- The Voice contestant Dexter Roberts previously competed on American Idol.
- The country singer's past does not break any eligibility rules, but some fans are still not happy.
The Blind Auditions of The Voice aren't even over yet, but contestant Dexter Roberts is already a frontrunner in the competition. After the country singer earned a four-chair turn with his powerful performance of "Like a Cowboy," he chose to be on Blake Shelton's team (much to the disappointment of Kelly Clarkson, Adam Levine, and John Legend). Fans at home were just as impressed with the 27-year-old's vocals, and some even suggested that he could make it all the way to the finale. However, there's something controversial about Dexter's past that was never mentioned during his audition.
Just before airing his performance, The Voice showed footage of the Alabama native explaining the "real big setback" he had several years ago, when his music career was "going really good."
"I was hunting with some friends in Kentucky and I got real sick. Bad headaches, couldn't eat nothing, couldn't drink much. I went all over the United States to different doctors and couldn't figure out what was wrong with me," Dexter explained. "I just didn't feel like playing any music. That was something that I loved to do and I didn't even have the energy to do it."
After months of unexplained symptoms—which included chest pain, shortness of breath, and migraines—doctors finally diagnosed Dexter with Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever.
Almost five years later, he feels "very blessed" he was able to get medicine in time to treat the disease and his health has improved enough for him to get back on stage. What the contestant didn't mention on air is the music gig that his illness forced him to leave behind.
Long before he auditioned for The Voice, on Fox. The country artist made it so far on the show—he came in seventh place, to be exact—that he landed a spot on the American Idols LIVE! Tour in 2014.
Dexter got sick soon after, and was forced to leave the tour after performing in only in a few shows. was released at the time to address his sudden absence, explaining that "both parties mutually agreed that he would be released from his contractual obligations."
Though not everyone recognizes Dexter from his previous brush with fame, his recent Blind Audition wasn't his first foray back into music since his illness. In December 2014, the singer signed a record deal with First Launch Records and released his first EP, "Dream About Me." The label soon folded, but Dexter returned in 2017 with his follow-up EP, ""
"My dream is to be out there playing all the time and being on the radio," Dexter said. "So, I want to give this another shot."
Fans have mixed opinions about the American Idol alum's return to reality television.
Some seem excited to see him compete again.
While others aren't as pleased.
Regardless of how people feel, Dexter's past with Idol does not break any for The Voice. There are no stipulations that specifically state that candidates who have appeared on other shows before cannot compete, and a representative for NBC confirmed to Ikaroo.info that there are "no rules against it."
We're not sure when Dexter will return for the Battle Rounds, but when he does, people should focus on his vocals—and not his past.