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The Voice 2022: Who is Orlando Mendez? 'Cuban Cowboy', 26, sparks fight between Blake Shelton and Camila Cabelo

For his 'The Voice' audition performance, Orlando chose 'Beer Never Broke My Heart', and Camila was the first coach to turn for him
UPDATED SEP 20, 2022
'The Voice' Season 22 contestant Orlando Mendez (Orlando Mendez/ Instagram)
'The Voice' Season 22 contestant Orlando Mendez (Orlando Mendez/ Instagram)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Blake Shelton may be an eight-time champion on 'The Voice', but the OG coach/ judge may have to watch out for his new fellow coach/ judge- Camila Cabello. Despite Season 22 being her first stint as the coach on the singing competition show, Camila seems to be armored with all the strategic tactics to get the talented aspiring singers into her Team Camila, especially four-chair turn contestants!

After getting Morgan Myles, the first four-chair turning contestant onto her team, Camila got her second win when she managed to get her fellow Miami-based, Cuban-American singer Orlando Mendez to join Team Camila. The 'Havana' singer considered it to be a huge win considering Orlando, a self-proclaimed 'Cuban Cowboy'/ country singer picked her over country legend Blake! If you're curious to know more about Orlando and what prompted him to pick Camila over Blake, then we got you covered.


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Who is Orlando Mendez?

Orlando is a 26-year-old self-proclaimed Cuban Cowboy from Miami, Florida. As a Cuban-American, Orlando grew up around a lot of culture and listening to reggaeton and salsa. But during middle school, Orlando found himself feeling drawn to country music, ad he felt that the genre's storytelling aspect spoke to him. So, he eventually started a band and began performing country songs.
The band became an instant hit. In case you're wondering how Orlando got his cool nickname then you can thank one of his very creative audience members for it. The 26-year-old recounted how during one of his performances, someone from the audience yelled out Cuban Cowboy at him. The singer immediately loved it and decided to stick with it. His mother Larissa joked about how the family went from salsa dancing to two-stepping! The 26-year-old declared he wants to show the world what a Cuban Cowboy from Miami can do by joining 'The Voice'. 


Orlando Mendez on 'The Voice'

Ahead of stepping onto 'The Voice' stage for his audition, Orlando explained how it would be a tough choice for him to pick between Blake and Camila, if both the talented musicians turned for him. While Blake's status as a country legend is a huge factor, Camila is a pop star from his hometown and connects with his story, leaving Orlando confused. He however added that if they both fought for him, then it would be a game-time decision for him. 

For his audition performance, Orlando chose 'Beer Never Broke My Heart'. Camila was the first coach to turn for him, and soon Gwen, Blake, and John followed suit. As he anticipated, Blake and Camila began bickering amongst themselves to get Orlando on their respective teams. While Blake tried pitching himself by saying he would help the young Miami native to flow between genres, Camila claimed she would help him in the journey to becoming the artist he wants to be. 

Although both the coaches made some very strong points to pitch themselves after some deliberation Orlando decided to pick Camila over Blake. He explained how the Miami and Cuban connection they shared swayed him into picking the 'Havana' singer. Camila was beyond thrilled over getting yet another country artist on her team against Blake.

We can't wait to watch Orlando's journey on 'The Voice'.

'The Voice' Season 22 airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC, and is available for streaming on Peacock.