Of the many scarcely-believable developments in the Manti Te’o/Ronaiah Tuiasosopo/Lennay Kekua story, perhaps the strangest was Tuiasosopo’s lawyer’s claim that his client voiced Lennay Kekua – who sounded like this – himself. And that’s why one of the most believable moments of the entire story happened when relatives of Tuiasosopo’s came forward and said that no, actually his female cousin provided Kekua’s voice.
Tuiasosopo, though, stuck to his story, and when his Dr. Phil intervew aired today, among other tidbits like depressingly describing himself as “recovering” from homosexuality, he continued to insist that he was the voice behind Lennay Kekua. Dr. Phil, like most of us, was rather skeptical of this claim, and did what so many were hoping he’d do: asked Tuiasosopo to prove it. Here was his response:
Hmm, wonder why he was so hesitant. Phil didn’t drop the issue there, though: later in the program, he explained to Tuiasosopo that trained voice analysts listened to his voice as well as the voicemails left by “Lennay kekua,” and determined there was virtually no chance they could have been the same person. Tuiasosopo kept insisting he was telling the truth, but didn’t want to do the voice in front of a bunch of cameras. Then, this:
And after the voicemails… well, remember how the interview was running over two days? Surprise! You’ll hear the results of Tuiasosopo’s behind-the-screen experiment (or at least you’ll hear what people who analyzed the voice said about it) tomorrow. Well, it’s not really a surprise since obviously they’d want to give us a reason to tune in for the second day, but if you’re like us and forgot that this was a two-day event over the course of watching it, you might have muttered some choice words at the screen when you realized you were going to wait another day for the only thing you were that interested in. But wait we will. Somehow, we have a feeling that the voice recognition experts won’t be convinced of Tuiasosopo’s story this time, either.