Esera Tuaolo, a former defensive tackle player in the National Football League (NFL), recently nailed his blind audition during the season 13 premiere of NBC’s “The Voice” on Monday night.
Tuaolo, who first played for the Green Bay Packers from 1991 to 1992, stunned the crowd and judges with his own rendition of Andra Day’s “Rise Up” from the 2015 album “Cheers to the Fall”.
Before taking to the stage, the 49-year-old former athlete revealed the feeling he had when he came out after his run in the NFL.
“When I finished in the NFL, I came out to my family. When I said those words for the first [time], when I said that I was gay, it was like this huge mountain just crumbled. I felt light as a feather, but when I jumped on the scale I was still that 6’4”, 300 pound Samoan that’s gay and played in the NFL,” he said, as reported by People Magazine.
Two of the four judges, Jennifer Hudson and Blake Shelton, were moved by his performance that eventually led to their chairs turning.
Many people were incredibly shocked to see Tuaolo singing on “The Voice” last Monday night, with some taking to Twitter to announce what they wittnessed on their television screens.
This is not the first time Tuaolo showcased his incredible singing talent in front of a large audience. In June 2016, he performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” during an Los Angeles Dodgers’ game.
Tuaolo was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 11, 1968, and began his professional football career for the Packers in 1992. That same year, he was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings and lasted until 1996.