Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

He's got the voice

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Dan Shafer smiles after joining Team Blake as Carson Daly and Shari Shafer look on.
Blake Shelton listens intently to Shafer sing "Marry Me"
Shafer shakes hands with Blake Shelton after being picked during the blind auditions.
Dan Shafer
Dan and Shari Shafer
Shafer at 15
Shafer at 17
Jamie Shafer, 29, and Shari Shafer watch Dan perform backstage.
Photo courtesy Tyler Golden/NBC
Photo courtesy Tyler Golden/NBC
Photo courtesy Tyler Golden/NBC

MJ local Dan Shafer has Blake Shelton in his corner

He got picked!

Mt. Juliet's own Dan Shafer was picked as a team member by none other than the widely-popular country music star Blake Shelton on the eleventh season of block buster, two-time, Emmy Award-winning "The Voice" television show.

"I'm just so excited," Shafer said Wednesday from his cell phone traveling to a has-to-be-secret location because of an NBC non-disclosure agreement.

And Shafer is now touted as the "oldest 'Voice' contestant" this season, and for him that's a big "thumbs up" to go along with the pivotal "hand down" on that big red button by Shelton - precariously close to the last stanza of Shafer's outstanding, blind audition of a heartfelt rendition of Train's "Marry Me."

That slap on the red button solidified this father and husband a chance to hopefully go all the way in a battle of rounds, knockouts, live playoffs and, finally, the live performance shows.

It's quite an amazing accomplishment for this 57-year-old singer who has made most of his career singing well-known jingles, writing music, working sales and performing with cover group Classic Rock All Stars.

"I'm ecstatic," he said. "I'm so very grateful I got this glory. Since it was posted and I was picked, I've got not one negative comment. I'm very thankful for this whole process."

Shafer was very skittish, as he should be, about the next steps of the show because he's signed non-disclosure documents, but he did say he was "in the moment" during his recent audition that snagged him a place on Shelton's team that has a total of five thus far.

He said it was "nerve wracking" while singing and waiting for that magic buzz by a judge who wanted to take a chance on his talent. This year's judges along with Blake are regular Adam Levine, and now Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys.

"I just kept singing," said Shafer, who wore a black leather jacket and jeans, handsome with grey hair and sideburns. "When I didn't hear a buzzer at first, I knew if it was supposed to happen it would happen."

It did, and when Shelton's chair turned around, the live camera turned to host Carson Daly, alongside Shafer's wildly-happy wife Shari of 32 years and son Jamie, 29. His two other sons cheered from their homes.

Shafer's music career took a backseat for a while when Jamie was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. He took jobs to do what he could to pay the emergency bills, one of which was at a funeral home. However, today, Jamie is in remission and doing well, said Shafer.

During the "blind" audition when Shafer was picked, it was based on voice only, not looks or performance. Coaches now dedicate themselves to developing their team of artists, giving them advice and sharing the secrets of their success, along with help from their celebrity advisors.

During the battle rounds, the coaches pit two of their own team members against each other to sing the same song together in front of a studio audience.

After the vocal battle, the coach must choose which of his/her singers will advance to the next round of competition, while the losing artist is available to be stolen by another coach. Each coach has two steals available during the battle rounds.

If and, of course, when Shafer survives these battles, the process intensifies and eventually goes to live playoff rounds where the top 20 artists perform.

It's whittled down over the course of the season and the eventual winner receives a prize of a recording contract.

Shafer said he's ready for the ride. His distinction, other than his voice, is his mature status.

"The people at 'The Voice' have been so super nice and supportive of me and my family," he said. "They are all just beautiful people."

Stay tuned! The voice comes on NBC Monday and Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. our time.

Go to wilsonpost.com to view Shafer's winning audition.

Writer Laurie Everett can be reached at laurieeverett1@gmail.com.

SEE his blind audition video here

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Blake Shelton, Dan Shafer, Mt. Juliet, music, musician, NBC, singer, The Voice, TV, video
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