Loganville student auditions for NBC's 'The Voice'


Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Jordan Rager, a 17-year-old senior at Loganville High School, recently auditioned for NBC's "The Voice." Rager has been singing and playing guitar with his band for the past three years.

If You Watch

• What: “The Voice”

• When: 8 p.m. Mondays

• Channel: NBC

LOGANVILLE -- Jordan Rager didn't realize he would take a detour to Hollywood before heading to Nashville to kick start his country music career.

The 17-year-old senior at Loganville High School has been singing and playing guitar in front of thousands of strangers for the past three years. Now, he has auditioned in front of millions of viewers on NBC's "The Voice."

"It's weird to be on TV -- it's different," he said about being broadcast on national television. "It's still sinking in to be honest with you."

He and his parents don't know when his blind audition episode will air, so the three are tight-lipped about the show's secrets and what happens to the aspiring star.

"Right after we got home from taping the audition (in California), someone called mom asking if they saw me on a commercial for 'The Voice," he said. "When people ask about the commercial, all we can say is 'I auditioned. Watch the show.'"

Rumors started flying around Rager's high school because he would disappear for weeks at a time and not be able to tell anyone where he had been. Fellow students thought he had gotten a record deal, movie spots, sponsorships -- anything that could be concocted in a teenager's mind.

Someone even joked that he had been to rehab.

"It had to be hard for him," said mom Connie Rager, who stayed in Georgia while her son traveled to California wih this father, Danny. "He had no one he could talk to, but Jordan has been working at this since he was 14. I'm eager to watch him and his audition on the show."

He may be a fresh face in Hollywood, but around the Southeast, Rager isn't new to the local music scene. He plays at different clubs and bars around Gwinnett County and surrounding counties every weekend. He has also been played several times on 94.9 The Bull's Backyard Country for his original songs, "Natural Born Charm," "Man's Man" and "Don't Tell Mama."

The young performer writes his own lyrics and describes his music as "country dressed up in rock 'n' roll."

"There's a Southern edge to most of my stuff. I've been a fan of '80s country outlaws like Waylon, Willie and Hank. Then I started getting into '80s rock 'n' roll -- Guns N' Roses, AC/DC," he said. "I've got an influence of every type of music I listen to -- Alan Jackson to Three Doors Down. It's the kind of stuff I want and do listen to."

Now he's hitting the big time -- well, at least he's getting extra exposure by being on "The Voice." Rager has a positive attitude about the entire situation.

"Whatever comes with the show, I had music before and I'll have music after. I'm never going to give that up," he said. "Hopefully one day I'll make it. Music has been a passion of mine for awhile."

Even if Rager isn't the next big star, he is determined to graduate from high school in May and continue singing, writing songs and playing guitar for the masses.

"If I never get famous doing this, I really don't care. This is really what I love to do," Rager said. "If I play 1,000 more shows in my life and they're all bar and grills in Loganville, and nobody remembers my name, I will love what I do."

Rager's audition on "The Voice" will air either Feb. 13, 20 or 27.