The Manti Te'o story has been likened to the reality TV show Catfish, but now reality television is actually involved. Us Weekly reports that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man reported to have been the hoax's mastermind, auditioned for the upcoming season of NBC's singing competition The Voice. And according to Us's "insider" Tuiasosopo "had this insane sob story before [he sang]." The story centered around a Christian band that Tuiasosopo and his cousins had started. According to the source, Tuiasosopo claimed that the band was headed to perform at a youth conference in Nevada when they got into a big car accident with a truck that might have left one of them brain dead, but actually everyone was fine.
That's raised some eyebrows this morning, since the original Deadspin report on Te'o had asked questions about the link between a car accident involving Tuiasosopo (then reported by way of the Instagram photo above at right, with Tuiasosopo on the left) and an alleged car accident involving the non-existent girlfriend Lennay Kekua just a month before: "Was this Lennay Kekua?"
The Us source said Tuiasosopo passed the required "background check and psych evaluation" to appear on The Voice, then performed Matisyahu's "One Day," but none of the judges felt compelled to pick him. Tuiasosopo has been silent since the story broke Wednesday night, and we're fascinated to see if his audition will air in light of the scandal — Tuiasosopo's Voice participation was mentioned on the Today show this morning, so at least someone at NBC is interested.
Update: And here's a video of Tuiasosopo, who appears to have a quite a history, actually singing:
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