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Former Vikings defensive tackle advances on 'The Voice'

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Esera Tuaolo / Wikimedia Commons2 / 2

MINNEAPOLIS -- Former Vikings defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo has advanced to the playoffs of NBC’s vocal competition show “The Voice,” after impressing judges with a rendition of Luther Vandross’ “Superstar.”

Tuaolo, 49, of Minneapolis, survived the show’s Knockout Round on Monday night after Blake Shelton chose Tuaolo’s performance over fellow competitor Adam Cunningham’s.

The Hawaii native wore an NFC Championship ring during his blind audition at the beginning of the show’s 13th season.

The Packers drafted Tuaolo in 1991, and he played for the Vikings from 1992 to 1996. He also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers and on the 1999 Atlanta Falcons team that lost the Super Bowl to Denver.

Tuaolo, who is gay, testified against a 2006 bill in the Minnesota Legislature that would have outlawed gay marriage. The activist has written a book, “Alone in the Trenches: My Life As a Gay Man in the NFL.”