April 02, 2012 9:27am PT by Rebecca Ford
'The Voice's' Chris Mann on Live Shows: 'I Have Some Tricks Up My Sleeve'
Chris Mann, the 29-year old singer from Wichita, Kansas, may perfectly embody what NBC’s The Voice is all about.
He doesn't sound like the traditional pop singer or rocker – he’s a classically trained opera singer trying to make it in the music industry as himself.
“That’s why this show is so awesome,” Mann told The Hollywood Reporter a few days before Monday’s first live show. “Because it lets me sort of not apologize for who I am and just sing.”
Mann’s powerful voice got him on Team Christina and through the battle round, but now he’s got to perform for America during the live shows, which begin on Monday. And he says he’s ready for the challenge.
“I’m feeling good. I’m excited,” Mann told THR. “The presentation that they’re giving me on stage is kind of a dream-come-true.”
Mann, who called his planned performance “classic and classy,” says that he’s as ready as he’s going to be for the next phase of the competition.
“It just seems like it's time,” he says. “We’ve all been watching the battle rounds and it seems like a lifetime ago, so it’s exciting to get going again.”
While Mann’s style of singing is very different than many other performers, he says that the audience should not expect him to be a one-trick pony. “I have some tricks up my sleeve,” he says, adding that he expects to be nervous before taking the stage, but feels that adrenaline will kick in.
As for working with Christina Aguilera, Mann says she’s “such a pro.”
“I’m always amazed by how intuitive she is,” he says, adding that when he was rehearsing his number for the live show, she stopped it and rearranged it with the band. “It was all things that I was hoping would happen, and she immediately knew what I wanted,” he says. “I couldn’t be happier with her. She’s pretty much the best.”