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Esera Tuaolo wins his Knockout round on ‘The Voice’

Tuaolo sang a song by a gay singer who never felt he could come out publicly.

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Esera Tuaolo is letting his voice and his personality shine on ‘The Voice.’
NBC’s The Voice

Esera Tuaolo, the openly gay former NFL player with the big voice, survived his third test on The Voice as he was selected by Blake Shelton to continue on Team Blake for the Playoffs.

Tuaolo squared up against fellow Team Blake singer Adam Cunningham Monday night in the Knockouts round. Tuaolo sang the Luther Vandross hit ‘Superstar.’ Vandross himself was gay but never came out publicly. After his death in 2005, many people talked openly about Vandross’ sexual orientation.

Tuaolo has been talking publicly about his interest in using his new platform to give hope like he never saw when he was living life in the closet while playing in the NFL. That he chose a song by a singer who never felt he could come out publicly was poetic.

It’s been great watching Tuaolo let his own personal self shine on the show. The man on stage is the man I’ve known for the last 15 years, now never afraid to be who he is: Gay, Christian and Hawaiian with a personality bigger than his voice.

He played college football for the Oregon State Beavers before being drafted by the Green Bay Packers. He played in the Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons and now lives in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Vikings, another of his former teams, posted a congratulatory tweet Monday night:

Once it comes time for the public to vote, I hope America will get behind him. If he keeps belting out songs like he has so far, he has a great shot.

Watch Tuaolo’s performance here.

You can follow Esera Tuaolo on Instagram, Twitter and on Facebook. You can also find his music on itunes.