Big names frequently appear on The Voice, but typically, these stars take the stage for guest performances and nothing else. This time, however, a familiar face is stepping into the spotlight in hopes of reigniting his already impressive career. He looks a bit different these days, but former child star Billy Gilman is as charming as ever. Believe it or not, he's 28 years old and ready to make his mark not as a child star but as a full-grown, sophisticated singer.
Shattering that child star perception can be tricky (as countless musicians have discovered over the years), especially after suffering the natural vocal changes that accompany puberty. Prior to his performance on tonight's episode of The Voice, Gilman offered some insight into the struggles he's faced and how he's dealt with multiple personal and professional setbacks.
Clearly, Gilman's goal is to use The Voice as a launchpad for his big comeback. It's actually a really smart idea; waltzing into a new record deal is easier said than done, but he'll be a lot more convincing with a larger (and younger) fan base and, better yet, a reality TV victory. Although people are already claiming that he has an advantage over the other contestants, I'm convinced that he'll have to work super hard to prove that he's not just a has-been. After tonight's episode, he's well on his way.
The first step to a reality TV-based career comeback, of course, is impressing the coaches. Before they turned their big red chairs, they had no idea that the guy on stage was once a country music sensation. They might not have recognized his voice or his face, but they did recognize his name!
The judges were full of praise for Gilman and his rendition of Adele's "When We Were Young." Adam Levine — who was the first to turn around — claimed that Gilman could "be the guy" to win the entire season. Levine's predictions frequently prove correct, so I will not be at all surprised if Gilman walks away with a Season 11 victory. If he does, however, it won't just be the result of his childhood fame — he'll earn that victory with his spectacular voice and charming personality.
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