Even before the top 10 contestants on season 22 of “The Voice” were announced based on viewer votes, the current coaches – Blake Shelton, Camila Cabello, Gwen Stefani and John Legend – all expected a young contender to do it through the eliminations would pose a threat to all other participants: 16-year-old Brayden Lape, who is part of Team Blake. That’s why coaches believe the teenager has what it takes to win it all…
In a press conference ahead of the November 22, 2022 top 10 results show, the season 22 coaches were asked which candidate they thought was the “biggest competition” for the singers on their teams.
“It’s just so interesting how different people glow,” Gwen began. “It’s interesting… like an artist like Brayden, who I’ve loved since he took the stage. But that last gig he made? I think his threat is that he…”
“Lovely,” Cabello interjected before hearing Gwen actually say “so young.”
Cabello exclaimed, “Oh, I’m sorry!” as Legend and Shelton laughed out loud.
“That’s him,” Gwen giggled. “I think he’s in your age group too.”
Still chuckling, Legend added, “He’s very handsome.”
“Excuse me what?” Cabello said, smiling and pretending the word came out wrong. “Talent! Damned. Something’s stuck in my throat.”
Legend then chimed in, saying it wasn’t fair how multi-talented Lape was.
“How come he’s so tall and handsome, can play all sports and sing? That’s not fair. It’s not fair,” he lamented jokingly.
“And the way he performs is very rare for someone so young,” added Stefani. “He’s just so relaxed.”
The legend said: “Very natural.”
“It’s just very natural, yeah, that’s a good way of putting it,” Gwen replied. “So I think he poses a threat in a way that we don’t even understand yet, but America is starting to understand.”
Later that night, Lape – the youngest singer in the competition – performed a cover of Kenny Chesney’s “Come Over” and was told by his coach Shelton that he had a future in country music.
“He’s so naturally gifted,” Shelton exclaimed, then alluded to the other coaches who labeled him the number one threat. “Trust me. Other people on this panel really like you too, just so you know. Man, you just got that thing. You have a solid country voice that’s different and unique. You have a future in country music. Music, not to mention how far you’re going to go on this show. You’ve got it all, man.”
He was only 15 when he first auditioned for the Voice coaches in August. He is a small-town sophomore athlete at Grass Lake High School in Jackson County, Michigan. Although only Shelton turned his chair for the teenager, the other coaches immediately regretted not turning.
Lape isn’t just a performer, he’s a triple threat athlete at his school. According to Michigan Live, the sophomore plays quarterback on the football team — and was just named to the all-conference team — and is also a baseball pitcher and a forward on the basketball team.
One of his home newspapers, the Holland Sentinel, said he learned to play the guitar during the pandemic and took up singing when he was unable to exercise.
“I’ve started doing smaller gigs in the last two years,” he said, adding that he hopes to record and release his own music in the next year. “I’ve written some originals on my own and also teamed up to write a few more songs.”
Lape decided to virtually audition for “The Voice” earlier this year after his mother, Kari Ann, suggested it.
“My journey started with a simple chat with my mother,” he explained. “She asked me if I would be interested in auditioning since it was virtual. I was like, ‘What do I have to lose,’ so I gave it a try,” he said.
After going through a few virtual auditions, he and his mother were flown to Los Angeles to audition for the judges during the blinds.
“With all the nervousness and excitement, it’s hard to remember the whole experience, but seeing Blake turn his chair around towards the end of my song felt so good,” Lape told the Holland Sentinel.
The teenager has credited pop superstar Shawn Mendes, Camilo’s ex-boyfriend, as a huge influence as he had a number one hit on the Billboard charts at the age of 16.
“I like Shawn’s story of a normal teenager making it big,” Lape said.