Dallas-Fort Worth started with five, but now we’re down to one contestant from left on The Voice.
Austin Allsup calls himself a “country boy but rock ’n’ roller at heart.” He sang “Wild Horses” during his blind audition and he and coach Blake Shelton chose each other — more accurately, Shelton was the only one to turn his chair around — in the battle to win season 11 of The Voice.
During that blind audition, Allsup revealed he had once opened for country superstar Shelton at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth. Allsup says that because of that performance, he believes he and Shelton have a special bond. “We definitely have a connection. He knows that I’m set in the way I want to sound and come across, especially on this platform. I’ve been doing this for a long time, but nobody knows it.”
Shayne Hollinger, music director for 95.9 FM The Ranch, has known Allsup since he began his music career.
"I've known Austin since he first started publicly doing music. I've been a fan and an advocate for him since I first heard him sing," Hollinger says. "I was truly surprised that it took him making an appearance on The Voice to get 'recognized' by the mass population. Austin has always been a star in my mind and I'm glad he's finally getting the recognition he deserves. He truly is one of the good guys, and is what the music scene needs more of — a guy with heart who will open up his soul to the public. Austin is a guy who writes lyrics that make you think and that you can relate to."
For a little more than a decade, Allsup has been playing shows in Dallas-Fort Worth and steadily chipping away at the country music scene. Unlike some of the other teenage contestants on The Voice, Allsup was worried about losing control over his sound and image by coming on to a singing competition show.
“Coming into a show like this, you have to be aware that [losing control] will happen at some point," he says. "It’s just part of it. There were certainly some reservations that may have once obscured my decision on coming out here.”
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But ultimately, when the show’s producers asked Allsup to come for a private audition in January, he thought the positives outweighed the negatives. “It was like God just kind of laid everything out in life. It all just fell into place really easily. It wasn’t anything we really fought to make happen.”
Since making it past the blind auditions, Allsup won the battle round, singing “Bad Moon Rising,” and the knockout round, singing “Breakdown.” Because of his connection with Shelton, he says he’s been able to maintain control of how he's portrayed.
“Well fortunately, I think it helped that I did meet Blake in 2005," he says. "He knows that I’ve been working really hard at this for a long time. And he knows how it is about catching breaks and this and that. After you’ve done something for so long, you kind of become the artist that you are.”
Allsup performs on The Voice at 7 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC.