Bakersfield’s Jim Ranger shines on his big night, joins Team Shelton on ‘The Voice’

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — If you watched Monday night’s episode of “The Voice” on KGET, you couldn’t miss the electric performance by the singer in the brown flat-brimmed fedora — Jim Ranger, a minister at Bakersfield’s New Life Church.

Four celebrities sat and judged the singer off the streets of Bakersfield on NBC’s popular talent show and they all loved him. Ranger was a hit.

The judges for season 19 of the TV juggernaut — Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton — all seemed to love the Bakersfield preacher. Three of them turned their chairs — meaning they wanted him to join their team.

And two of them — Legend and Shelton — made special appeals.

“I love Bakersfield,” Shelton said at one point. “I love the music history.”

Legend played a pre-recorded, political campaign-style ad promoting his ability to manage a team of singers. “I’m John Legend and I approved this message,” he said in conclusion.

What was it like for Ranger to have two huge stars begging for his endorsement?

“My adrenaline was surging,” he said. “I could feel my feet trembling cuz it was … just so amped up.”

With Ranger’s family watching from home, he weighed the big decision — and went with … Sheton.

“Yeah, I don’t know what it is. I think in the end it was just a gut feeling,” Ranger said.

Up next on the show: the battle round. Ranger’s parents, James and Lydia Ranger — who watched the pre-recorded show Monday night with their son Jim and his family — know how it all turns out in the end. Hey, Mr. and Mrs. Ranger, how about a hint?

Lydia Ranger wasn’t budging: “Nope.”

“We signed our lives away,” James Ranger said. “And my daughter-in-law and son have told me they will send me home to be with God if I say anything …”

“Before Jesus wants to see you,” his wife added helpfully.

“Exactly,” said James. “Exactly.”

With in-person services suspended for the time being at New Life Church, Jim Ranger has become accustomed to communicating digitally.

“Yes, exactly,” he said. “I kind of had some preparation going. Starting back in mid-March we stopped doing our in person gatherings. You know, not being too bogged out or weirded out by cameras or trying to talk to somebody without having their immediate response. That’s a really odd thing to do.”

So that’s the team going forward. Jim Ranger of Bakersfield and Blake Shelton, the country music star who knows a little about Bakersfield himself. Stay tuned.

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