There’s a good chance you come across the “Cupid Shuffle” on the dance floor every now and then, courtesy of either a sorority girl reliving her glory days or the dated catalog of a wedding DJ. The brand-new dance that was sweeping the nation had everyone moving to the right, to the right in 2007, but Cupid, the artist responsible, has been largely silent ever since.
Another thing that separates The Voice from its reality competition predecessors is its willingness to allow former stars—mediocre or otherwise—a second chance. This season we’ve seen recognizable acts try their best to get the judges to turn around, and last night’s episode brought the eponymous shuffler to the stage.
Despite the success of the song, Cupid (also known as Bryson Bernard) has had a difficult time breaking out of the pigeonhole it subsequently placed him in, wanting to be known as more than just a rapper or party architect. “They’ve got to look through the novelty,” Carson deduced from the situation at hand. Former boy band members haven’t exactly seen success with modern boy band anthems now that they’re pushing 30, so why would someone whose name is so blatantly attached to a dance craze of the late aughts willingly sing the song he’s been working so hard to distance himself from? Reality television, sometimes you truly are a heartless wonder.
From behind their chairs, the judges made a variety of expressions—confusion, surprise and glee—but nothing warranting one of those powerful swivels. Disappointment flashed across Cupid’s face, worsening when Cee Lo realized that he recognized him. “It’s cool as hell to turn around and it’s you, but it’s a very peculiar song to sing on a show like this,” he said. Cupid did get to sing a few bars of Marvin Gaye before shuffling back through the loser’s door, an act, Carson Daly believes, will prove to the WORLD that he’s not just “a dude on that song.” Todays iTunes numbers also reflect his decision wasn’t futile after all.