Meet the soldier competing on 'The Voice'

By KARLA WARD | Lexington Herald-Leader | Published: March 5, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Tribune News Service) Fort Knox-based Army recruiting college instructor Samuel Wilco sent coaches Kelly Clarkson and Nick Jonas spinning their chairs this week with his smooth rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Lately.”

Competitors on the show, which airs new episodes Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern time, will continue on to battle rounds and knockout rounds pitting members of the same team against each other. Finally, the remaining competitors will perform on live shows, and the television audience will vote for their favorites.


Wilco, a 39-year-old sergeant first class, said in an interview Tuesday that “The Voice” is his wife’s favorite show, and he decided to audition because of her encouragement.

“I watch it with her, and she’s always saying, ‘I can see you on there,’” he said.

Wilco, who grew up singing in church and continues to sing as part of a worship band, describes his musical influences as “a mixture of rock and soul and, I would say, R&B.”

But regardless of what genre he’s singing, he said his focus is always on choosing songs with an inspirational theme.

Wilco, originally from South Carolina, has been based at Fort Knox for the past three years. He said he plans to retire from his career with the Army in a year, and he’d love to be able to have a second career singing songs that help draw people closer together and closer to God.

Wilco can’t divulge specifics about upcoming episodes of the show but, he said, “So far, it has been an absolute dream, and I’ve had a great time.”

Wilco, who has 18-year-old twins and a 12-year-old daughter, ultimately decided to join Jonas’ team, saying that while he loves Clarkson, “My kids love Nick.”

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Samuel Wilco, a sergeant first class, is a competitor on "The Voice."