'The Voice' Coaches Stunned by Deaf Singer's Audition

03/14/2023 12:42 pm EDT

The Voice coaches have heard a lot of incredible talent over the years, but the panel was recently stunned by a deaf singer's audition. On Monday night's blind auditions episode, 24-year-old California native Ali took the stage and delivered an incredible rendition of "Killing Me Softly With His Song." The performance got both Kelly Clarkson and Chance the Rapper to turn their chairs, after which Ali shared a little bit about herself.

"A fun fact about me is that I'm hearing-impaired," the singer revealed. "I was born deaf, I wear two hearing aids, and I'm so blessed to be able to share this." The coaches were surprised to learn this, with Clarkson replying, "That's crazy! Your runs were so intricate and cool and different. That's a gift!" Chance added, "You just have an amazing voice, and all the choices you were making felt very soulful."

While Blake Shelton and Niall Horan did not turn their chairs, the pair clarified that they believed Ali would do well with either Clarkson or Chance. "Any adversity that you've had in your life, you are just jumping hurdles here," Niall Horan told the singer. "It's incredible to watch."

Ali isn't the first contestant to make a big impact on the judges this season. In an earlier round of blind auditions, a contestant surprised the coaches with a recording of Shelton from when he was 13 years old. During the episode, singer Holly Brand performed but failed to turn the country singer's chair. However, she had a surprise for him once he was turned around after she finished singing.

"My grandpa was a musician, and when Blake was just 13 years old, he asked his mama for his birthday if he could go to the recording studio and lay down some tracks," Brand shared. She then shared the recording which thrilled fellow coaches Kelly Clarkson, Chance the Rapper, and Niall Horan. "I feel terrible," Shelton then said, regretting not turning his chair for Brand. "Knowing the backstory, if I had known it, I definitely would have turned."

Notably, the new season of The Voice will be Shelton's last. Back in October, he revealed his plans to leave the show, writing in an Instagram post, "It's been a hell of a ride over these 12 years of chair turns and I want to thank everyone at The Voice from NBC, every producer, the writers, musicians, crew and catering people, you are the best. It takes a lot of work, passion, and adult beverages (Ha!) to pull off a live show twice a week." 

He continued, "I have to give a huge shoutout to the singers-the 'voices,' who come on this stage season after season and amaze us with their talent and a special thanks to those who chose me to be their coach. It's about y'all, the fans, who watch and support these artists, us coaches and everyone at The Voice who are chasing their dreams. It would not happen without you!"

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