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Barrett Baber repping Arkansas all the way to the finale on The Voice

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Local musician and former Fayetteville High School teacher Barrett Baber has outlasted thousands of contestants on NBC’s The Voice.

Barrett Baber

Now, he just needs to make it past three more singers to become the winner of the competition’s 9th season.

And just as he has since the competition began, Baber is repping Arkansas all the way to the finale.

Baber last week advanced into the final four contestants on the show, along with Jeffery Austin, Emily Ann Roberts, and Jordan Smith. The final rounds of performances begin tonight (Dec. 14) on NBC.

Of the four finalists, prediction site Gold Derby is giving Baber the longest odds of winning the competition. The site, which attempts to predict the winners of several awards shows and reality TV shows, has pegged Baber as the least likely to win the competition at 100/1. According to the site, Smith is a 4/1 favorite to win, followed by Austin (11/2), and Roberts (20/1).

Baber’s age could be one of the reasons for the long odds. The music industry is famously a young man’s game, and at 35, he is the only contestant from the top 12 over 30 years old. He’s also the only married contestant, and the only contestant with children.

Baber said he thinks his experience playing gigs and working a real job for all these years, however, is actually one of his biggest advantages over the competition.

“I think life experience has a lot to do with my ability to connect with a song, connect with a lyric, and connect with an audience” Baber told Yahoo Music in an interview over the weekend.

What the naysayers are also not counting on, Baber says, is the power of the collective pride of the state of Arkansas to help propel him to victory.

“Barrett believed he could make it to the end from the very beginning for two reasons,” said Amanda Scarlet, who is helping to handle publicity for Baber through the competition. “He knew he would work as hard has he had to, and he knew with the people of Arkansas voting, he had a very strong team in place.”

His confidence in the Arkansas connection is not unfounded.

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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