GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Minneapolis resident and former NFL player Esera Tuaolo survived The Voice's Knockout Round on Monday night with a stellar performance of Luther Vandross' "Superstar."

Coach Blake Shelton picked the 49-year-old to advance over Adam Cunningham, who was then stolen by Coach Adam Levine.

“It was awesome," Tuaolo recalled. "Absolutely amazing.”

The news wasn't a surprise to Tuaolo on Monday, but he's had to keep his journey on The Voice a secret.

“It was taped three months ago," he said. "It’s so hard because you can’t say anything because you’re under contract.”

Tuaolo said one of the hardest parts of that night was watching his competitor, Adam Cunningham, perform first. He knew he had to defeat his friend in order to advance.

"What was so nerve wracking was that Adam, who I am so close to – the whole Team Blake, we're so close – he went first and just knocked it out of the ball park and I am sitting there sort of nervous," Tuaolo said.

Cunningham took Tuaolo's victory in stride, congratulating him in a tweet that said, "It's not every day I get knocked out by an NFL lineman!"

Tuaolo never expected to be in the playoffs again after his NFL career, but with his new perspective, he's offering some advice to others.

"Try everything," he said. "Because you never know what you're good at."