The Voice Season 13 Contestant Spotlight Chris Weaver
Watch The Voice season 13 contestant, Chris Weaver perform Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness” for his Blind Audition. The performance earned him a four chair turn, but it was Jennifer Hudson, who eventually nabbed the singer for her team. The two had met before. He performed for the singer at a Broadway party and she was so impressed with her performance, she threw a shoe at him!
Twenty-nine year old Chris Weaver is from Long Island, New York. The singer is also known as drag queen, Nedra Belle. As Chris, he works as a worship leader at church, but as Nedra Belle he dominates a stage with his incredible voice and confidence. On his Twitter account, Chris shared that “I love to Laugh and Party and Spill the T.”
Earlier this year Chris had a story about his life run on nbcnews.com, and in it he talked about the strain being gay put on his church life. When he came to terms with his sexuality, his church, which was not accepting, offered him the option to leave or go to a therapist to try and change his orientation. Chris took the former, but leaving the church really stung and though he enjoyed his work there, he found it highly unlikely he’d work in a church ever again. That all changed one day while on a subway.
“The church that I am at now, I didn’t find it. It found me,” Chris explained in the article. “I had just moved back a day or two before New Year’s Eve. This man comes up to me on the subway and tells me, ‘You sing.’ I wasn’t even singing at the time but he just said he knew I sang. He asked me to sing something for him so I sang something for him in the subway.”
Chris’s performance was very well received by the man and the people on the subway. The man worked at a church and invited him to visit and would later offer him the opportunity to join as a member of their worship team, which Chris happily accepted. Later he would find a way to marry his love for church and drag by incorporating Nedra Belle into a Christmas event.
“Drag is an opportunity, a way to reach people,” Chris went on to say. “People want this relationship with Christ. But they don’t feel there’s a place they can go and do that. Maybe my shows help do that.”
As Nedra Belle, Chris frequently performs at bars and other such venues. He has made appearances on the Youtube series, Drunk Makeover, and occasionally posts on his social media about what he is up to. Chris will bring to this season of The Voice his strong voice, creativity, and of course, Nedra Belle.
NBC News Article: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/christian-drag-queen-nedra-belle-finds-acceptance-church-n761691
Overall Thoughts: I think Chris is going to be very polarizing with the wide scope of viewers who watch The Voice. While there will be those that “get him” and love him for his voice and everything he represents, many will hate him and see him as bizarre. For me personally, looking just at his potential in the competition, I would actually suggest he hold back on bringing out Nedra Belle and stick to just performing as Chris. I think that Chris’s voice is so incredible that I don’t think he needs her to do well. Holding her back would also bypass any potential critics who claim he isn’t taking things seriously when he’s performing in drag. However, if he does choose to perform in drag and go there, he better go all the way there, because I would love to see the first drag queen perform on The Voice. Because I see him as so polarizing, if he chooses to perform in drag I see very little chance he ends up anywhere near the finale; performing solely as Chris he might have a chance though.
1- Glitter In The Air, by Pink
2- I Am Changing, from Dreamgirls
3- Don’t Rain On My Parade, from Funny Girl
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