Kelly Clarkson loved Michael Williams' performance on NBC's The Voice, but fellow judge Nick Jonas was the one who hit the buzzer Monday night to add Williams to his team.
"I can't wait to coach you." Jonas said. "I'm happy to have you."
Williams, 18, a home-schooled student who has performed for two years at Kings Island, sang Lauren Daigle's "You Say" at the blind auditions Monday in the fourth episode of NBC's 18th season. During blind auditions, the judges sit with their backs to the singer.
When Clarkson turned around after Williams' song, her first words were: "You cutie! You look like a young Tom Cruise!"
Williams replied, "I've gotten that before."
Then Clarkson praised his performance.
"I love your voice. You just showcased all these things – the lower range, the intensity, the passion. (And) that falsetto is going to be killer once its fully, like, nailed. If you had nailed that, it would have been like one of the best auditions we've heard. You have a really incredible gift."
Jonas encouraged him to practice his falsetto. "Just do that for hours," he said.
NBC publicist Taylor Niemi provided this bio for Williams:
Michael asked for voice lessons for Christmas when he was 6. His parents were surprised by the request since they lived in a small town where their life revolved around sports, but they agreed to pay for the lessons. Shortly after, Michael got involved in community theater and began performing at local events. At 10, Michael was diagnosed with a digestive disease that kept him from playing sports, so he relied on music even more. He is now starting his second year singing at the local amusement park and enjoys singing all different genres. Michael comes to The Voice ready to experience music outside of his small town."
His Twitter (@michaeltcwill) bio describes Williams as "Pop singer from Cinci! My dream is to do music professionally. Jesus is why I live. Made for music."
Williams performed in Kings Island's "Country Flashback” show last summer and in the WinterFest “Holly Jolly Trolley” show, says Chad Showalter, Kings Island communications director.
"Michael is one of the most talented performers to come through Kings Island in the last decade. His managers describe him as kind and sincere, and a pleasure to work with," Showalter says.
Williams is a home-schooled student who will graduate in the spring, Showalter says.
"Even though he plans to return to the amusement park for the 2020 season in April, everyone at the park is rooting for him to win it all on Season 18 of The Voice," Showalter says. (He also noted that Kings Island is hosting open auditions this week for singers, dancers, instrumentalists, performers and technicians.)
In May, one singer will be named "The Voice" for the 18th season and receive a recording contract as the grand prize.