‘The Voice': One Heck of a Night For Country Music
The Voice's Season 15 Live Finals marched on Monday (Dec. 3), with the Top 10 finalists vying for America's votes. While all of the finalists threw everything they had into their respective performances, what really stood out this evening was the sheer amount of country music being delivered. A full five of the finalists chose country songs, and the night was rounded out with a performance from none other than Coach Blake Shelton himself.
Shelton gave the audience a rendition of his single "Turnin' Me On," which is the third single from his latest album Texoma Shore and is, of course, directly about his girlfriend Gwen Stefani. However enjoyable the performance was, there's admittedly no surprises in it...but there were a couple from the finalists themselves over the course of the program.
First off, Coach Adam Levine's Reagan Strange, who decided to take on Faith Hill's mighty vocal exercise from 2002, "Cry." This might have been a bit of a stretch for the young singer, but she managed to win praise from Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, and (of course) her own coach for her efforts.
Not too much of a shock that Shelton's Chris Kroeze chose "Callin' Baton Rouge," a charming and rambling song made most famous by Garth Brooks in 1993. His lilting vocals—anchored with a bit of growl—did the tune proud and even won Clarkson over, who raved about how she just loved him and wanted to be his friend.
Meanwhile, another of Shelton's crew, Dave Fenley, tried his pipes on Keith Whitley's 1998 classic "When You Say Nothing at All." This one managed to grab some praise from Coach Jennifer Hudson, who admitted she doesn't know much about country music, but likes his vocal style.
Rounding out Shelton's powerhouse team was fan favorite Kirk Jay, who's been melting hearts with his country ballads. He amped things up a bit last week with Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road," but returned to slowing things down with a pretty version of Chris Young's yearning tale of toxic lovers, "Tomorrow." This, unsurprisingly, won raves from all four judges, who like pretty much all of us, are in awe of Jay's effortless heartstring-manipulations.
Finally, Clarkson's petite powerhouse Chevel Shepherd went perhaps the most country of all (and she's not even on Shelton's team!), fearlessly taking on a no-holds-barred traditional version of "You're Looking at Country," which is of course by one of country's most revered goddesses, Loretta Lynn. Her warbling take on the tune, glossed up with all the frills (and some Mason Ramsey-worthy yodeling), was perhaps the highlight of the evening.
Tune in tomorrow (Dec. 4) to see who makes the next cut.
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