On Monday night’s episode of The Voice, Jesse Larson’s coach Adam Levine expressed his concern that his team member might not make it through to the finals. Last night, Levine breathed a sigh of relief when Larson secured the last spot in the top four during the show’s “instant save” round.
The only member of Levine’s team to make it to the semifinals, Larson performed “Tennessee Whiskey,” written by Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove and originally recorded by David Allen Coe. It was more famously cut George Jones on the 1983 album Shine On, and even more recently appeared on Chris Stapleton’s 2015 debut Traveller. While the song’s power lies not in fancy vocal trills but the ease with which its simple lyrics resonate, Larson opted to play up his staggering range and soulful delivery. He may sound a tad nasally at times, but he captures the grace of a lover’s salvation with impassioned urgency, much like the more understated original.
Clearly floored, Levine tells the audience “You know, Jesse Larson is a guitar player who decided to try singing. . . It’s staggering to me that people can spend their whole lives wanting to be a singer, but he’s probably spent a short amount of time branching out into singing, and in that short period of time went from someone who just gave it a shot to a one-chair turn.”
Winning out against teen country artist Brennley Brown and contemporary singer Hunter Plake, Larson is the first singer in the show’s 12 seasons to reach the finals after receiving only a one-chair turnaround during the blind auditions.
For her instant save performance, country favorite Brown performed Demi Lovato’s “Warrior” with her typical gusto and vocal mastery that extends far beyond her fifteen years. Watch below.
The Voice returns Monday, May 22nd at 8:00 p.m. ET, where the four finalists will perform.