Illinois Wesleyan Professor takes the stage on “The Voice”

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Sophia Heilman

 Melinda Rodriguez is the adjunct assistant professor of music at IWU.

Turning on the T.V. and flipping through the channels is a mundane activity, catching glimpses of the nightly news, soap operas, comedies and of course reality T.V. 

What is not mundane, is seeing your professor on performing on The Voice.

Wesleyan’s own Melinda Rodriguez auditioned for The Voice singing, “What a Wonderful World.” 

Rodriguez ended up at the audition completely by accident. 

She was called home for a family emergency that happened to be the same day as auditions, where her brother convinced her to go audition.

Rodriguez performed with her family standing behind her, cheering her on. 

Early into the song, Gwen Stefani and Kelly Clarkson turned around, competing to have Rodriguez on their team. 

Although Blake Shelton and John Legend didn’t turn around they both complimented her voice after she finished. 

Legend, was even singing along with Rodriguez while she was auditioning. 

The time came for Rodriguez to decide what team she would be going to, and although both judges made moving arguments, Rodriguez decided on Clarkson. 

Clarkson exhibited a better knowledge of what Rodriguez was also interested in and where she wanted to go with her voice. 

Students themselves are excited to see their professor after she’s gone through this life changing experience. 

One student, Adna Mujović said that Professor Rodriguez is “already coming into teaching with an incredible amount of expertise, knowledge, and performance experience. 

“If anything, being on The Voice means she just gets to show more people what she’s made of,” Mujović said.

The Voice is a learning experience for Rodriguez and she hopes to bring back what she learns to the IWU campus. 

Her journey on the show was stressful as she went through a battle round and Rodriguez’s openent bested her. 

A new Season 17 rule saved Rodriguez and allowed her to continue on Kelly’s team.

Rodriguez has studied music all her life but finds there is still so much more to learn. 

And there is more that she can teach her students when she returns to campus. 

“I just want them to know there is no box. All the music in the world can be yours no matter who you are,” Rodriguez said.