Since Ryan Jirovec was a child he has been interested in music. However, it was not until last month that country music artist Blake Shelton discovered Jirovec’s voice.
The McAllen native worked for almost four years in Los Angeles as a demo singer for “popera” artists Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli with the hopes of creating his own album before auditioning for NBC’s “The Voice” at the insistence of his sister.
After performing twice on “The Voice,” Jirovec, health and fitness management junior, lost his battle round last Monday, posting on his Facebook that he enjoyed gaining friends and fans from the show and is on to his next adventure.
Jirovec spoke with The University Star about his “on-again, off-again” status as a Texas State student and his first performance in front of a live studio audience and band during his blind audition, where he was chosen by Shelton to continue on the series as part of his team.
JGP: Why did you decide to attend Texas State?
RJ: I attended Texas State for the first time back in 2004 and then left to pursue music again. I then returned to Texas State in 2007, but after a semester I left again to move to L.A. to pursue music. My sister is a (Southwest Texas State University) alumna. So, growing up, I came to visit and just loved the campus and the central location to Austin and San Antonio.
JGP: Who, if anyone, did you expect or hope would turn their chair around and choose you to be on their team for “The Voice”?
RJ: I was hoping for all of them to turn their chairs, but with the nerves and little live experience I had, I got pretty overwhelmed and was just very happy that Blake (Shelton) turned his chair.
JGP: What is the most common misconception about television reality talent show contestants?
RJ: I think the most common misconception about television reality talent show contestants is that they are all just being discovered from nothing. I’ve made so many good friends through this show and these contestants are seasoned artists. Some have been playing shows their whole lives. Others have been signed or been on TV already. Yes, there are some that just love to sing and end up making it, but most of these people have “paid their dues” in the music industry.
JGP: Will you continue to pursue a career in music or one in rehabilitation?
RJ: I hope to be able to do both. You never know what will happen with music. It’s always “hurry up and wait.” This show is a great launching pad for many artists, especially when you’re being seen by millions of people. Music will always be my number one, but we will have to see what happens in the future.
JGP: Did you choose to sing Lonestar’s “Amazed” for your blind audition on “The Voice”? If so, why?
RJ: The song itself is considered “country,” but it’s just a beautifully written pop song that can really transcend genres. It was a song I knew really well, as I grew up on country music, and I felt that I could do a lot with it vocally and stylistically.
JGP: Were you a fan of “The Voice” prior to auditioning?
RJ: I had watched both previous seasons of “The Voice,” and always thought it was a well-made show. The production aspect, as well as the talent on the show was always top notch, and that’s why it’s doing so well in the ratings.