LOS ANGELES – Nerves got the best of Joseph "Blind Joe" Bommersbach during a recent performance.
"I think we've all had a time like that in our life," he said. "Mine just happened to be in front of 15 million people."
Monday's episode of "The Voice," which featured the NBC singing competition's prerecorded knockout rounds, pitted the 33-year-old Kindred, N.D., native and 2000 graduate of Fargo North High School against Barrett Baber. The two singers were both selected to compete on Blake Shelton's team and had made it the top 32 contestants before the round.
"Who can say that out of over 40,000 people that auditioned for the highest-rated music singing competition show ever that you made it to one of 32?" Bommersbach said. "That's awesome, and I'm very proud."
Still, he said he doesn't blame Shelton for cutting him after his performance of "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys." Bommersbach said he was under the weather at the time, and after he cracked on a note, "I really lost my composure."
Even though Bommersbach knew long ago that his run would end in the knockout rounds, he couldn't talk about it until after the episode aired. It was hard to keep the secret as locals cheered him on, he said.
But he said the show could be the "springboard" he needs to take his singing career to the next level, and he already has plans to capitalize on the national exposure.
Bommersbach has saved money from T-shirt and CD sales that he tentatively plans to use early next year to cover costs of traveling and recording a new album in Nashville. He's also trying to raise $10,000 online at www.gofundme.com/blindjoe to make this expensive plan a reality-it could cost around $2,000 per song to cut an album there with a full band.
"It's definitely going to be a rock and country record with a lot of soul," he said. "We're going to keep it real. That's my big thing: I don't want anything manufactured or formulaic."
Bommersbach said he'll stay put in Grand Rapids, Minn. where he lives with his wife, Liann. But if he gets his way, his new fans across the country will hear a lot more of this singer in the months to come.
"My run with 'The Voice' may be over, but my musical journey is far from it," he said.