Nini Iris is living out a real-life fan fiction on The Voice. Just a few seconds in to her blazing performance of Everybody Loves an Outlaw’s “I See Red,” all four of the show’s judges turned around for the 27-year-old hopeful, including her longtime idol, Niall Horan.
Horan and co-coaches John Legend, Gwen Stefani and Reba McEntire each pulled out all the stops to convince Iris to join their team, with the “Slow Hands” singer even getting down on his knees and begging, “Please, please, please.” Seconds before, he even warned the others: “I’m gonna fight hard for this one, so you better get ready.”
Ultimately, the power belter went in Horan’s direction — although he may have had a slight advantage. “I gotta say that I was a big One Direction fan,” Iris confessed before choosing her coach. “I’m not ashamed to say that I wrote maybe a few fanfictions when I was a teenager.”
The revelation earned a flattered grin from Horan, meanwhile Legend wanted to know what exactly Iris’ writings entailed. “When you’re young and you love somebody you just wanna meet them so bad,” she explained. “So you write about your dreams of meeting them, that’s all.”
“You know what’s sad is when reality doesn’t live up to the dreams that we’ve had,” the “All of Me” musician joked in response.
“You know what’s been really sad? I met John Legend,” Horan quipped back.
This season of The Voice marks Horan’s second turn as a coach. He’s also the show’s current returning champion, having won season 23 with his protégé Gina Miles.
He and Stefani recently chatted about this season on The Jennifer Hudson Show, where he impressed both ladies with a spot-on impression of Stefani’s husband and Voice veteran Blake Shelton. The “Hollaback Girl” artist also lamented the struggles of building a team with Horan as an opponent, joking that all of the young women who audition (such as Iris) favor the former boy band star.
“I lose every time because all those girls come out and are like, ‘Niall … look at his eyes. Oh my god, he’s so cute!’” she told Hudson. “And then next thing you know, I’m a loser.”
Watch Nini Iris’ audition above.
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