After years of playing music on stages across town with his band Soulajar or as a campus pastor at New Life Church, local musician Jim Ranger caused quite a stir Monday on the season premiere of NBC’s singing competition “The Voice."
While performing Keith Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” the 38-year-old Ranger’s soulful performance quickly caught the attention of judge John Legend, who was the first to turn around to the delight of Ranger’s family backstage.
Judges Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton soon followed, leaving Kelly Clarkson as the only judge to be out of contention.
Stefani and Shelton both sung Bakersfield’s praises with the No Doubt singer saying that they played some of their “greatest, all-time concerts there” and Shelton asking if Ranger has ever played Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. Legend tried to appeal to Ranger’s church roots saying, “That’s what I was feeling. I was feeling the spirit.”
The vying for Ranger’s affiliation even had Legend presenting a mock political ad against Shelton, proclaiming, “Isn’t it time you pick a judge you can believe in?”
Clarkson added to the Shelton digs by jokingly adding “Between John and Gwen, who do you pick as your coach?”
But, ultimately, it was Team Shelton that Ranger chose to join, leaving the others to plan a potential steal if Ranger moves on in the competition.
"The Voice" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on NBC.