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BIAS’ “Soulful” Cover of Blake Shelton’s “God’s Country” Wowed Both Reba and Gwen
Covering a former Voice Coach is risky, but do it right, and it'll get you far.
Contestants on The Voice cover a lot of iconic songs. It's a great way to get the Coaches' attention during Blind Auditions. A song choice can tell you a lot not just about a singer's personality but about which Coach they're angling to impress.
Even by The Voice standards, though, singing a song by a former Coach — who's married to a current Coach, no less — is a gutsy move. That's exactly what happened on Season 24, Episode 4 when 23-year-old BIAS, a singer and worship pastor from Tennessee, took the stage with his energetic rendition of a Blake Shelton hit.
BIAS sings "God's Country" by Blake Shelton on The Voice Season 24 Blind Auditions
In his introduction, BIAS mentioned that he does a pretty good impression of Shelton and even gave a little taste of that particular talent. He also mentioned that his song choice was designed to get the attention of Shelton's wife, Gwen Stefani, who he expected to perk up as soon as she heard the intro.
Sure enough, when the first notes of "God's Country" hit, Stefani's eyes went wide, and her fellow Coaches joined her as BIAS launched into his performance. Hopping and kicking around the stage with loads of energy, he managed to end the song with two chair turns, one from Stefani and one from the Queen of Country herself, Reba McEntire. Though they didn't turn their chairs, the other Coaches were also impressed, particularly Niall Horan.
"Blake will tell you that's a very, very hard song to sing," Horan said.
Stefani added, "I remember when he first started singing it live, he would be like 'Oh my god,' because it takes so much air."
While he noted "pitchy" moments in BIAS' performance, Horan also noted that the two chairs that did turn for the singer were probably the most important.
"I mean, you got the approval from the Queen of Country," he said.
John Legend chimed in: "And the Queen of Shelton."
"You're doin' all right," Horan said.
Then, it was time for Stefani and McEntire to make their pitches.
"I loved your energy, I loved your spirit, and at the end of the song, you had some really cool kind of texture and growl," Stefani said before adding that her name is "Gwen Shelton" and holding up her phone to emphasize her connection to Blake.
"Just a phone call away," she joked.
But of course, McEntire is also one of BIAS' heroes, and she wasn't going down without a fight.
"When you started singing and then the crowd got into it, I knew you must have been doing something really good out here," she said. "And I thought 'Oh my gosh, I love the way he sings.' That's when I hit my button, and I was so glad I did because you were kicking some major butt out here."
After Coach John Legend praised BIAS' "soulful" performance of the song, he asked the crucial question: Which of the two legendary ladies would he pick to be his Coach? Though he acknowledged that he's been listening to McEntire's music for his entire life, BIAS couldn't pass up the opportunity to work with a member of the Shelton family and ended up going with Stefani to be his Coach.
"Are you serious?! It was the ring," Stefani gushed to the cameras after hugging her new team member.