Their audition: Midas Whale — Jon Peter Lewis, 32, on guitar, and Ryan Hayes, 26, on accordion — auditioned with Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” Usher was the first judge to turn around, followed by all the rest. In the end, Midas Whale decided to team up with Team Adam.
Battle Round: Midas Whale defeated Memphis singer Patrick Dodd on a bluegrass-infused rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Burning Love,” becoming only the second duet to advance past the battle round on The Voice.
Knockout Round: They performed “High Ground,” but were defeated by Amber Carrington, who performed “I’m With You.”
Their background: They’re from Rexburg, Idaho. Jon says his dad was a studio musician and that he can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t singing. Ryan is a geologist, who recently spent some time in Chile mining for gold. The group’s name? Jon says he asked Ryan if he wanted to form a duo. Ryan’s response: “Might as well,” which is awfully close to sounding like “Midas Whale.” Together, they make folk music.
On choosing Adam: Jon says they talked it over before the blind audition and figured they’d choose Blake if he turned around. The decision to select Adam instead was “heat of the moment,” Ryan said. Added Jon: “He (Adam) seemed to really understand what we were doing and where we wanted to go as musicians and so we went with our gut on that one.”
What the show didn’t show: Jon competed on Season 3 of American Idol and finished eighth. Since then, he has released two albums — “Stories from Hollywood” (2006) and the fine “Break the Silence” (2008) — plus an EP in 2010. Two songs from those releases are embedded below. Ryan says he’s written a lot of music, including a folk rock opera, but hasn’t released much of it. According to Facebook, the two met at an open mic night in 2010 and that rock opera was their first project together. Though they take their music seriously, they also demonstrated a sense of humor on The Voice. On Facebook, they note that they’re both “afraid of actual whales” and tried out for The Voice because they “heard Kate Middleton watches it and they want to co-marry her.”
Quote: From Jon, who had to perform in front of Simon Cowell on Idol — “So far, what I love about The Voice is the way that they treat their contestants. I think that there is a very supportive atmosphere here for contestants. I mean, you don’t have to stress out about getting in front of a judge who might ridicule you for millions of people to watch. You know, it’s a very different atmosphere. It’s an atmosphere that is very conducive for good music and good feelings.”
On iTunes: Their audition song, “Folsom Prison Blues.” All the Jon Peter Lewis releases mentioned above are also still available.
“Howlin’ at the Moon” (from TV appearance)
“Bridges” (from Jon Peter’s 2008 “Break the Silence” album)
“Song for Christopher Columbus” (from Jon Peter’s self-titled 2010 EP)