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Esera Tuaolo earns a spot with Team Blake on ‘The Voice’

The gay former NFL player now has a stage for his big voice.

Esera Tuaolo wowed Blake Shelton and Jennifer Hudson with his version of ‘Rise Up.’

Esera Tuaolo, the openly gay former NFL player, was a huge success in his blind audition on ‘The Voice’ Monday night. Both Jennifer Hudson and Blake Shelton wanted Tuaolo on their teams, with the big former defensive end going with self-described “NFL geek” Shelton.

Tuaolo belted out his rendition of Andra Day’s popular hit ‘Rise Up,’ putting on display his ability to hit the big notes and also bring it back down for some softer moments.

You can watch his complete audition here.

In introducing Tuaolo to the national audience of ‘The Voice,’ his three-minute intro package talked about his big coming out in 2002 and the struggles he faced as a gay man playing in the NFL. At his side were both his son and daughter, the latter of whom showed some tears of joy when it became apparent her dad would be selected on a team for the season.

Be sure to check back later in the season on ‘The Voice’ and support Tuaolo in his quest to win it all.