The Voice - Sarasota native Josh Kaufman battles for top slot - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

The Voice - Sarasota native Josh Kaufman battles for top slot

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Sarasota native Josh Kaufman singing on the NBC show 'The Voice' Sarasota native Josh Kaufman singing on the NBC show 'The Voice'
Courtesy: Ben Cohen/NBC Courtesy: Ben Cohen/NBC
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    The Voice

    "The Voice" returns with the strongest vocalists from across the country invited to compete in the blockbuster vocal competition show's sixth season. Celebrity musicians and coaches Adam Levine, Shakira, Usher and Blake Shelton return, while Carson Daly continues to serve as host.
    "The Voice" returns with the strongest vocalists from across the country invited to compete in the blockbuster vocal competition show's sixth season. Celebrity musicians and coaches Adam Levine, Shakira, Usher and Blake Shelton return, while Carson Daly continues to serve as host.
VENICE, FL (WFLA) -

The Voice's Josh Kaufman has become season 6's soul man. But that now-famous voice just isn't deep-rooted in his singing but thought as well.

"I started out in college as a music major. That was cool for a little while, but I ultimately decided there were other things I wanted to explore," Kaufman said in a recent interview at The Voice. "I think the questions of philosophy are kind of the central questions we tend to dwell on about life in general and it's just something I really enjoy doing."

Kaufman, 38, was born in Sarasota and moved with his mother to Polk County after she and his father divorced. He's now nearly finished with his masters in philosophy as he raises a family of his own near Indianapolis.

"Philosophy definitely plays into things like song writing and the creative aspect of it because of the things you want to write about," Josh said. "But also because there's a whole branch of philosophy that is philosophy of art and what's the purpose of art. I think having studied some of that, it kind of helps me have a grasp on what I think I want to do with art."

It seems to be working.

Josh caused all four judge's to turn their chairs at the beginning of the season, a sign that each one of them wanted him on their team.

Initially, he chose Adam Levine. Later in the second battle round, Levine picked Delvin Choice to move on to the playoffs.

Josh's time wasn't up though. Usher stole him. Now, he's sung his way into the finale.

"In coaching Josh, it always helps to have someone understand exactly what you're intending to show him," Usher said. "If there's a run, tone or reference that I have for him I don't have to fight to help him understand it because of his age but also too because of his skill. He's perceptive."

Josh has used that perception to support his wife and three kids by playing local gigs and working as an SAT prep tutor. He's hoping, ultimately, The Voice will allow him to stop tutoring and be a full-time musician.

"He's a humble guy ... just trying to be a father, make money to pay the bills for his wife and kids," said Dennis Kaufman, Josh's uncle, who lives in Venice. "He deserves this."

Dennis Kaufman and his wife Dawn have helped organize fan parties for Josh. But the support doesn't stop there.

"It doesn't matter where we go; his name comes up everywhere," said Dawn, Josh's aunt. "We stop people on the streets, in the grocery store - 'do you watch the Voice? You've got to vote.'"

That feeling stretches south to North Port, where Josh's father Mark owns a roofing business.

"Mark will finally get to sleep because, through this whole process, Mark's anxiety has been so high that he can't sleep," said Dora Evans, the office manager at Mark Kaufman roofing. "If he knows what Josh is going to sing, he'll listen to that person sing and then imagine Josh singing it and get all amped about how awesome it's going to be."

Evans and the other staff here believe in Sarasota's soul man. They think the odds are in his favor.

"We just went to Vegas on my honeymoon," Evans said. "My husband's gotten really into odds and he's like 20 to 1 to win, which that's better than everyone else right now."

Learn HOW TO VOTE here!

Watch The Voice live Monday at 8:00 p.m. and then Tuesday at 9:00. News Channel 8's Stacie Schaible will be live in Los Angeles throughout News Channel 8's newscasts.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


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