NBC’s latest season of The Voice debuted following the Super Bowl, aiming for the bored American Idol fans, yearning for a talent competition that doesn’t bother focusing on the negative side of singing auditions. The Voice prides itself on delivering “blind auditions,” which allow the judges—Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton—to judge talent on voice alone, rather than looks or stage presence.
During the post-Super Bowl premiere, one such talent took the stage, wowing the judges with his singing “Because We Believe,” partially in Italian. “I knew it might be risky to sing in Italian because most people don’t speak it, but no one can deny how beautiful the melody is,” Mann wrote on NBC’s website.
After watching Mann’s audition, it dawned on me that I had seen him before. Mann had been a guest teaching artist at Rosie’s Broadway Kids, now Rosie’s Theatre Kids, an organization in New York City geared towards helping kids receive an arts education. A handful of the kids had joined Mann for vocal rehearsals as they readied for a gala performance. Below is the video that I shot during the kids’ final rehearsals.