Photo courtesy of Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Anthony Evans has been a lot of places in his life. The son of popular Christian orator and Pastor Tony Evans, Anthony has toured the world as a solo artist, worship leader, and a backing vocalist for Kirk Franklin. He never thought he would find himself on a reality television show but when The Voice called he answered.

It’s a good thing he did, because millions of new people have heard Anthony Evans including his coach on the show – Christina Aguilera. We caught up with Anthony to discuss his coach, the impact that the show is having on his life, what it’s like to be a Christian on a hit secular show. Check out The Voice on NBC, Mondays 8/7c, and check out Anthony’s new album Home! He is truly a talent and more so than that – the kind of joyous person who you want to cheer on!

As a publicly Christian figure, did you have any concerns about joining a secular show like The Voice?

I had concerns, but I just didn’t let them control whether I was going to do the show or not. Thinking about what people are going to say can be overwhelming at times, and I discussed it with the people who are closest to me; namely my father, Kirk Franklin, and the guys who I interact with on a daily basis. Their advice to me was that as long as you are true to yourself and not compromising your faith then go and have a great time. To be freed up that way was great, to think about what everyone was going to say – that was too much.

Have you received a lot of support? Have there been any detractors?

You know what, 95 percent of it has been completely positive, and then there’s that other 5 percent that are like “oh my gosh he’s losing his faith!!” and I’m like “For real??” I don’t quite understand it, but 95 percent of them have been supportive.

I don’t get that either! Anyone who actually saw the opening segment with you would definitely know that you haven’t compromised yourself.

Yeah, after that aired I was like “Dad you’re welcome, they aired you and the church more than me!” *laughing* I loved that.

What has surprised you the most about being on the show?

What surprised me most is how much I care about and love the people I’m getting to meet like my teammates and the other cast members. Over these last few months I’ve built relationships that I know will last a lifetime. That’s surprised me because my mind was so into singing in the competition that I kind of overlooked the fact that I was going to meet people who I would to fall in love with. But that’s what happened.

Would other contestants on the show say the same thing?

I very much think so. I feel like it’s because you’re experiencing something so unique, and you’re getting to share it locked up together, it creates a very interesting bond that it’s hard to put into words honestly.

That’s interesting because so much reality TV is cutthroat, and even this show is a competition. What do you think the show does that creates that unity?

The Voice is really big on treating the artist like an artist. They even call us that on the show, they don’t treat us like “contestants” or “reality stars” where they are trying to create conflict and trying to create gimmicks to make the ratings go up. They’re like, “we’re going to get ratings from you guys being killer musicians, that and these chairs spinning around.” That’s where it comes from more so than stirring us up to create ratings. They don’t make fun of the contestants, they don’t do things that sometimes grab ratings but degrade people. They will not do it. They won’t build their show on that and I feel like that’s coming from the top down. That filters into everybody who is a part of the show.

Given how the show connects its contestants, has there been a situation where your faith has helped you create a relationship with someone?

For sure, there’s a young lady on the show, love her to death, we just had some time to sit and talk and I heard her story and it was a very interesting one. Long story short, she swore off church when she was 13. Never going again, that’s it, done. So now she’s 24, we talked about life a lot of times and I’ve just gotten to love on her and she’s shown me that same love. On one of our breaks I had the opportunity to go lead worship at the Brooklyn Tabernacle and I look out 10 rows back and I just laughed to myself because there she was. She said “If my parents knew that I was in this church all these years later they would flip out.” We actually told her mom and she screamed because her daughter was never going to church again.

Photo courtesy of Mitchell Haaseth