Bryce Leatherwood Performs Two Country Hits During ‘The Voice’ Live Finale [Watch]
Bryce Leatherwood showed a new side of himself on Monday night (Dec. 12) during the first half of the live Season 22 finale of The Voice. The Team Blake country singer didn’t step outside his genre, but he did perform an up-tempo song for viewers as part of the two-hour episode.
Onstage, Leatherwood, 22, belted out a version of “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” — a song originally recorded by Elvis Presley and later made famous by Travis Tritt, who included his rendition on his 1992 album of the same name.
Leatherwood, who sported a leather jacket for his performance, brought the house down with his high energy. He covered the tune while surrounded by a full band, a couple of backup dancers and blinking red stage lights.
“I’ve never seen you perform like that. I love hearing you on an up-tempo song like that. I love to hear your voice do those rhythmic, fast parts. You’re just a star up there,” Camila Cabello told Leatherwood afterward. “It was so fun to watch!”
“Bryce. We’ve heard this buttery, smooth tone you’ve had. You’ve had this rich, beautiful, like, mellow vibe throughout the season. Then you show us this. That was so fun and exciting,” John Legend added. “It showed another side of you. I love that. That was so good.”
“You got John talking in a super loud voice,” Blake Shelton joked. “That means he’s excited…. I’m pretty sure you just raised the roof a little bit.”
Up to this point, Leatherwood has shined on traditional country ballads, doling out hits including George Strait's “Amarillo by Morning,” Justin Moore’s “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” and Zac Brown Band's “Colder Weather.” So, offering something fresh for fans and viewers to latch onto while being encouraged to vote for their favorite artists was a genius move on his part. Nonetheless, Leatherwood also made sure to remind America why they fell in love with him in the first place.
Tackling a touching ballad, Leatherwood delivered “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by the late Keith Whitley as a dedication to his hometown of Woodstock, Ga. Before reimagining the country classic, he read aloud a meaningful letter that he wrote about the people that he grew up around and the place where he was raised.
“Georgia. The place where I was born and raised,” he began. “The place where I’ve lived, grown and became who I am today. I owe the success of my music career to the people of Georgia, who have always loved and supported this dream of mine since the beginning…. Often referred to as the heart of the South, Georgia is all I’ve known, from the elementary school hallways to the lecture halls in Statesboro, Ga. It has always felt like home to me. While my time in California has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I have longed for my home, the beautiful state of Georgia. It’s where I have my family, my friends and a lot of my beautiful fans. It was my goal when I came out to Los Angeles to represent my family. Now I feel like I represent a whole lot more than just my family. I want my music to represent the people who supported me in music…the story of Bryce Leatherwood will always start in Georgia, my home, my happy place, and the place I love. Georgia is always on my mind.”
Of his “Don’t Close Your Eyes” rendition, Gwen Stefani said, “Gosh! My real thoughts were, 'If you don’t win The Voice, you just won a career,' because that was so beautiful and perfect. I loved every second of it.”
“To deliver that performance the way you did, with so much class, sitting up there, you sounded great. And to do Keith Whitley on television on The Voice on primetime television on NBC, you just ignited a fire in country music fans out there,” Shelton added. “By the way, you introduced Keith’s music to a whole new generation of fans. Good on you, dude.”
At this point, Leatherwood is one of five artists competing for The Voice victory. He is also one of three singers in the running for a win on Team Blake. Team Camila's Morgan Myles and Team Legend's Omar Jose Cardona are also competing for the top prize.
Leatherwood will find out whether or not he is crowned the Season 22 champion on Tuesday night (Dec. 13) during a live two-hour finale on NBC.