‘The Voice': Bryce Leatherwood Honors George Strait With ‘Amarillo by Morning’ [Watch]
The Top 13 finalists on Season 22’s The Voice returned on Monday night (Nov. 21) to deliver their best performances yet, in hopes of moving into the next phase of the nail-biting singing competition.
Second to take the stage for the Live Playoff episode was Team Blake’s Bryce Leatherwood. Last week’s results show saw him appearing in the bottom three. He had to sing for America's votes, and his on-the-fly take on Billy Currington’s “Let Me Down Easy” earned him the Instant Save.
This week, contenders were tasked with selecting songs that have changed their lives — a fitting theme for Leatherwood, who was likely feeling some relief heading into the night as he was given the opportunity to show America what he’s capable of once again. For his moment, Leatherwood chose to sing George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning.”
“George Strait is an incredible artist. He’s the reigning King, man,” Leatherwood told coach Blake Shelton during rehearsals. “This song is going to make me bring it. If you come out with the King, you best not miss.”
And while Leatherwood is a big fan of Strait, the song itself is special to his journey as an artist.
“I cut my teeth with this song in little, tiny bars in my hometown,” he shared. “I remember people enjoying my singing. That spoke volumes. This song has been in my set list from day one, and it continues to be whether it's just me performing it by myself or with my band.”
“George Strait is sacred for any country artist. He knows how important this song is to country music fans, and I truly believe this is going to be Bryce’s best performance so far,” Shelton told viewers ahead of his mentee’s Live Playoff performance.
Onstage, Leatherwood didn’t disappoint his coach. He lived up to his expectations, even though singing a Strait song is a tall order. Surrounded by cactus stage props and flanked by two musicians, the Woodstock, Ga., native, 22, used his country swagger and twang vocals to provide a genuine take on the country classic.
“This may be the first time I’ve ever felt like a stage mom,” Shelton quipped afterward. “I was singing every word and was thinking, ‘Here comes the modulation. Smile! Smile!’ I mean I was so into that. I love George Strait, and I love Bryce. Let me tell you something. The position you were in last week, I mean, who knows how it happens, but that’s how you fix it, man. That was a great song and performance!”
“Bryce. I’m no country expert as Blake will remind you often, but I gotta say, it sounded so perfect and so natural.” John Legend added. “A man named Bryce Leatherwood singing a George Strait song. You sounded like you were perfectly in your comfort zone. You sounded so confident. You look like a star up there. Your voice sounded pure and beautiful. It was a perfect execution of that song. Very well done.”
On Tuesday (Nov. 22), only ten artists will move forward into the next round of The Voice.
The Voice airs Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC.