Last night, Gilman reached new heights with a stirring rendition of Adele’s “All I Ask,” showcasing his impressive vocal range with his second Adele cover of the season (he sang “When We Were Young” in the blind auditions). Given his larger-than-life voice, Gilman’s standout moments tend to come from his effortless falsettos or soaring, Broadway-style outros. But for the first time, Gilman’s most memorable moment was a quieter, subtle display of emotional vulnerability – something all the coaches and fans alike have been eager to see. “It matters how this ends,” he sings at the 2:43 mark, pausing to look up and appearing to hold back tears before he sings the final two refrains. “‘Cause what if I never love again?” he pleads, visibly struggling.
His display of vulnerability wasn’t lost on the judges. “Billy, I’m running out of awesome things to say about you at this point,” said Blake Shelton. Equally moved, Gilman’s coach Adam Levine said, “You can sing all the perfect notes. But it doesn’t matter if you don’t feel it. . . for the first time you made me feel something. It was so pure and real and honest.”
Earlier in the show, soul-country favorite, Team Blake’s Sundance Head, tackled perhaps his most challenging performance to date on the show (“maybe ever in my life,” the singer quipped in his intro). His cover of coach Alicia Keys’ “No One” starts restrained with mournful violins, but it’s smartly contrasted with his booming chest voice in the second half. Head had Keys herself throwing her hands in the air as the song reached its turning point. “I’ve never heard anybody sing ‘No One’ like that. You’re. . . the one person I wish was on my team,” she said. Adam Levine also effusively praised Head, saying, “[Most] crack under pressure. That pressure has added another layer to your performance. You’re so diverse.”
Other noteworthy country performances of the night included Ali Caldwell taking on Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5’ with a peppy, bouncy flair. Gravelly vocalist Aaron Gibson performed a haunting version of “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails – also recorded by Johnny Cash – before Josh Gallagher wooed the crowd with Brett Eldredge’s “Drunk on Your Love.”
The Voice airs again tonight, Tuesday, November 22nd, at 8 p.m. ET.