USMagazine, Thursday, January 17, 2013, 4:30pm (PST)
The world was shocked when it was revealed on Jan. 16 that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o's inspirational story of overcoming the death of his grandmother and girlfriend on the same day last fall -- leading the Fighting Irish to an undefeated season -- was a hoax, allegedly conceived by someone named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
But this is not the first sad story Tuiasosopo has reportedly engineered. A source tells Us Weekly that the aspiring singer spun quite a tale for the producers of NBC's The Voice, too -- when he auditioned to be a contestant on the upcoming season.
"He had this insane sob story before [he sang]," an insider reveals to Us. "It would make for great TV."
According to the source, Tuiasosopo told producers he and his cousins started a Christian band together and were on their way to perform at a youth conference in Nevada when they got into a "massive" car accident. He claimed a truck crashed into their vehicle, sending them flip-flopping all over the freeway. He also said doctors thought one of them might have been brain-dead, but miraculously, everyone was fine.
An insider adds that Tuaisosopo "passed a background check and psych evaluation," which is standard for all reality TV show contestants. "Nothing came up, no suspicious behavior," the source says. However, in light of what people now know about the Manti Te'o death hoax, "people now think the sob story is fake."
Not everyone was moved by his performance, though. A source tells Us that Tuaisosopo auditioned in front of Voice judges Shakira, Usher, Blake Shelton, and Adam Levine with Matisyahu's "One Day" -- to no avail.
"No one turned their chair around," the insider says.