Hearing Impaired The Voice Contestant Blows Coaches Away During Blind Audition

Watch how Kelly Clarkson, Chance the Rapper, Niall Horan and Blake Shelton reacted when they learned The Voice season 23 contestant ALI was born deaf.

By EOL Staff Mar 14, 2023 3:40 PMTags
Watch: Blake Shelton Reveals Why He's Leaving "The Voice"

Come to see her and listen for a while.

The Voice may be in its 23rd season, but the blind auditions continue to prove that the coaches can never really know what to expect. Just take singer ALI's March 13 performance, for example.

Following her impressive rendition of Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly With His Song" that saw both Kelly Clarkson and Chance the Rapper turn their chairs, ALI shocked the panel a second time while introducing herself.

"I'm ALI, I am from Walnut, California, I'm 24 years old, and a fun fact about me is I'm hearing impaired," she shared. "I wear two hearing aids; I was born deaf. I'm so blessed to be able to share this."

And the coaches seeking to add ALI to their teams were blown away by her story.

"Oh my God, that's crazy," Kelly exclaimed. "Your runs were so intricate and cool and different. That's a gift."

Kelly Clarkson Through the Years

Chance agreed, adding, "I'm just still so stunned to hear that you're hearing impaired."

"I work with this awesome organization called Deafinitely Dope that does a lot of ASL performances for all the festivals nationally," he continued. "I've made a lot of friends from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community and I think it's so dope that they can look to somebody that loves music as much as they do—I think that's super important and powerful."

Meanwhile, Niall Horan and Blake Shelton shared similar reactions to her audition—even if she didn't get them to turn around.

"Any sort of adversity that you've had in your life, you are just jumping hurdles here," the former One Direction singer noted. "It's incredible to watch, and I wish you the best of luck."

Blake echoed Niall's sentiments, saying, "If you lined up all the singers that we've heard so far and then said, 'Pick which one is hearing impaired,' you would be probably the last one that I'd say. That vocal was just incredible."

Casey Durkin/NBC

So, who did ALI pick to be her coach in the end?

"I sing for the little girl with the sparkly hearing aids, in Walnut, California, singing along to Kelly Clarkson songs my Uncle Rich burned onto CDs for me," ALI wrote on Instagram after joining Team Kelly. "I sing for the people who have the same kind of story as me, for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. I sing... I sing for You, Lord. I sing because I love it. This is me. This is my story."

See ALI's journey on The Voice every Monday and Tuesday on NBC.

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