Monday night was tough enough, but Team Blake had another difficult call on night 2 of NBC's The Voice battle rounds. Blake Shelton paired up Jim Ranger, who had seriously impressed with Keith Urban's "Blue Ain't Your Color" during the blind auditions, against John Sullivan. The two singers executed an incredible duet to Kane Brown's "Good As You."
Initially watching both men perform, it was incredibly close to call. But as the song came to an end, Jim Ranger had some standout moments that it seemed like all of the judges picked up on. John Legend was first up to provide feedback.
"John, I think your voice has lots of character, it's very inviting, it sounds like you'd be a fun person to hang out with...Jim, your voice has more soul and grit to it. It made sense that you were a campus pastor and a worship leader and of course Blake has won with a pastor quite recently. So much of being a minister is being able to control the room so I would lean toward Jim, but I thought both of you were fantastic."
Gwen Stefani gave a quick recap of both performances by complimenting John for his subtle and effective performance but said Jim was really ramping up as the song went on. Kelly Clarkson agreed, saying she loved John's performance but that Jim "came in hot" towards the end. She even stood up at the end during Jim's peak moments (we'll need to look out to see if she steals him for Team Kelly down the line).
When it came Shelton's time to choose just one contestant it was clear that he regretted pairing the men against each other.
"All of this falls on me because I think this pairing made sense on paper. I'd have done that different if I could because you're more the storyteller type singer you know, that's what you're really good at (directed toward John), but Jim's just naturally such a big vocalist and you're really talented."
Ultimately, Jim joins Team Shelton for the foreseeable future as the winner of the battle. The Voice season 19 is proving that there are tons of potential superstars among the various team members so it's anyone's guess how the season will unfold! Jim is a native of Newport, Arkansas but currently lives in Bakersfield, California with his wife and children. He came on the TV show to prove to his children that it's never too late to pursue your dreams, how inspiring is that?!
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