‘The Voice': Team Blake Country Singer Grace West Stuns With a Dolly Parton Classic [Watch]
Teenage country singer Grace West is advancing to the Playoff Round on Season 23 of The Voice following her latest performance on the reality TV sing-off series, when she delivered one of Dolly Parton's biggest hits.
On Monday night (April 24), the Team Blake singer, 19, went head-to-head against 34-year-old Neil Salsich as part of week two of the grueling Knockout Rounds. Leading up to her performance, West was in good hands. She received guidance from Reba McEntire, who coach Blake Shelton chose as the Mega Mentor as part of his final season on the show.
Although West won her round, she had some big shoes to fill. Having the choice of what song she wanted to sing, she selected Parton’s “Here You Come Again.”
“Have you been singing this [song] for a long time?” McEntire asked West, who replied, “I’ve been singing this song since I could sing. I love Dolly Parton. She is just this amazing and strong woman who has literally done it all. She has inspired me a lot.”
Shelton said he loved West’s song choice because it shows her tipping the hat to old-school country. He said the opportunity to sing the Parton hit gave West a chance to show a playful side that fans hadn’t seen yet.
Opening up the Knockout, West appeared onstage wearing a red pantsuit and studded black blazer. She showcased her country twang and high-pitched vocals in the lyrics, incorporating some movements with her free hand. Shelton seemed enthusiastic over West's effortless delivery, mouthing the words, “That’s the real deal” from his red chair.
Salsich followed West with his version of “Taking It to the Streets” by the Doobie Brothers. He made Shelton’s job of having to choose only one of the two artists to advance difficult, because he belted out the tune as if he has done it many times before. During the second half of the rendition, he showcased his personality by letting loose, and moving around the stage.
“Both of you absolutely smashed it,” Niall Horan said afterward. “Neil, the arrangement and the changes you made towards the end, you really took it to a different level. It’s just such a solid voice. The minute I heard you sing, I was like yeah, Neil is back. Grace, that was an unbelievable performance. You have always been one of my favorites. I’m really excited to hear you after the show. In my eyes, you would be the one for the future. That’s why I would just lean toward Grace.”
“Awesome performances on both sides,” Chance the Rapper added. “Grace. Your tone is super cool to me. It has that Southern feel, and the pitch is always there, which is dope. Neil, what I love about your stage presence, It’s really just so exciting, and when you do this thing that you do, and you were like, 'I want all y’all to pick me,' I was like, 'This is convincing me.' I would go with Neil for sure.”
“We were having a good old time during your performance, Neil," Kelly Clarkson added. "I love that song. I love that you are the kind of versatile singer that picks different genres of music. You have this energy about you when you sing. It's captivating, and your voice is crazy. That control is the reason why this show exists. Grace, you are a star. You have a quality about your tone. I don’t know if this was the best song to showcase at this moment. I think Neil, I feel like you nailed this song selection this time.”
“We’re down to the best of the best now,” Shelton said. “This is the last time I’m going to have to do this. The Knockouts are one of the reasons I am quitting, by the way. That’s how much I hate the Knockouts, because you guys both deserve to be here. Hopefully, you both will be here.”
After Carson Daly asked who the winner of the Knockout was, Shelton named West the champion. In a positive twist, however, Salsich won’t be going home, because Clarkson slammed on her red button to steal him for her team.
Be sure to tune in Mondays when The Voice returns on NBC.