The Voice Season 5 finalist Jacquie Lee opens up about Internet criticism and what's next for her

By Andrew Meola | Jan 06, 2014 11:00 AM EST
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Jacquie Lee was just a 16-year-old New Jersey native a few months ago, but now she is known to viewers of NBC's hit singing competition The Voice as the girl who nearly captured the Season 5 crown. But it was far from smooth sailing for the runner-up throughout her time on the show.

Lee conducted a lengthy interview with TVLine in which she opened up about everything from song choices to working with Hayley Williams of Paramore. The conversation eventually turned to her performance of "Clarity," which she did during Top 10 week, and the subsequent negative reaction from her detractors. Lee revealed how she dealt with the criticism:

"It was really hard. I definitely heard it all. And you can't just say, 'Oh, just don't read the comments' because they tag you in it. So, it's like, 'Crap.' And then it's, 'Well, thanks a lot.' There are some hateful 12-year-olds out there, let me tell ya! [Laughs] I took that criticism hard that week because I knew that it wasn't my best performance. And it was the first time I debuted the softer side of my voice. I didn't want it to be anything less than perfect.

But I deal with the criticism now so much better than I did then. I've gotten the best advice from so many people here who care about me and just want to see the best for me. Christina [Aguilera[ has been in the public eye since she was a kid. And I talked to her about it all the time. She was like, 'You can't read that stuff. It's from jealous, jealous, hateful people. They're not the ones getting up on stage doing it. And they don't know who you are and they don't know your voice.' Singing 'Angel' was a way to fight back at those people. I know my voice and I know how it sounds. And one day, they'll see it, hopefully, too. But if not, I mean, everyone is entitled to their own opinion."

Lee also said that she plans to "keep the momentum going" by writing some songs and trying to get onto the radio. She added that is determined not to be an artist where people look back on her season of The Voice and wonder what happened to that girl.

Check out the full interview here.

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