The Voice contestant Adam Wakefield caused a battle between judges Blake Shelton and Adam Levine with his cover of the country classic “Tennessee Whiskey.”
Wakefield performed a rendition of the George Jones track during the March 1 blind auditions episode. His rendition was very similar to the popular Chris Stapleton cover, which is featured on his breakthrough debut album Traveller. Not only did Wakefield look like somewhat of a Stapleton clone with his long hair and hat, he stayed a little too true to the original by trying to replicate every run and vocal accent. Nonetheless, his performance led Shelton to hit his buzzer in approval much later than Maroon 5 frontman Levine.
“The reason it took me longer to hit my button is ’cause Adam doesn’t realize that’s a George Jones song that Chris Stapleton covered, took the melody and changed it,” he explained. “Country is not always about exactly what you sound like but it’s about what you want to represent with your music. It’s guys like you that get me so excited about the future of Nashville. Dude, you’re country. You’re freakin’ country.”
Levine quickly fired back at Shelton, arguing that talent shouldn’t be immediately boxed into a genre. “Music reaches millions and millions of people all over the world,” he explained. “It’s not supposed to be in a box. I don’t think it matters. I think you should pick me because I want you more.”
In the end, Wakefield ended up choosing Shelton as his mentor for the season. While the latest member of Team Blake does have a strong voice, he’ll need to try and put a more original spin on his covers if he’s going to make it as a legitimate artist.