WATCH: 26-Year-Old ‘Cuban Cowboy’ Earns Four-Chair Turn With Impressive Luke Combs Cover
Orlando Mendez, a 26-year-old from Miami, Florida showcased his country pipes on The Voice with a blind audition that earned…
Orlando Mendez; Photos by Greg Gayne/NBC
Orlando Mendez, a 26-year-old from Miami, Florida showcased his country pipes on The Voice with a blind audition that earned an impressive four-chair turn.
Nicknamed the “Cuban Cowboy,” Mendez took the stage to perform Luke Combs’ “Beer Never Broke My Heart.”
His impressive vocals caught the attention of all four coaches, Camila Cabello, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, and John Legend.
The Miami native had a tough decision to make and each coach attempted to coerce him to join their team.
Shelton was up first.
“Orlando, my name is Blake Shelton and I’m from Ada, Oklahoma. I’m an eight-time Voice winner, a member of the Grand Ole Opry and CMA Entertainer Of The Year, but I am not from Miami,” he said with a laugh.
Cabello, who hails from Miami, chimed in and began to banter with Shelton.
“So, is country music your thing?” Shelton asked, to which Mendez replied, “Country music is my passion. I’ve been listening to your songs since I was a kid, but I come from Cuban roots.”
“Aw cute,” Stefani gushed.
The “No Body” singer went on tell Mendez, “I’ve been doing this a long time on this show. Some may say too long, others may say I’m just getting started. I’m a country artist and that’s all I’ve ever cared about being. I personally like being put in a box, do you feel the same way about your direction and do you want to be stubborn about it like I do then I’m the coach for you buddy.”
First-time coach Cabello did her best to recruit the country hopeful to join Team Camila.
“Orlando, I turned around first because something that I’ve really been looking for is somebody with a really special tone that I can hear on the radio,” she explained. “You said ‘you know what I’m Cuban and this is the kind of music that inspires.’ You know the kind of artist you want to be and I would just help you on that journey. I like things that make me feel and your voice made me feel today and I would love to be your coach.”
Stefani, who recently made her Grand Ole Opry stage debut alongside Shelton, tried to use her country cred to convince him to join her team.
“I’m basically Country now as well like I’ve gone Country,” she proclaimed.
“As the performance went on, you got better and better once you saw everybody turning around, your star came out and I could just see how excited you were.. Like I’m here in front of Blake Shelton, one of the greatest country singers of all time in the whole world,” she added. “Blake is amazing, but I would love to be your coach and outside of the genre let’s talk about the show. It’s a lot of pressure, connecting with the camera and the nerves, I could really help you with that and I would love to be your coach.”
Cabello interjected, “I was actually on a singing competition show and you know what if you want to make an unpredictable cool choice, I think you should be on my team.”
Before Mendez made his decision, Legend took the opportunity to speak.
“One of the things that grabbed my attention is do you want to make an unpredictable choice today you could predictably pick that very crowded country box that Blake is trying to cram you in,” he said. “You could go with somebody because they’re from your hometown. Also, you could go with someone who is married to a country star and has Country No. 1 hits or you can do something that no one would expect and pick team Legend.”
Ultimately, Mendez chose Cabello as his coach.
“Camila, let’s do this thing!” Mendez shouted.
Cabello, who went to the same high school as Mendez, was thrilled to welcome a country artist to her team.
“I’m really excited to have Orlando. He has a gift with this tone of voice. It was really exciting to win a Country artist, especially over Blake,” she said. “I’m feeling myself for sure. Let’s represent and do it your way.”
NBC’s The Voice Season 22 premiered on Monday, Sept. 19.
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