Out NFL Player Esera Tuaolo Reveals Magic Pipes On “Voice” Blind Audition

"I could just feel your presence. I'm like 'That's a big dude back there.'"

Ex-football player Esera Tuaolo has a secret ability to slay with his vocal chops: The former defensive end, who came out in 2002, popped up on The Voice this week, singing Andra Day’s ballad “Rise Up.”

“Mr Aloha” caught the ear of both Jennifer Hudson and Blake Shelton, who spun their chairs to see the hunky Samoan smiling back at them.


This is hardly the first time Tuaolo has sung in public: He often sings the National Anthem before pro sports games—including once when he was with the Green Bay Packers and sang in full gear before a game against the Bears.

Jonathan Daniel /Allsport

Before retiring in 1999, Tuaolo spent nine years in the NFL, playing for Green Bay, the Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, and the Atlanta Falcons, helping them win the NFC championship in 1998.


If you need more of Tuaolo’s voice, check out some these videos, from when he joined musician David Feily to perform A Great Big World’s “Say Something.”


When he took the stage at New York’s Don’t Tell Mama to offer some Adele.

When he got all dressed up with a little “Hallelujah.”


And singing a stripped-down version of “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” (when he reveals he’s finally pursuing music after ending his “backup career” in the NFL).


If you didn’t watch Tuaolo’s audition, spoiler alert: he picked Blake Shelton. Get ready for an onslaught of awkward football metaphors when the blind auditions end and the “battle” rounds begin.

Trish Bendix is a Los Angeles-based writer.