He had two judges to choose from when he wowed viewers on “The Voice.”
Carter Rubin, 15, from Shoreham, auditioned for the NBC show back in July and had to keep it a secret until it aired last week.
“Early on in 2020, I went to an audition in Boston,” Rubin said. “And I was lucky enough to keep progressing after that.”
Things halted for a bit because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but eventually he was flown out to California to do a live, blind audition in front of some big names: Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson.
After taking the stage, he wowed both Stefani and Legend with his cover of Lewis Capaldi’s “Before You Go.”
“You do not look like your voice,” Stefani told Rubin. Legend said he’s the youngest contestant he has ever turned his chair for.
This led the two judges to battle over the Shoreham-Wading River High School sophomore. He ultimately chose Stefani.
“She is the sweetest person ever,” he said. “She gives great advice and that’s why I went with her.
Rubin has been performing publicly at venues across Long Island since he was young.
“I’ve been singing ever since I could talk,” he said jokingly.
He chose Capaldi’s powerful ballad because it meant something to him. His older brother, Jack, was diagnosed with Autism. Rubin said the song, to him, is about being there for someone in need.
“My brother and I have a strong connection,” he said. “And I always want to be there to help him.”
He said his brother, along with his family and schoolmates, are beyond proud of him now that the cat’s out of the bag.
“They were so surprised because I had to keep it a secret for so long,” he said. “So, I was excited to be able to share what I’ve been doing this past summer.”
A singer in the school choir, and always involved with theatre, he decided to take a chance on “The Voice” to inspire others.
“I wanted to inspire others to follow their dreams,” he said. “It’s brought me so much joy and I want to heal other people with my voice, especially with times like these … People need music now more than ever.”
His mother, Alonna Rubin, founded the local nonprofit Families In Arms, which helps to support families with Autism. Rubin often performs at events for the organization, and she said she couldn’t be prouder of both her kids.
“The biggest compliment that I’ve gotten since his audition is that he has the most beautiful, genuine soul,” she said. “To me there’s nothing more that I can be proud of …. Once again, he amazes me.”