Country charm draws fans to ‘Voice’ crooner

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Country charm draws fans to ‘Voice’ crooner

Posted on: May 10th, 2014 by tommyj

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La Porte's Jake Worthington says his favorite concert ever was AC/DC at Toyota Center. (NBC photo) Photo: NBC, Still Photographer / 2014 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Jake Worthington calls himself "a regular, blue-collar boy" who just happens to love music. And he’s connecting with "The Voice" viewers.

The La Porte native will compete this week for a slot in the Season 6 semifinals. He’s soared past more experienced, technically stronger singers thanks to his aw-shucks charm and plainspoken emotion. His performances have earned generous praise from the coaches and regularly rank high on the iTunes chart.

Worthington, 18, auditioned for Season 5, but didn’t make it past the blind auditions. When the La Porte High School senior returned this season, he earned chair spins from Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Shakira. He chose Shelton, of course, who led Cypress teen Danielle Bradbery to a Season 4 win.

Q: Is it difficult being away from home?

A: I usually don’t even hardly go out of town. It’s been really cool, and it’s been really tough at the same time. It’s a different beast. I miss sitting on the tailgate of a truck with my friends, finding a place to park and talking about a bunch of different stuff that don’t matter to nobody else. I miss hugging my girlfriend. I miss seeing my dad every day and visiting my grandparents.

Q: What motivated you to come back and audition a second time?

A: They called me back and asked me if I wanted to come do this. I really didn’t want to because I felt like I had my chance. There are grown men and women that play music for a living, that are living out of their cars, that have kids. In my heart, I felt like those kind of people are the ones that deserve that shot on the show. Not some red-neck high school kid. I talked to a lot of friends and family, and they said I would pretty much be stupid not to really take advantage of what this represented to me.

Q: What was day-to-day life like before "The Voice?"

A: I would come home from school, I’d go pick my brother up, we’d go to the (La Porte High School) Ag Barn, feed our animals. We shared four hogs and a goat. Some days, I would work at the feed store off Spencer Highway called Aunique Ranch and Farm Supply. If I’m with my buddies, we’re fishing at Sylvan Beach Pier or something like that. We’d go mudding.

Q: Were you pursuing music before the show?

A: I used to play with a band. It was me and four of my buddies. We played quite a lot of gigs here and there at cook-offs, at bars, a lot of benefits. Toward the end of high school, going through junior year, we kind of drifted apart. We’re all friends, but we really don’t play music together anymore.

Q: Was country music always front and center?

A: I didn’t just listen to country music growing up. I also listened to a lot of classic rock. I watched movies that had a lot of music. I love the movie "Pure Country" (with George Strait). I love the Tenacious D movie "The Pick of Destiny." Documentaries on AC/DC, freaking Godsmack. My favorite concert that I’ve seen in my entire life was AC/DC at the Toyota Center a couple of years ago. And everybody listens to a little bit of "Gin and Juice" by Snoop Dogg every now and then.

Q: I imagine RodeoHouston was also a big part of your musical upbringing.

A: I’ve gone every year, man. Playing RodeoHouston would be a dream of mine come true. It’d be cool to bring back that old-school, Mark Chesnutt feel that he did in ’95 in the Astrodome. That would be so cool to bring back that feel to the younger kids.

Q: Are you keeping up with school?

A: Man, I am still in class every day. I didn’t go to school for 11½ years to not graduate. I still plan on going to junior college to get my basics out of the way and then figure out what I want to do as a major. I want to pursue music but also have something to fall back on. I’m trying to think a little smart here.

Q: If you had to go with another coach, who would you pick?

A: Adam (Levine). He’s one of the ones that told me to come back and audition. I know him and Blake really believe in me. Adam is one cool dude off-camera.

La Porte's Jake Worthington is a top five finalist on Season 6 of
Jake Worthington grew up loving country and classic rock. (NBC photo) Photo: NBC / 2013 NBCUniversal Media, LLC
Jake Worthington attended La Porte High School and worked in a feed store. (NBC photo) Photo: NBC
La Porte's Jake Worthington is a top five finalist on Season 6 of
La Porte's Jake Worthington is top 5 on
La Porte's Jake Worthington is top 5 on
La Porte's Jake Worthington is top 5 on
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