The story of Manti Te’othe Notre Dame linebacker who was apparently fooled by someone pretending to be his long-distance girlfriend for an extremely long timeis still unfolding, with media outlets trying to figure out how deep the story goes (and uncovering connections to Miguel). Now, according to Us Weekly, NBC’s singing competition The Voice has been drawn into the story, sort of; apparently Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who has been fingered as the man behind the persona of Te’o’s nonexistent online paramour Lennay Kekua, tried out for this season of the show. Us also reports that, like every singing competition hopeful worth their screen time, he had a sob story for the judges:
According to the source, Tuiasosopo told producers he and his cousins started a Christian band together and were on their way to perform at a youth conference in Nevada when they got into a “massive” car accident. He claimed a truck crashed into their vehicle, sending them flip-flopping all over the freeway. He also said doctors thought one of them might have been brain-dead, but miraculously, everyone was fine.
Unfortunately, cheating death didn’t make the judges, which this time out include Usher and Shakira, more hospitable to Tuiasosopo’s audition; according to Us‘s source, “No one turned their chair around.” Tolasosopo leads the band at the Oasis Christian Church of the Antelope Valley, where his father is a pastor, and a couple of his songs are streaming online. Silky harmonies and lightly strummed guitars dominate the bouncy, commanding “Ignite,” which at one point has a lick that sounds very inspired by the in-game music for Super Mario Bros; while the love song “Angel’s Wings” has a Santana guitar solo at its open and sweet, street-corner harmonies paying tribute to a “virtuous woman.” (There’s also a callout to the acoustic guitar that propels Robin Thicke’s “Lost Without U.” At least his inspirations are pretty solid!)