He's one of our favorite performers on NBC's "The Voice" and the guy only needs one name: Nakia. Since he burst on the scene a big flurry of hair with the courage to sing Cee Lo Green's own song in the blind rounds to his recent hard-fought win over fellow Texan, Tje Austin, he has definitely become hard to forget.
"Obviously, I can't tell you what was going through Cee Lo's head," Nakia tells Zap2it of his difficult battle round pairing. "But I can tell you what was going on in my mind. I feel like although it was a rough pairing on Tje and I emotionally that it made for great television. And Cee Lo, first and foremost in all of this, knows good entertainment. So, I think that Cee Lo's pairings in the battle rounds have been spot-on, because it makes for great television."
So, it's clear that Nakia appreciates his coach's showmanship, but does he think that Cee Lo is handicapping the team's chances of winning the competition?
"I don't know if it's a handicap for Cee Lo," Nakia says. "But I do know that at the end of the day he's there to win the show. So, if the finale was tomorrow and I'm the person representing Cee Lo in the finale, I feel like he believes in me enough and he's confident in my performance enough to win that performance."
Nakia's pairing wasn't the only controversial decision during "The Voice's" battle rounds. There was also quite an uproar over Blake Shelton's decision to keep country singer Patrick Thomas over pop singer Tyler Robinson. And Nakia says he too was shocked by Blake's choice.
"You have to remember that I haven't seen these performances until you guys saw them," he says. "So, I was just floored at how amazing Tyler was against Patrick. And listening to the feedback and on the show, I was sure that Tyler had won. But, that was not the case. I'm just glad that I'm not a coach on the show, because there's no way I'd want to choose between these artists."
So, while Blake's decision stunned Nakia, he tells us that he thinks that the coach was just fulfilling a promise he made to Patrick during the blind rounds.
"When he turned around his chair, he pleaded with Patrick," Nakia remembers. "And said, 'These other people can't make you a country star. I can make you a country star.' That was certainly a strong promise from Blake and may have something to do with his decision."
Some fans, though, have wondered if Blake's feelings on Tyler's sexuality had something to do with his decision. At the time, Shelton had just apologized for making what appeared to some as anti-gay remarks on Twitter. And it seemed some fans felt that his choice to eliminate Tyler was a sign of his homophobia. Nakia tells us that's not the case at all.
"Trust me," the proudly out gay performer tells us. "From the time I've spent with him, he's the furthest thing from a homophobe. He's so down to earth and he's so ready to party with anyone who has a bottle to drink. Trust me."
In fact, Nakia respects the country singer so much that when we asked him whom he would choose if he had to pick someone other than Cee Lo for his coach, he named Blake.
"He's a good ol' boy," Nakia explains. "He has great taste in music, and he has showed himself to be a real contender on the show for his team to win. So, I think I would go with Blake."
"The Voice" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.
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Photo/Video credit: NBC