," Daly said. "I thought she handled it so gracefully and professionally and I knew that when the coaches kind of gave her a standing ovation, it was that nod of like, 'Hey, we've all been there. This stuff does happen and you handled it perfectly.' It was almost like a little test thrown at her."
Merlin's technical mishap will not impact the voting for Tuesday's results show (8/7c, NBC). Although Merlin could go home because of the microphone problem, Daly sees the opposite happening. "In today's day and age, everything that isn't straight down the middle is going to get questioned by somebody. We're not going to worry about it," he said. "I think America saw 99 percent of her song tonight and will vote accordingly. And, if anything, she might see a spike because of how she handled it. It may help her."
Merlin, for one, isn't worried about it either way. "I'm always one to find positives in everything. For me, it's not even worth a second of being negative about it," she said. "I had the opportunity. I was on the stage. I rocked that song and people still heard me so it's all good."
Watch her performance here:
The Voice airs Monday and Tuesday at 8/7c on NBC.