‘The Voice’s’ LGBT Contestant Jeffery Austin Talks Top 12 and Being Out on TV

Top 12 contestant Jeffrey Austin. Could he win it all? (NBC)

We’ve got the  Top 12 contestants going to head to head in tonight’s all-new episode of The Voice.”

And, in the mix is out contestant (and Team Gwen member) Jeffery Austin, who has been blowing the roof off “The Voice” stage and even getting a prediction from Adam Levine that he could take it all.

I was able to get a few minutes with Austin to talk about his experience thus far, what he’s learned from Gwen and whether he thinks he can win it all.

Loved your performance on last Monday's show. When you're singing, who are you singing to? Or do you just concentrate on the words/feelings?

Jeffery Austin: I always like to have someone in mind when I am singing my songs so I have someone I can picture on stage. A lot of music is a conversation with someone so it makes it easier to have someone in mind.

What is going through your mind when you’re all lined up at elimination time and Carson is announcing who is going forward?

JA: Don’t embarrass yourself. I always try to keep cool and not look too nervous but your heart truly does beat out of your chest. Those moments are very intense.

Did you feel confident or were you scared to death at that moment (maybe both!)?

JA: I’m confident in my ability, but scared to death about the unpredictability in this show. The slate has been wiped clean and we’ve seen some front runners go home already so you never know your standing in this show.

You said on the show you hadn’t sung onstage for 6 years…did you need that time to get to where you are today?

JA: I don’t think I would have been as successful on this show if I hadn’t done it at this time in my life. I have real life experience that people can connect to and its affected my singing. I’ve definitely needed the time away but I’m so happy to be back.

Was it a big decision for you to talk about being gay on the show?  

JA: As it does in my real life the conversation came about organically. I’ve never thought it had to be some big reveal, because no other contestant has to sit down and discuss their sexuality, but the experience of coming out is a huge part of who I am. It’s important to be honest on this show or people see right through it.  In order for people to connect to me I had to be who I am, and that never was a concern for me to share.

Contestants Kori Bukowski (left), Austin and Ellie Lawrence (NBC)

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned from coach Gwen Stefani?

JA: Gwen has downloaded so much performance knowledge in me. I think the most important piece of information is to not be selfish with my feelings. I often dig deep and connect to my song but I don’t always show it right away and can keep it to myself. So Gwen has helped to open up and be comfortable with being an emotive performer.

[iframe http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/watch/The-Voice/7958122402999891112/563182147896/Jeffery-Austin%3A-%22Say-You-Love-Me%22/embed 580 476]

Adam said you could win it all. Do you believe him?

JA: Yes.

Any preview (if you can) of what you’re singing on Monday’s show?

JA: It’s another emotional performance and one of my favorite songs out right now, so I’m very excited for everyone to see.

“The Voice” airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm. You can follow Jeffery on Twitter @jefferyaustin.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.