A singer from Worcester had judges on “The Voice” holding back tears Monday night during a soulful performance of “River” by Leon Bridges.
Twenty-nine year old Ricky Duran enthralled all four judges during the show’s final audition round, with Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Kelly Clarkson, and John Legend all turning their chairs around to watch the singer belt out the song.
“I grew up listening to blues and rock n’ roll,” Duran told the judges, “and I’ve been venturing into more soul and R&B.”
That much was clear. During Duran’s emotional performance, Legend mouthed the lyrics, swayed, and threw his hands in the air, while the other judges looked visibly moved. They gave him a standing ovation.
“Ricky, I was listening to your singing there, and I want you to know that on my place in Oklahoma I have a river,” Shelton said, hoping to pursuade Duran to join his team on the show. “And I’d love to take you to it -- if you want to go. That was a performance that clearly had us all from the beginning, you know. And as these chairs turned around it just gave you more confidence, like ‘man, I’m just going to let it fly.’ ”
Before the Berklee grad chose his coach, he revealed a bit of personal music trivia.
“I’d just like to say, the first concert I ever went to was a No Doubt concert,” said Duran, who recently moved to Austin, Texas. “I think I was like 10 years old.”
Stefani beamed, but Duran picked Shelton.
Hayley Kaufman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.