Bob Bullee Hopes For A Breakthrough After The Voice Senior
From the moment he lost his eyesight, Rotterdam resident Bob Bullee (63) fought for a chance to become a singer.
Regulars of the show will recognize him from Holland’s Got Talent where he almost made it to the semi-finals with his Sinatra-esque voice, but he never made it to the finals. The Voice Senior could be his breakthrough moment after 35 years of fighting to achieve his dream.
Bob Bullee does not have any social media accounts, but after his impressive performance, host Johnny de Mol and jury member Chantal Janzen break into tears, he decided to open a Facebook account for him.
Not surprisingly, there was a flurry of reactions on Facebook after his performance when Bullee sang the beloved Sinatra classic, “Monday Morning Quarterback” with his deep, vibrant voice.
The Rotterdam man became blind at the age of 25, literally blind from one day to the next because of hereditary eye disease. Back then, he was a baker and at most, he sang some songs in the shower.
“Ah, the blindness…you have to learn to dare to find order in everything, and not to put your fork in your nose. You do lose a lot of your personal freedom, and I had the most trouble with that. But I am an ‘optimist down to the coffin.’ Life is interesting enough to make something beautiful out of everything.”
“Fortunately, I turned out to have other talents,” says Bullee, who decided to have his voice tested by a vocal coach. He sent him to a classical singing school.”I now know that I have a beautiful voice. You earn nothing from false modesty,” he adds grinning. “I sang my first aria within three months of starting. Unfortunately, that blindness hinders me in many ways, for example, when I try to do German opera. With that, you also have to act and thus move freely on stage.”
“I’m not going to cry in a corner,” continues the cheerful Bullee. “If a vase falls breaks, you have to sweep the shards and glue everything together as best as you can.” After singing in different choirs, he needed more. Bullee broadened his repertoire (“because you can’t earn a dry bread with classical music”), specialized in songs from ‘the American Songbook’ and signed up for talent shows.
He appeared in the Soundmixshow, Una Voce Particolare, and even the German Das Supertalent. Eventually Bullee opposite Gordon, Angela Groothuizen, Dan Karaty, and Chantal Janzen. The latter pressed the golden button after she dabbed her tears and this guaranteed him a spot in the show. “You hope for that one right moment. It is frustrating when you have a good voice, and you do not achieve anything. Honestly, that sometimes led to moments when I was on the edge of depression. But my positive side quickly took over again. I hold on to Sinatra. He also did so much beauty when he passed 60. The best is yet to come!”
His time spent on The Voice Senior may actually turn out to be the moment of its breakthrough, and if he wins the grand prize, Bullee admits he does have a few things on his wish list.”To perform a tribute to Sinatra in De Doelen with a large orchestra… If I can do that at my age? And oh yes, a new set of speakers! Those things are very expensive.”