Blake Shelton was the only one to turn his chair around during the blind auditions on The Voice Monday night, and we darn sure glad he did.  Singing "Colder Weather" by the Zac Brown Band, 30-year-old Ian Flanigan from Saugerties seemed like a no brainer for Shelton who has a keen ear for great country music talent.  Shelton may have scored another winner on the hit talent finding show that he's dominated for years.  Blake Shelton had high praise for the Upstate New York singer with the gravelly voice who certainly sounds much older than 30.

Shelton even joked about his physical appearance and how he pictured him much different.  "Where is your giant beard...your hat, your giant beer gut, all the stuff that goes along with that voice you have?" Shelton joked.

When the joking stopped and Blake got serious, the praise that Flanigan received would give any young up-and-coming artist chills. “I got my first artists and I’m feeling a lot better about season 19 now,” Shelton said, adding, “Ian is a once in a lifetime vocalist.”

It's been an incredible run the last few years on singing competitions as contestants from the area - or those with Capital Region ties - have done very well.  How can we forget the run that Madison VanDenburg had in 2018 and Julia Gargano had in 2019 on American Idol?

There are whispers among Voice gossip sites that Flanigan does very well on the show moving forward, and it makes sense.  Shelton is one country music's most established and consistent stars and even though he seems to be joking most of the time, he takes his work on the show very serious.  He also knows talent.

Being labeled as a "once in a lifetime artist" is a lot to live up to and the jury is still out. Regardless, it should be a fun run for Ian Flanigan and for all of us in upstate New York on the Voice over the next few months.

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