OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - One Leawood family is especially excited for upcoming episodes of "The Voice" on NBC. They are waiting to cheer on a family member.
Chris Mann jumped into the national spotlight on Super Bowl Sunday with his audition performance in Italian of "Because We Believe" by Andrea Bocelli.
Mann said he was pinching himself the whole time, and he was so nervous he barely remembers what happened.
"I really enjoyed watching it over again and reliving that moment and watching my dad hit an air-home run swing," Mann recalls.
He comes from a musical family, going back generations. His uncle and godfather Scott Beeler said, "My grandmother was a concert pianist. My father was a singer who actually went all the way to Broadway and did some things in LA…A couple of my sister's and I have done some theatre performance and some singing. Chris just comes along and brings all that together and is the real star."
Mann started performing as a teenager in Wichita, Kan. and he worked his way up in the music business, even spending time as an opera performer in Italy. But his road to "The Voice" has been a roller coaster.
"He got signed by Sony records. It was a huge accomplishment for him, and we were all proud and happy for him. But he was dropped by the label before they released it, and it was such a downer for him and for the whole family just because we knew how hard he worked to get there," said Mann's cousin, Tommy Beeler.
Mann credits his family for supporting him through the ups and downs of his career, and the rough times for their family.
While Mann was preparing to audition for the show, his mom was going through treatment for pancreatic cancer. "So during all the surgeries and the not knowing, I was out here getting ready to audition for the voice, which seemed really silly and unimportant…But my mom, and my whole family, my dad, really wanted me to stay, and continue to pursue this. And they've been supporting me for 15 years," Mann recalls.
When his time to shine on "The Voice" came, he knocked it out of the park. Judges Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green wanted Mann on their team, so that left him with an important decision. He decided to join Christina's team, and he's excited about the opportunity's this show can bring.
"She definitely took a chance with somebody like me, as to the show. And I'm really, really thankful for her, for seeing something different in me that's not your typical pop singer," Mann said.
Up next, Mann will compete in the Battle Round of the show, going head to head against one of his teammates. Those episodes are expected to start airing in March.
You can watch Mann's entire first round audition on "The Voice" website at NBC.com/thevoice .