His audition: Justin Rivers, 29, of Fairford, Ala., auditioned with Kenny Chesney’s “Summertime.” At the last second, Blake Shelton turned around, welcoming the aspiring country singer to his team.
Knockout Round: Sang “The Climb” and defeated Savannah Berry, who sang “As Long as You Love Me.”
Live Playoffs: Sang “Meet in the Middle” and failed to advance who Blake saved The Swon Brothers.
His background: Talk about an early start: According to Justin’s website, he started playing the drums for his parents’ church when he was just 5 and started traveling with a band when he was just 11. He moved to Nashville in 2006 and formed Austins Bridge, a country-Christian band that also included Jason Baird and, at the time, Mike Kofahl.
On his coach: “I couldn’t be any more excited,” Justin said in a conference call with the media. “I think we’re a perfect fit. It’s exactly where I wanted to be anyway. I’m looking forward to what he’s going to help me with in my musical career.”
What the show didn’t show: Well, we saw just a tiny snippet of his audition. But Austins Bridge enjoyed acclaim while the band was active, releasing three albums, starting with a self-titled debut in 2007 and ending with “Times Like These” in 2010. Over that time span, the band was nominated for seven Dove Awards and won in 2008 for best bluegrass song of the year (“She’s in Control”). The band’s 2010 album was nominated for a Grammy in 2011 as best southern country, bluegrass or gospel album. At the time The Voice came calling, Justin was working on a debut country solo album. In his post-audition interview, Justin told The Voice he’s hoping to hone his performance skills on the show. “At the end of the day, people may not remember what your set list was, but they’ll always remember how intimate you were with the audience.”
Quote: “I did the American Idol too this season,” Justin said during a conference call with the media the day after his audition aired. “I figured it was my last year as far as the age limitation to give it a shot. But at the end of the day when I had the option on the table to be a part of The Voice and also a part of American Idol, you know, just the reputation that the show The Voice has, I thought it was head and shoulders above any other out there.”
On iTunes: His audition song, “Summertime,” plus the three albums with Austins Bridge — “Times Like These” from 2010, “Live at the Oak Tree” from 2007 and a self-titled debut from the same year.
“Hold On to Jesus” (from Austins Bridge’s 2010 “Times Like These” album)
“Dash Between the Dates” (from Austins Bridge’s 2010 “Times Like These” album)