TRAVERSE CITY — Ryan Whyte Maloney is out but he isn’t down.
The Traverse City native and “The Voice” contestant was cut from the show Tuesday after making it to the top 20 on Monday. But he said he accomplished what he set out to — to sing a certain song on TV, make his parents proud and show the world that he has talent.
“All I ever wanted is for people to hear me sing and not judge me on my looks, because I’ve been battling my weight all my life,” said Maloney, 33, who lives and performs in Las Vegas. “And ‘The Voice’ gave me a chance to do that. I was so happy to sing ‘Easy’ by Rascal Flatts. I got to sing one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists and to record it with a professional band.
“And I got to tell my dad straight to his face in front of hundreds of people in the room: ‘If you look up in a dictionary what a man and a father should be it would have a picture of my dad next to it.’”
That’s not all the one-time garbage man got.
He now has four iTunes songs to his name, singles he couldn’t otherwise have afforded to have professionally produced. The national exposure also earned him an unexpected performing spot at last Sunday’s American Country Music Awards post-party, invitations to open concerts for country artists including Easton Corbin and Tyler Farr, and a star’s welcome wherever he plays.
“My life right now is the craziest fairy tale,” the father of two said Wednesday. “Literally this morning I had two record label offers from Nashville. But I can’t do anything until the final episode of ‘Voice.’”
Among the thousands of congratulation messages he received during his run on the show was a Twitter shoutout from the band Shinedown. Maloney performed their song, “Second Chance,” on Tuesday’s “playoffs” episode, just minutes after he learned that his apartment was robbed.