Owatonna High School graduate makes debut on 'The Voice' - Southernminn.com: Music

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Owatonna High School graduate makes debut on 'The Voice'

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Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 3:45 am | Updated: 7:49 pm, Tue Mar 26, 2013.

OWATONNA — Justyn Dow, a 2004 Owatonna High School graduate, recently had a chance to see if his voice was good enough to not only turn heads, but also chairs.

Dow, who has recently opened for Gavin DeGraw and Andy Grammer, will appear on the current season of the NBC show “The Voice.”

Currently in its fourth season, “The Voice” is a reality television show where contestants do a blind audition for celebrity judges Usher, Shakira, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. When a contestant begins to sing, the judges’ chairs are turned away from the singer. If one of the judges hears a voice he or she likes, a chair will spin around. The artist will then be mentored by that judge during the season. On Monday night, the spring premiere of “The Voice” was watched by 14.2 million people.

Dow’s blind audition in front of the judges will be aired at a later date. Due to what he called “a 500-page contract,” he cannot say whether a judge decided to mentor him or he was eliminated after his performance. All he can say at this point is that he saw the back of the chairs. Dow said he will find out which episode his performance will air a few days before the broadcast.

“The Voice” is on NBC at 7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday nights.

Dow also auditioned for the first season of “The Voice,” which debuted on NBC on April 26, 2011. His initial audition, which took place in Seattle, did not go well, but he did make a strong enough impression on the show’s talent scouts to be given another solo audition this year in Minneapolis for a spot on the fourth season.

The Minneapolis audition went well enough that he moved on to the next round of auditions. Once again, he impressed the talent scouts and show producers. Finally he was chosen as one 120 finalists to audition in front of the current slate of judges.

Because of time constraints, Dow said 85 to 90 performers out of the 120 finalists made it to the stage. Luckily for Dow and his fans, he was among the 90 performers.

Since his Seattle audition in 2010, Dow has seen his career grow. He has opened for several national acts and made numerous videos, all of which can be seen on YouTube.

“The (scouts) saw what I doing on YouTube and stayed in touch with me,” Dow said. “I was lucky that I tried out for the first season. At the time, nobody knew it would be such a big show. I was able to make an impression early on, and it paid off.”

Dow said he learned one big thing from his Seattle tryout.

“I was eliminated pretty quick, but since then I have gained a lot of confidence in myself,” he said. “As an up-and-coming performer in the music business industry, confidence is everything. The talent scouts believed in me. They encouraged me to try again, so I did.”

Dow said the only reality show he has auditioned for is “The Voice.” He has not tried out for similar shows, like “American Idol” or “The X Factor.”

“I have no desire to stand with 60,000 other people for eight to 10 hours and maybe sing. I only tried out for ‘The Voice’ because the opportunity presented itself to me.”

Last year, Dow did enter a contest to open for national touring artist Andy Grammer. Dow won the contest and opened for Grammer in February 2012 in Chicago.

While Dow writes his own music, he will sing a cover song on “The Voice.” He could not release the song title, but did say he was pumped to perform it.

Reach reporter Derek Sullivan at 444-2372, or follow him on Twitter @OPPSullivan

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