A Deaf Contestant Just Stunned ‘The Voice’ Coaches with This Roberta Flack Classic

A new contestant hit The Voice stage on Monday night’s episode (March 14) to prove that being hearing impaired doesn’t mean she can’t still rock the mic.


ALI, a 24-year-old hopeful from Walnut, Calif., chose to audition for the spinning chairs with a cover of Roberta Flack’s classic title track to her 1973 album Killing Me Softly. “I heard he sang a good song, I head he had a style/ And so I came to see him and listen for a while,” she sang, with her very first vocal runs at the end of the stanza earning an immediate chair turn from both Kelly Clarkson and Chance The Rapper.

However, it was only after she wrapped up her audition that the singer revealed her hearing loss to the coaches. “A fun fact about me is I am hearing impaired,” she said. “I wear two hearing aids, I was born deaf. I’m so blessed to be able to share this.”

“What!? Oh my god, that’s crazy,” Clarkson marveled, later telling ALI, “Your runs were so intricate and cool and different. That’s a gift.”

Though he didn’t turn his chair, Niall Horan agreed with his fellow coach, saying, “You were amazing. But the second they turned, I knew you were set up,” he said, before getting an unexpected catch in his throat. “You are incredible,” he continued after maintaining his composure. “Any sort of adversity that you’ve had in your life, you are just jumpin’ hurdles here and it’s incredible to watch. So I wish you the best of luck, ALI.”

Watch ALI’s audition and find out who she picked as her coach above.

Glenn Rowley