How ‘The Voice’ Led One Contestant To Do Some Excellent Reporting On ISIS

05.27.15 2 years ago 2 Comments

Ben Taub was just a normal contestant on Season 3 of NBC’s The Voice, a part of CeeLo Green’s team. He was knocked out in the early Battle Round of the reality singing show, but all was not lost. Taub held onto the stipend that contestants on the show get, and used it to help fund a quick trip. To the Syrian border.

The purpose of Taub’s trip was to report on a father who was attempting to rescue his son (who, oddly enough, also had a reality TV past, appearing on Move Like Michael Jackson) from ISIS. With grants from Princeton, Columbia, support from The New Yorker, and of course his stipend from The Voice, Taub was able to fund his journey to the Middle East. Ben’s story on the father and son, “Journey To Jihad,” ended up on the front cover of The New Yorker, and on Tuesday morning the 24-year-old went on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to go deeper into his investigation.

This isn’t the first time Ben has gone to the Middle East, telling Morning Joe, “I ended up in Egypt in 2011, I chased a girlfriend to Cairo during the Egyptian revolution.” Once he returned to Princeton, Ben began taking classes from a professor who had covered Syria for NPR and helped guide Taub in his investigation.

Less importantly, re-live Taub’s singing below. It’s a good thing he was smart and talented enough to find a second career, because The Voice contestants don’t typically fare so well after the show’s over.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

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