HomeEntertainmentHearing Impaired ‘The Voice’ Hopeful Hits All the Right Notes

Hearing Impaired ‘The Voice’ Hopeful Hits All the Right Notes

by TK Sanders
(Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC)

Now in its 23rd season, The Voice somehow continues to surprise coaches and viewers alike. And on March 13, newcomer ALI broke the mold yet again and delivered an audition worth hearing.

Following her stirring rendition of Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” an audition that prompted both Kelly Clarkson and Chance the Rapper to turn their chairs, ALI had another nice surprise up her sleeve.

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“I’m ALI, I am from Walnut, California, I’m 24 years old, and a fun fact about me is I’m hearing impaired,” she shared. “I wear two hearing aids; I was born deaf. I’m so blessed to be able to share this.”

Of course, the judges couldn’t believe that a singer with a hearing disability could deliver such an on-key performance.

“Oh my God, that’s crazy,” Clarkson exclaimed. “Your runs were so intricate and cool and different. That’s a gift.”

Chance agreed, adding, “I’m just still so stunned to hear that you’re hearing impaired. I work with this awesome organization called Deafinitely Dope that does a lot of ASL performances for all the festivals nationally,” he continued. “I’ve made a lot of friends from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community and I think it’s so dope that they can look to somebody that loves music as much as they do—I think that’s super important and powerful.”

ALI dedicated her The Voice performance to her grandmother, Rose, who she dubber her “prayer warrior”

Other judges Niall Horan and Blake Shelton echoed the sentiment, despite deciding not to turn around and offer ALI a spot on their teams.

“Any sort of adversity that you’ve had in your life, you are just jumping hurdles here,” the former One Direction singer said. “It’s incredible to watch, and I wish you the best of luck.”

Blake agreed, saying, “If you lined up all the singers that we’ve heard so far and then said, ‘Pick which one is hearing impaired,’ you would be probably the last one that I’d say. That vocal was just incredible.”

So who did ALI decide to stick with from the potential The Voice coaches?

“I sing for the little girl with the sparkly hearing aids, in Walnut, California, singing along to Kelly Clarkson songs my Uncle Rich burned onto CDs for me,” ALI shared on Instagram after joining Team Kelly. “I sing for the people who have the same kind of story as me. For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. I sing for You, Lord. I sing because I love it. This is me. This is my story.

“Blessed. It’s the one word I repeat over and over. I feel so blessed. Thank you.”