Here are 8 Iowans who were hits on reality TV. Courtney Crowder/The Register
Is there something in the water over at Lutheran Church of Hope?
A second Iowa singer and Hope worship leader received the coveted four-chair turn on Monday’s episode of “The Voice.”
Jon Mero, a stage name for John Cheatem, described himself as a pop artist who strives “to connect with people and put my emotions into the song.”
And, boy, did he do just that.
Maybe more telling than all four celebrity coaches turning their chairs and bickering over who would get to work with Mero was Adam Levine comparing the Des Moines native to another pretty famous Midwestern singer.
“I think about Prince because there is this thing about you, how you move up there, how you connect to the people you are singing to,” Levine said. “That is such an impossible thing to teach and it has to be in your DNA.
“So when I say it would be an honor to work with you, I mean it,” Levine continued. “Because I honestly see this as a step on the never-ending staircase of your career.”
Jennifer Hudson, who fellow Iowan Chris Weaver selected as his coach, then chimed in saying that she loves to see people “own their moment” like Mero had in his performance of Bruno Mars’ “Versace on the Floor.”
“You can tell you know you are a star and then the voice on top of it, that means you are holding all the power in your hands,” Hudson said. “You commanded the room and you didn’t shy away.”
Like Levine and Hudson before them, Blake Shelton and Miley Cyrus said that Mero had an indescribable presence on stage. Shelton even asked if he was a trained dancer because of his fancy footwork.
“I wanted to hit that button for you because you deserve it because you are an incredible singer,” Shelton said.
For those who don’t watch the reality singing competition, which won its fourth Emmy in September, “The Voice” features up-and-coming musicians auditioning for four superstar celebrity coaches.
Each week, the musicians compete in challenges each week to try to win the title of The Voice.
But the auditions are blind, so coaches are facing away from the contestants as they sing. Only when a coach decides he or she wants the singer on his or her team do they turn around and see the person behind the voice. The artist gets to choose the team they want to be on and the coach they want to work with from among those that turned their chair.
As if all the coaches’ praise wasn’t enough, Mero’s mother was making enough noise backstage to get invited out on to the stage.
“This lady right here is the entire reason I am on this stage,” Mero said.
“My mom is a person who trusts me,” he continued, tearing up. “She loves what I do and she has encouraged me every step of the way.”
But then came the moment — as it so often does on “The Voice” — for Mero to make a tough decision and choose a coach.
And he had to go with Levine.
After all, the guy compared him to Prince!
The blind auditions will end after Tuesday night's show. Next week, Weaver and Mero will return to “The Voice” stage to really get the competition started.
The Voice airs at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday on NBC.