His audition: Michael Austin, 43, of Norco, Calif., auditioned with Keith Urban’s “Somebody Like You,” prompting Adam and Shakira to turn around, but not country judge Blake Shelton. Michael decided to join Team Adam.
His background: He’s a deputy sheriff in San Bernardino County, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, but says he isn’t sure how much longer his body will hold out in that line of work. He says he’s been doing music “hardcore” for 12 years, including the last several as part of a country band named Austin Law. Oh, and his nickname is “Big Country,” because he’s big and he’s country. “I could literally ride my horses from my house to the local saloon,” he tells The Voice.
On picking Adam: “Adam was totally convicted and relentless in getting me, which made me feel like I was on cloud nine … Adam’s a guy that constantly thinks outside the box. I want to take that and apply that to my career.”
What the show didn’t show: Michael’s a quote machine. Example: “I’m getting ready to have more fun than a grown-up should be allowed to have, and I’m holding on with both hands to see what happens next.” Though it would seem like an odd fit, Michael said Shakira was so eloquent when she spoke to him on stage that he actually had some inner turmoil before picking Adam. Oh, and Austin Law released an album called “Neon Halo” in 2008. The title track is embedded below. According to the band’s Facebook page, they’ve shared the stage with country stars Toby Keith, Dierks Bentley, Sara Evans, Billy Currington and many others.
Quote: “I think if you split me down the middle, you’re gonna see half a deputy sheriff and half a singer.”
On iTunes: His audition song, “Somebody Like You,” plus “Neon Halo,” a 13-track album released by Austin Law in 2008.
“Neon Halo” (title track from 2008 album)
“Wanted Dead or Alive” (Bon Jovi cover)