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Former ‘The Voice’ contestants coming to Columbus

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Former “The Voice” contestants Sarah Potenza and Joshua Davis will perform at Rumba Cafe on March 15. Credit: Courtesy of Joshua Davis

Two former contestants of “The Voice” will show off their singing chops in Columbus on Wednesday.

Sarah Potenza and Joshua Davis both took part the show’s eighth season in 2015.  Potenza was on Blake Shelton’s coaching team and made it to the top 20 of that season, while Davis was on Adam Levine’s team and made it all the way to the finale.

Potenza and Davis were no strangers to the music business when they were called by NBC to participate in its flagship singing program. Neither sent in audition tapes, but were instead scouted by the show. Potenza fronted the band Sarah and the Tallboys for several years before her stint on the show, and Davis had been performing both solo and with his band Steppin’ In It since 1997.

Both past contestants share the same fondness for their time on the show, but Potenza said it was a culture shock at first.

“The world of fake eyelashes and dressing to the nines was all very new to me,” Potenza said. She added that she was pleasantly surprised by the amount of fans that stayed with her after she exited the show.

Davis’ experience was especially a whirlwind, as he said he got the call to come in and audition two weeks before filming, a situation that Davis said is unusually last minute for the show.

“If it hadn’t been this spur-of-the-moment thing, it probably wouldn’t have happened,” Davis said. He then added that he hadn’t watched the show before joining it.

While both Potenza and Davis said they had positive experiences working with industry professionals like Levine and Shelton and watching them perform on the show, they list other musicians they’d met and watched perform as more defining contributors to their respective sounds.  For Davis, watching Pete Seeger and John Hartford at folk music festivals when he was younger was a big influence.  For Potenza, meeting gospel artist Mavis Staples had a large impact on her life.

Now, two years since their stints on “The Voice,” the pair is touring the country together to promote and perform their respective new albums.  Potenza’s latest album, “Monster,” was released in August 2016, and Davis’ yet-to-be released new record “The Way Back Home” — which was produced by Steve Berlin of Americana band Los Lobos — still doesn’t have a release date, but will be out soon, Davis said.

With regards to the show, Davis and Potenza said the format is still coming together before they kick off the tour in Columbus.

“It’s going to be the first show of the tour and we’ve never done this before, so it’s going to be a big surprise for all of us,” Davis said.

Potenza added that, while both her and Davis will perform separate sets, there is a possibility of a duet or two.

Their show will take place Wednesday 8 p.m. at Rumba Cafe, at 2507 Summit St. Tickets for the show are $14.66 including fees via Ticketweb.

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