In a Sept. 9 Instagram video, The Voice coach Blake Shelton, holding a hairbrush like a mic, announced, “I’m passing the mic to someone who just auditioned.” The scene then switched to Orlando Mendez, who put on a cowboy hat, thanked Blake (who was no longer in front of the camera) and introduced himself.
“What’s up folks? My name is Orlando Mendez, aka The Cuban Cowboy, and I’m very excited to announce that I auditioned for Season 22 of The Voice. That’s right Tune in every Monday and Tuesday starting September 19th to see if I’ve had a chance to pick a coach.”
Mendez was actually allowed to choose a coach. In fact, he got a choice of all four coaches after he sang Luke Combs’ “Beer Never Broke My Heart” to hell.
In his pre-audit video, Mendez described himself as a Cuban who loves country music and storytelling. A clip of his family showed a fun-loving group, which Mendez described: “We live intensely, eat a lot, dance a lot, drink a lot and have a good time.”
Mendez’s mother, who attended the audition, quipped, “We went from salsa dancing to two-step dancing.”
The Cuban cowboy was concerned about what he would do if both Camila Cabello and Blake Shelton turned their chairs for him because one coach appeals to his Cuban roots while the other appeals to his country’s appeal. Well, he ended up having to make that difficult decision, along with the added pressure of having Gwen Stefani and John Legend in the mix.
The fight for Mendez mostly came down to Shelton and Cabello. It turns out that not only are Cabello and Mendez both from Miami, but Mendez’s brothers went to the same school as Cabello.
Noting that his hometown connection could lose him, Shelton joked, “I don’t actually have the country roots that Camilla has.”
After much debate and discussion, The Cuban Cowboy finally joined Team Camila, leaving Shelton to grumble, “I’ve lost my mojo.”
According to idolchatteryd.com, Mendez is “a 26-year-old artist from Florida who has released music across multiple genres. He calls himself the Cuban Cowboy and most recently performed country and southern rock music as the Orlando Mendez Band.”
On January 7, 2022, Mendez posted a clip on Instagram of him playing in front of a sign that reads “Recording Industry Association of America RIAA sponsored event.” Mendez captioned the video, “2022 started out living a dream and playing some original songs at the Bluebird Cafe. Here’s a snippet of my song ‘Front Porch Heartbreak’.”
According to idolchatteryd.com, Mendez “released his first country song — “3 Beers Ago” — in spring 2021 as The O2 Band.” Some of the lyrics read: “I’ve got some records that will blow your mind/I’ve got a big plush bed that I bought online/And I turn on the hot tub from my phone/Girl I don’t wanna come down all the way like this strong / I just wish I could take you home / Since we said hello / 3 beers ago.
Mendez told Voyageemia in a June 6, 2019 interview, “Although I’ve always written lyrics with beats in mind, I’ve never had the opportunity to turn them into music. After many failed attempts, I never managed to get my hands on the piano or the guitar.”
Mendez continued, “I wanted a way to take my writing to something more than just one-page poetry. That all changed when I found out my cousin Trism was producing music and he was damn good at it! We started recording together and now we look forward to releasing many of our creations.”
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