I'll admit I do not watch The Voice religiously. (I know. I'm probably the only one.) But after watching Blake Shelton watch Jake Worthington on a live semifinal episode earlier this week, I might have to add this show to my weekly must-sees.
All I really knew about Worthington before this episode was how he described himself in his Twitter bio: "Country boy. I show my hogs, I love my music, love my friends family and girlfriend. #singing #countrymusic #myfamily #teamblake #thevoice La Porte, Tx"
But I learned a lot listening to Shelton dole out his red-chair commentary after Worthington did "Theme From the Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys)," the familiar song Waylon Jennings included on his Music Man album in 1980. Worthington dedicated the song to his best friends who were there in the audience.
Obviously, Shelton loved everything about the performance.
"I couldn't be more proud of that performance," he told Worthington. "The fact that you did that song, I want America to know that this is the guy that you think he is. You're the real deal."
And he went on to talk a little bit about the void Worthington could fill in the genre.
"You're somebody that needs to be on the radio in country music," Shelton said. "We need you right now. We need a young guy who is proud to represent traditional country music the way that you do.
"An 18-year-old kid came out here and just sang Waylon Jennings on The Voice. That's bad ass. I love that."
Shelton made no mention of the other young guys who are already representing traditional country music and how that is or isn't working out for them, but he certainly had a point.
Even Usher, who admitted, "You know what? I'm not into country like that," admitted that Worthington's delivery of the song completely sold him. And Adam Levine's only remark was that Worthington was about as real and genuine as it gets.
"It's almost like you need to have a 'Made in America' stamp all the time," Levine said.