Mr. Rozzi has seen it all.
The Greensboro rapper aka Ken Fuller already knows how tonight’s episode of “The Voice” will turn out for his fiancé Vanessa Ferguson, the Greensboro singer who has been slaying the judges on the show since her rendition of “Don’t Let Me Down” by the Chainsmokers earned her a spot on Alicia Keys’ team.
Rozzi sat through all the tapings of the show for months out in Los Angeles. So while everybody else in the room has no idea what song she will sing, or if she will emerge victorious in tonight’s battle and make it to the live playoffs next week, Rozzi already knows. But he’s not talking — to do so would violate the terms in a stack of documents that the show’s lawyers had him sign before its first episode had even aired.
We’re in the house he and Vanessa share on the west side of Greensboro — family and friends filling the couches and armrests, the chairs at the dining room table, ducking through the cutout window in the kitchen to see the screen. A poster of his fiancé, four feet wide, hangs above the couch. Before her slot airs, Rozzi hangs a painted portrait of his bride-to-be on the wall above the television.
Rozzi passes out glasses of white wine and then takes his position near the set, leaning into an armchair with an afghan draped over the back.
We go quiet for the intro to her battle tonight against Jack Cassidy, scion of a showbiz clan that includes Shaun Cassidy, whose visage was once affixed to pillowcases and sold to teenage girls. The intro includes a piece on Rozzi himself, and his face grows vulnerable for a moment as he watches her talk about him onscreen, right before his phone starts lighting up in his hand.
Vanessa’s work on Gladys Knight’s “If I Were Your Woman” is transcendent: her mastery of the low end, her tasteful runs, her absolute control. Alicia Keys slaps her podium as Vanessa hits the big note, while in his chair in Greensboro Rozzi holds a clenched fist in the air for the duration. Before his fiancé finishes, Rozzi slides his thumb across his throat.
When it’s over, Gwen Stefani thanks Vanessa for the performance. “My god,” Blake Shelton says. Alicia Keys calls it “impressive.” And Adam Levine predicts a win.
Now Rozzi’s by the kitchen, scrolling through his texts and IMs, smiling like a man in love. He knew she would be moving on to the next round. And he knows something else — something that everyone in his house tonight is aware of, but has yet to be revealed to the television audience and the judges themselves.
“She’s still holding back,” Rozzi says. The room hums in agreement.