Anchorage’s JR Aquino started posting videos on YouTube as a way to get his music heard outside of Alaska. Now his channel on the video-sharing website has more than 400,000 followers and nearly 50 million views. The appeal of those videos helped carry Aquino through the blind audition round of Monday’s episode of "The Voice."
In the episode, Aquino – who also appeared on "American Idol" – talked about his online success before performing “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. His voice was enough to convince three of the four judges, with Cee-Lo, Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine each offering to coach Aquino through the rest of the competition. He opted to join Cee-Lo’s team after the rapper and R&B star offered some constructive criticism.
Blake Shelton was the lone holdout, but he provided some insights after Cee-Lo asked if there are many clubs or lounges in Alaska.
Shelton: “There’s not even a lot of bars – I’ve been to Anchorage.”
Aquino: “There’s three.”
Shelton: “I went to all of them in one night.”
Below is a clip of Aquino’s audition, followed by the full episode (skip to about the 50-minute mark for Aquino’s story and performance).