By Bailey Faulkner
Appalachian State University alumnus and former basketball player Josh Hunter made an appearance on the season premier of NBC’s hit show The Voice on Monday. The 29-year-old Albany, GA native — going by the stage name JChosen — has already convinced some fans and critics that he may be the frontrunner for the show’s 12th season.
JChosen was able to attract the attention of each of the four celebrity judges (Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton) with his rendition of Marvin Gaye’s classic, “Sexual Healing.” While many contestants would likely fold under the pressure of such a song, JChosen turned each of the judges around in their seats for their chance to include Hunter on their respective teams.
Entertainment Weekly was equally impressed by JChosen’s performance, remarking that the song “helps set a pitch-perfect tone for his range and personality because it’s just as bubbly and earnestly fun of a number as he is.” As a father and special education teacher, JChosen has become “an almost instant fan favorite,” according to Entertainment Weekly.
While each of the four judges obviously wanted JChosen as part of their respective teams, the former ASU student eventually decided that Stefani would serve most effectively as his coach for the show. Somewhat surprised, Stefani seemed thrilled to have JChosen on board for her return to the show after taking two years off.
“I wanted to work with someone that I knew would give me that diversity, different tones and different melodies,” JChosen said.
While at ASU, Hunter studied criminal justice and took to the court as a forward for the university’s basketball team. During his junior year, Hunter started in 24 of the 31 games the school played that year, according to Hunter’s bio on ASU’s website.
While playing basketball at ASU, Hunter had the honor of performing the pregame national anthem on his senior night. Check out a video of the performance below.
Whether its basketball, special education, fatherhood or nationally-recognized vocal talent, Hunter seems to use his work ethic and lovable personality to succeed in seemingly everything he sets out to do.
The Voice fans and High Country natives: keep your eyes on JChosen! He’ll certainly continue receiving increasingly positive national attention.
Check out these pictures from JChosen’s performance.