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Meghan Linsey on Her Voice Coach Blake Shelton: He's Still 'Grounded' Despite His Success

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When Meghan Linsey appeared on The Voice in 2015, she’d already connected with one of the coaches: Blake Shelton.

The country singer once opened up for Shelton on tour as one-half of former duo Steel Magnolia. Still, her rousing blind audition turned every coach’s chair but Shelton’s, and landed her on Team Pharrell.

Before the season was over, though, Linsey found herself again working side-by-side with Shelton, who saved her during a battle round. With Shelton’s guidance, Linsey made it to runner-up – and left the show with renewed respect for her former tour mate.

“He has a lot of heart and you see it in the way that he treats people,” she tells PEOPLE while opening up about her scary brown recluse spider bite.

RELATED VIDEO: Meghan Linsey on Venomous Spider Bite That Left a Hole in Her Face: ‘I’m Just Glad to Be Alive’

Though Linsey, 31, says she hasn’t checked in with Shelton in a while, she reveals she’ll crash The Voice set to see him when she’s out in Los Angeles, where the show films.

“I think that was a big thing for me – just watching him and Pharrell, and seeing the way they treat others around them,” she says. “I think it’s cool to see people that are that successful that are down to earth, and still treat people like they’re equal.”

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She adds of Shelton (who she calls a “good mentor and friend”), “It was good to see someone at that level who is still grounded. And totally himself.”

In between touring, Linsey has now been working on a new record for nearly a year, and is finally approaching the finish line.

FROM COINAGE: Mind-Blowing American Idol Success Stories

“It’s definitely more in the pop direction,” she tells PEOPLE. “It’s just fun. It’s fun, like, pop, soul music. There’s some tearjerkers on there too, for sure.”

And, the album will revisit her time on the reality singing competition. The singer teases that one of the tracks is a collaboration with a mentor who appeared during her season of The Voice. Who, though? Well, we’ll have to wait and see.