One of Mobile County’s own has been making her hometown proud in front of an audition of millions. Citronelle native Cary Laine has been mesmerizing judges on “The Voice,” as well as all its viewers.

Laine surprised many by her choice of Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine as her judge, and she continued to shine in the weeks to come. Unfortunately, Laine was sent home after her “Battle.”

Fortunately, Lagniappe had the chance to speak with Laine as she was preparing for her “Battle” later that night. She not only provided insight into the inner workings of “The Voice,” but Laine also revealed what it was like to step out of her musical comfort zone. Laine may have left “The Voice,” but she will remain a winner with all the knowledge and experience that she earned on the show.

Cary Laine

Cary Laine

SC: A lot of people down here have been curious with what’s been going on with you on “The Voice.” What’s the experience been like so far?

CL: It’s been an amazing, completely rewarding experience so far. It got me out of my comfort zone, which can be a really good thing for a musician. I’ve just met so many incredible people. It’s not only the coaches, but, more importantly, it’s all the bonds that I’ve made with all the other contestants, who are all amazing artists from all over the country.

SC: It has to be pretty intense being on the show. What’s your day like?

CL: Day-to-day life on “The Voice” can be pretty intense. It’s a lot of hurry up and wait. You do a lot of sitting around and kinda waiting to get the news, get your schedule and get information when you will be singing. When stuff starts rolling, it’s like bam, bam, bam. You have a million places to be at one time. You have a song to learn. You have to practice. You have to have meetings with wardrobe and with hair and make-up. It’s crazy. It’s like nothing that I’ve ever experienced before.

SC: What’s it like waiting for the “Battle?”

CL: Totally nerve wracking!

SC: You said that you’ve made a lot of friends. Is it very competitive between the participants?

CL: For the most part, everybody realizes that it’s a competition, but it’s not like a sports competition. It does you no good to mess up your opponent, because it messes you up, too. So, you really have to work together. Even though it’s a competition, you both want to sound good. If the song is off, then both of you sound bad. So, you really have to work together to focus on making it the best performance, so you can both sound at your best. It is a competition, but it relies on the contestants realizing that you just have to work together to make it the best that it can be for both of you.

SC: What was it like working with Adam Levine?

CL: He’s a class act. He’s really professional, and he’s hilarious! I really enjoyed it. He was really nice, and really kind to me. I have nothing but good things to say about him, so far.

SC: What’s the most important thing that you’ve learned during your time on “The Voice?”

CL: That’s a tough one! I think I’ve learned a couple of things. You should use your time wisely and prepare as much as possible. You should always expect the unexpected. The most important thing that I’ve learned is to be open to possibilities. I was never open to doing one of these shows. I figured that I would just pound the pavement, and I’ve been pounding the pavement for a lot of years. I think what I’ve learned most from this is to not be afraid to take some chances and step out of your comfort zone and go against the grain. When you do things like that, good things happen. It doesn’t happen by staying in your little niche of the world. When you step outside the box and put yourself out there, that’s when good things happen for you.

SC: Do you ever have time just to have fun? Do they give you a break to hang out or go out?

CL: You’ve got a lot of artists and musicians, and the show is basically responsible for us. We’re sequestered to a hotel. We’re kept in one spot. It looks like it happens in a few minutes on TV. It’s a much longer process. Just from the auditions, you basically live in Los Angeles for the month of that process. So, you get to know people, and since you’re stuck in a bubble, you really kinda have to make your own fun. We would have jam sessions around the pool. We would play card games. You almost have to go to an old school mentality to have fun during the process.

SC: Several people from Citronelle have emailed me and wanted me to find out what you’ve been up to. When you’ve gotten out like you have, can you ever go back?

CL: Right now, I’m living in Wyoming. I think that I need to push forward. No matter what happens, I think I have a certain responsibility to myself and to my hometown and home area to use the momentum from this experience. Win, lose or draw, I think I have a responsibility to use this momentum and really push forward and try to accomplish something and really make a huge career out of it. I think that’s important. Home is always home. You have to go back, and it’s important to go back and be grounded in that. It doesn’t matter if you’ve gotten some attention, and you’re a big celebrity. When you go home, you’re you. You’re not Cary from “The Voice.” People are proud of you for that, but you’re Cary who went to Citronelle High School. You’re Cary who hung out with everybody at the river. You’re you. I think it’s important to go home and stay grounded and let that experience keep you humble.