‘The Voice’ Finalist Bryce Leatherwood Says He Wants to Be Just Like Blake Shelton
It’s safe to say that Bryce Leatherwood is content with the coach he chose to go with on Season 22’s The Voice.
The 22-year-old from Woodstock, Ga., has been competing on Team Blake since receiving a three-chair-turn for his blind audition performance of Conway Twitty’s "Goodbye Time" — a song that was re-recorded by Blake Shelton for his 2004 album, Blake Shelton’s Barn & Grill.
Shelton, his wife Gwen Stefani, and John Legend pressed their buttons for Leatherwood, who ultimately decided to participate on the country star's team due to the "No Body" singer's strong knowledge of the genre compared to his co-stars. And while it’s too early to know if Leatherwood will take home the win, he already has plenty to be thankful for as he is learning from the one person he aspires to be like.
"I hope to be something like him one day,” Leatherwood says of Shelton while speaking to People. “I think I would be doing pretty good. He's an incredible coach, and he's a great friend. He's definitely someone I can relate to in a lot of ways, and he sees a lot of himself in me — at least I hope so."
One of Leatherwood’s recent performances on The Voice saw him turning out an impressive cover of George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning.” That performance landed him in the Top 10 after he earned the Instant Save vote competing in the bottom four the week prior.
During the show's Live Playoffs, Shelton remarked that it was the "first time I’ve ever felt like a stage mom."
"I was singing every word and was thinking, ‘Here comes the modulation. Smile! Smile!’ I mean, I was so into that," the proud coach adds. "I love George Strait, and I love Bryce."
Earlier this year, Shelton announced he will be leaving The Voice after Season 23, when he’ll coach alongside Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan and Chance the Rapper.
“I’ve been wrestling with this for a while, and I’ve decided that it’s time for me to step away from The Voice after next season,” Shelton, who holds the titles for the longest-running coach and the coach with the most wins on The Voice, said in a statement on Instagram. “This show has changed my life in every way for the better, and it will always feel like home to me."
Luckily for Leatherwood, Shelton’s impending departure from the reality TV competition won’t affect his experience on the program. And while the hitmaker is still around offering his advice to the Season 22 hopefuls, Leatherwood says his goal is "to make the old man proud."
"He's tuckered out, but he gives as much as he can to everyone who's ever been on this show and been on this team,” Leatherwood shares of Shelton. “I think it says a lot about a man who's been able to do something for 12 years, interact with young artists and support them in any way he can. It takes a lot for someone to do that. Especially at this caliber."
Leatherwood currently represents Team Blake alongside fellow contenders Bodie and Brayden Lape as one of the show's remaining Top 8. That number will drop to five remaining The Voice contestants during Tuesday's Dec. 6 live results show.