Dozens of artists sang their hearts out during “The Voice” blind auditions, but only one person earns bragging rights as YouTube‘s most viral artist of Season 16: Jej Vinson. This 22-year-old singer from Davao, Philippines received a four-chair turn from Kelly Clarkson, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and John Legend, ultimately deciding to join Team Kelly. Over the past few weeks Jej’s audition video has amassed more than 4.3 million views, just ahead of Domenic Haynes of Team Adam who comes in at 4.2 million views. Re-watch Jej’s “Voice” performance video above.
For his blind audition Jej took on Drake‘s “Passionfruit” and caused all four coaches to press their “I Want You” buttons. Kelly laid it all on the line when she told Jej, “I can win this show with you. You’re incredible, man. I turned around and I was like, ‘What?’ And it was so effortless.” She then added that his runs had “finesse,” disagreeing with John who thought his runs were more “precise.”
Kelly concluded, “I’m gonna tell you this right now, too. If you want to be strategic … I have one male. He’s in a trio of two girls and they’re siblings. They all have a plethora of guys. I would just love the opportunity to work with you, man.” Before choosing Kelly as his coach, Jej exclaimed, “This is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.”
As for the other coaches’ pitches, Adam said that he wanted to work with Jej so that people could “feel” him instead of just hear him, John raved that his voice “soared,” and Blake said that he was “nervous” talking to him because, “We all feel like we’re looking at the winner of ‘The Voice’ this season.”
According to NBC’s bio, “Jej was born and raised in the Philippines in a traditional Filipino family. He started singing karaoke after watching his parents sing in choir. When he was 15, his parents moved the family to America for a better life and landed in South Dakota. At 18, Jej joined an a cappella camp in Los Angeles and knew music was his calling. The family packed up and followed Jej to California, where he studies music at USC and was formerly the music director of the school’s a cappella group. Outside of school, Jej has a part-time job at a restaurant.”