Former Casper Resident Aquile Debuts On “The Voice” [VIDEO]
It's official - former Casper resident McChale "Aquile" Gunby has hit the big time, with a national television appearance on night two of NBC's The Voice. So, how'd our local favorite fare with the celebrity judges?
The 24-year old Aquile debuted his backstory for America, identified as a San Diegan (his current home) by producers, but gave Wyoming a shout-out as he detailed his upbringing and time in Douglas and Casper - the good, and the bad. He spoke of growing up bi-racial in a small, predominantly white town, and how people's varying "opinions" of him helped mold him as a person, and ultimately a musician.
After getting punched in the jaw at the age of 19, and having his mouth wired shut for 6 weeks as a result, adversity turned into an "amazing blessing", as it ultimately gave him dedicated time to learn the guitar - a story that led host Carson Daly to label him "a fighter".
Aquile took the stage to the delight of the crowd (particularly the ladies) and gave a heartfelt rendition of Elton John's "Your Song", which almost immediately (and simultaneously) turned the chairs of judges Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera. Judge Cee Lo Green eventually hit his button towards the end of the performance, with Blake Shelton being the only one unconvinced (and chided as a "dum-dum" by Levine for not turning around).
When it came time for the judges opinions, they cranked the sales pitch into high gear to get Aquile on their teams, starting with Adam Levine:
I mean, the minute you started singing, it was like this really unique, rich, buttery consistency, and I was like 'Oh my God', because it was so good from the very first note...I do believe that winning 'The Voice' is fantastic, and really being the best, most creative, most impactful version of yourself when you're on this show, and I know I can help you do that.
Judge Christina Aguilera was a little more direct, even flirtatious:
I mean, look. Bottom line, hands down, I was drawn to your voice from the second I heard it. I really got you as a vocalist, and I would love to have you on Team Xtina, and to really take you to that place, you know. My hunger is strong, I kinda want a private concert to be honest...
Cee-Lo posed the question to Aquile:
First of all, this is your big chance - what do you want to get out of it?
Aquile was quick to respond:
I'd like to be challenged. I look forward to whatever music that you have in mind for me...as well as respecting my opinion as an artist.
After a continued sales pitch from Christina, Cee-Lo continued, and explained his delay in joining Adam and Christina:
Just like these two, I got instant gratification from your voice - but I wanted to wait a little while for a bigger payoff, to just see if you could, would - color outside the lines. I definitely see all the potential, and I'm on board.
Aquile thanked the judges for turning around, and "probably changing his life forever" - and after the commercial break, mentioned that it was "one of the hardest decisions he ever had to make", and chose Christina Aguilera, who was quick with the praise:
Aquile...gives me the chills. He was great, from the first note he sang...I had to give it a two-second beat before I pushed my button, but it didn't take very long.
It's official - Aquile is ready to represent on season three, and appears up to the task. We're in contact with both him and "The Voice" producers, and hope to be able to follow his journey closely this season and hear more straight from the source about his experience soon - as well as get more details on a rumored visit home that might even include a chance to see him perform live in the very near future.
Stay tuned - go Aquile!