Carter Rubin, a 14-year-old student from Shoreham, stunned the four coaches on "The Voice" Monday night as the youth's "piercing and brilliant" voice, far beyond his years, helped him break through the singing competition's blind auditions and onto Gwen Stefani's team.
Initially bathed in darkness, Rubin, the son of David and Alonna Rubin, begins Lewis Capaldi's emotional ballad "Before You Go." With the four coaches' chairs turned to face the audience, Stefani, believing she is hearing an adult female singer, muses, "She's going to be big." When fellow coach John Legend hits his buzzer to move Rubin forward, the house lights come on to reveal a teenage boy.
Stefani then hits her buzzer, and as her chair turns to face the stage she sees Carter Rubin, dressed in bluejeans, black shirt and blazer. Following his song, she marvels, "You do not look like your voice, OK? … I cannot believe what I'm hearing and seeing right now. This is a shock." Jokes fellow coach Blake Shelton, "Where is this person who was singing?" When Rubin says he's form Long Island, Legend exclaims, "Strong Island!" Fellow coach Kelly Clarkson compliments him on his smile and tells him, "You have a really great voice, especially finding out that you're 14. That's insane."
"You sounded polished, you sounded strong, your voice has control, which a lot of people your age wouldn't have," Legend analyzes. "And your tone is just piercing and brilliant and it just shimmers out there."
Rubin's mother, the founder and president of the autism advocacy group Families in Arms, was present with her son at Universal Studios Hollywood, where the NBC show is produced.
Viewing remotely was his father, his older brother Jack — who Carter explained "was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2" — and his grandfather, the Valley Stream-raised Ric Mango, a former singer who performed locally at venues including what was then the Westbury Music Fair and the summer concert series in Long Beach. Mango was involved in some capacity with the 1960s group Jay and the Americans ("This Magic Moment"), although the band's website does not list him as having been a formal member.