The popular televised musical game show The Voice has done more than just bring former Miranda Lambert lesser half Blake Shelton and famed person-who-is-not-Miranda-Lambert Gwen Stefani together.
The Voice has also put a lot of Minnesotans on TV. Seven Minnesota performers have made their mark on the show in its first eleven seasons, and last night Season 12 introduced the viewing audience to Minnesotan No. 8, Jesse Larson.
For his blind audition, Larson belted a heartfelt version of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” punctuated with fleet-fingered guitar work, a performance he dedicated to his late father.
Throughout Adam Levine’s dramatically scrunched face and forcefully balled fist successfully conveyed that he was “feeling it.”
After Levine hit the big red button to add Larson to his team, he lectured his fellow judges, “There’s no one with ears that should not have turned around for that.” (Careful review of the video reveals no such anatomical deficiency on the part of Shelton, Stefani, or Alicia Keys.) Levine went on to compare Larson to CeeLo Green and Eddie Van Halen.
When Larson told the judges he was from Minneapolis, Alicia Keys said, “Yeah, man.” That’s what someone says when you tell them you’re from Minneapolis. If they’re cool, that is. Alicia Keys is cool.
Larson currently gigs around town as the guitarist for the funk band #MPLS, and before that he was courted by Prince to back the singer Judith Hill, herself a former Voice contestant.
We’ll be following Larson’s progress and rooting for him as the season progresses. A Minnesotan’s gotta win this dang show one of these seasons, right?