When his team doesn’t make the Super Bowl, what’s an NFL player to do? Apparently, go on CBS’s Most Valuable Performer to show off some of his not-so-hidden talents.
Of the six contestants on the show, which aired on Thursday night at 8 p.m., half of them were Baltimore Ravens giving us an unfair advantage out of the gate.
First up was the always entertaining Brandon Williams who, clad in a gold sequin jacket, broke out some falsetto, vibrato, and signature dance moves while he sang “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars. The celebrity judges were wowed by his energy and level of crowd participation.
The next Raven to perform was running back Alex Collins, whose moves we have seen in the end zone, but never quite like this. Collins, with a partner and dance troupe, performed traditional Irish dancing—kilts, high-stepping, and all—to a sped-up Ed Sheeran track. Judge Brandon Marshall could hardly believe the fancy footwork.
A few more contestants showed off their skills on piano, guitar, and, oddly, dog training. But the real moment came when kicker Justin Tucker stepped up to the mic and belted out Luciano Pavarotti’s version of “Ave Maria.” His silky, emotional vocals seemed to come as a surprise to the crowd and judges (especially a flustered Katharine McPhee).
The show’s host, LL Cool J, announced the competition’s three finalists, but we knew who the clear winner was all along. After Tucker’s name was announced, confetti rained down, his wife Amanda came to celebrate on stage, and the kicker announced that his $50,000 prize would be donated to Baltimore School for the Arts.
“This will hopefully keep encouraging Baltimore’s youth to stay involved with music, dance, and fine arts,” he said.
We may not have much to celebrate on Super Bowl Sunday, but at least we have the most accurate kicker in the NFL with operatic pipes to boot. Even Steelers fans were impressed.