He works on the assembly line at Chrysler but hopes to one day have a music career. 28-year old Rio Souma just gave the biggest performance of his life in the second round of “The Voice,” where he battled against Casme, who is from New Orleans.
Souma and Casme are being coached by John Legend. He had the pair sing Motown’s “You’re All I Need To Get By” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell and the two knocked it out of the park making the decision on who to keep and who to send home a very difficult one for Legend.
“I did not feel like I’m in a singing competition right now. I feel like I’m on the Grammy’s,” said Gwen Stefani after the performance. “Both of you are so natural. Very equally matched. Rio, your voice is stunning.”
“Rio, you have such great tone, the melodies you would go for and the little falsetto thing. I love your voice,” Kelly Clarkson said. “But there are few people in this world who were born to be on a stage, and Casme, you made me seem not comfortable in my own skin.”
“Rio, I was really locked into your stage presence and your connection with the song. You just have your own unique way of performing,” said Blake Shelton. “I did see how incredible Casme is, but I can’t find any reason you can’t pick Rio and be exactly right about it, too.”
“I think this was the most thoroughly, engrossing, joyful, well-put together performance we’ve seen in the battles,” Legend said. “It was just beautiful. Casme is who she is. I talked to Rio that you have to match that energy and he really did. You looked in control and having so much fun. You have wonderful tone. It just felt like you belonged up here.”
In the end, Legend chose Casme. “Honestly this is a tough decision. I’m just honored I got to work with the both of you.” The other coaches had a chance to steel, but did not use it on Rio sending him home after a nice run on the show.
Souma graduated from Cass Tech High School in Detroit and was also a member of the Mosaic Youth Theatre when he was 12.
We first met the 28-year old Chrysler worker during the hit reality singing competition’s Blind Audition last month when he got John Legend off of his feet performing Smokey Robinson’s “Crusin’.” Souma joined Team Legend giving him a chance to work with one of his idols.
“John Legend is someone who I wanted to work with because he is one of my inspirations,” Souma told MLive. “I admire his ability transcend different genres of music. It’s amazing to be able to get certain tools from him that will aid me as an artist and just help me develop as a performer as well.”
Souma still has his day job as a production assembly line worker at Chrysler and said he was thankful the autoworker is giving him some time off to be on the TV show. He hopes “The Voice” will help him end up with a music career someday.
“I like working at the plant. It’s great money. It’s a job a lot of people in this city covet, but it’s just not where my heart is. I’ve been wanting to do music for so long I’m willing to leave my job for it if I have to.”
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