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Ending on a high note: Jim Ranger honored after "The Voice" inspires unity in Bakersfield



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A national spotlight sometimes shines on the places people call home, with community pride both on and offstage. Jim Ranger  Bakersfield’s heralded contestant on NBC’s “The Voice,”  has inspired that variety of admiration. He returned home to Kern County in late December after the program’s conclusion as its official runner-up, with more fans than ever to further his dreams of music stardom. 

Local residents joined viewers across the country for the final performance broadcast live on Dec. 16. His tenure as one of the 2020 season’s remaining contestants brought that pride to Bakersfield, with mentions throughout Ranger’s featured personal life and singing segments

Mayor Karen Goh issued an official proclamation declaring Dec. 21 “Jim Ranger Day,” a date made memorable with an award ceremony and medal presentation. 

“Jim’s incredible achievement on the “The Voice” brings much pride and joy to Bakersfield. Jim won the hearts of viewers locally and across the country with his authenticity and soulful artistry,” said Mayor Goh. “At the end of a difficult year, Jim rekindled hope and beautifully uplifted our spirits.

Ranger chose country music star Blake Shelton after all three performance judges turned their chairs during his blind audition in keeping with the program’s format, in which celebrity team captains turn around to indicate interest in having a performer on their team. Fans recognized the triple turn as a rare occurrence on the show.  Shelton coached Ranger throughout production. They also collaborated with a duet cover of the Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam song “Streets of Bakersfield” on the program’s final night. Teenage contestant Carter Rubin ultimately took the win, a nail-biting victory protested on Twitter with mixed reception but clear recognition of both as outstanding singers.

Ranger, father of three, currently serves as pastor of New Life Church, where the medal presentation was hosted. Originally from Arkansas, he grew up with both Gospel music and contemporary influences. He was previously featured on season nine of “American Idol,” with the support of friends, family and his wife, Camilla.

No matter his next career move as both musician and hometown pastor, Bakersfield residents eagerly await future performances. Find his music on YouTube via the official channel of “The Voice.”

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