Veteran Mikele Buck has made a name for himself.
As a soldier in the Iraq war, he served his country, and as a contestant on The Voice, he left the judges speechless.
Now, coaches Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton are fighting over who gets to bring the country singer onto their team. Their spirited dispute even spilled over into social media. People are taking sides, and Buck is in the middle of it all.
So, what was so special about the message this soldier-turned-singer belted out on live TV?
Buck’s song was dedicated to a friend and fallen comrade, a military veteran who took his own life after leaving the service. Even for Buck’s first audition for the contest, it left the judges in tears.
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The veteran shared his thoughts on the veteran suicide epidemic in a pre-taped segment.
“Everyone is worrying about who’s kneeling for a flag or what some politician said when we’ve got this problem,” he said. “I don’t get it.”
The song Buck chose to sing was “She Used to Be Mine” by Brooks & Dunn. Being more than just casual country fans, Clarkson and Shelton were engrossed by the performance from the very start.
Behind the scenes, a secret deal was working to keep Buck off of Team Blake. Clarkson and The Voice coach Adam Levine had promised to keep any and all country crooners out of Shelton’s hands. Perhaps they’ve come to realize just what Team Blake can do with that sort of talent.
The coaches held back their admiration for the singer until the very end. Clarkson kept her back to Buck, as did Shelton until he had nearly finished the song.
But they weren’t disinterested, they were playing for keeps.
As Country Living reports, Clarkson name dropped her country-music connections. Her mother-in-law is country legend Reba McEntire, and her husband is Shelton’s manager. On the other end, Shelton tried to win Buck over with a winning track record, boasting more season wins than any other Voice coach in the show’s 14 seasons.
The decision came down to a little girl. One of Buck’s daughters is a big fan of Clarkson. Team Kelly won out in the end.
Clarkson was quick to celebrate her victory on Twitter. Now she has a country singer on her side who could someday turn into a superstar, spreading his important message.
Feeling cut out of the contest, Shelton had a few choice words for his fellow coaches. All in good fun, of course. Right, Blake?
One thing is for sure, this isn’t the last you’ve heard of Mikele Buck! Watch his standout performance in the video below!
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.