The first Knockout Rounds on Monday night’s “The Voice” had just one of our North Carolina connections fighting to stay on the show.
The Knockout Round is like the Battle Round in that singers still compete against each other, but this time singing their own separate songs, not together on the same song.
Here’s what happened.
Never miss a local story.
Esera Tuaolo, a former NFL defensive tackle who last played for the Carolina Panthers (1999), is on Blake Shelton’s team and sang “Superstar” by Luther Vandross.
In rehearsals, guest coach Kelly Clarkson (who will be a fulltime judge next season) was blown away by his voice. Esera became emotional during rehearsals talking about the support of his mother, who is struggling with health issues right now. But he was up against a strong competitor – Adam Cunningham, who sang Chris Stapleton’s “Either Way.”
Blake picked Esera to advance – and then Adam Levine “stole” Adam Cunningham, so both singers get to advance.
Esera, a Hawaii native of Samoan heritage, came out as gay after leaving the NFL. During his time in the NFL, he often sang The National Anthem before games and was known as Mr. Aloha.
Other NC contestants
Katrina Rose of Durham and Brooke Simpson of Hollister will compete in Knockout Rounds next week. We’ll be watching.