The Voice hopeful Lana Scott let her country roots show on Monday night (Dec. 6) with a Live Semi-Finals Top 8 performance of Carrie Underwood's "Something in the Water."
Not only did Scott clear the extremely high bar she'd set for herself with a rendition of a gospel-themed chart-topper from 2014. Toward the end of the segment, she led a choir of backup singers through one of the all-time singers' songs, "Amazing Grace."
Coach Blake Shelton could hardly contain his excitement during or after Scott's performance.
"I told you how important this week is for performances, and in my opinion, more important than the finale,"Shelton said. "And wow! You've been consistent all along, but you've never turned it up like that. That's your best performance of the season!"
Scott stepped outside of her comfort zone during Challenge Week with a Nov. 29 performance of Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away."
The country singer made the song suit her vocal delivery and creative vision, turning a modern pop standard into a breezy pop-country jam.
"That was so so beautiful. I think it's insane and so funny that the one week you sing something that isn't country, you decide to take on one of the biggest and most perfectly written pop songs ever from one of the best pop albums of all time," Ariana Grande said. "I think it was a beautiful rendition, and you brought Lana into it."
"The way you perform is so conversational, and it really came through in that song," Shelton said. "I don't see any reason that we wouldn't hear you singing that on country radio because you made it work. That's the definition of what challenge week is."
One Perry cover aside, Scott keeps sticking with what she knows: today's country music. The show's last twangster standing stayed in her comfort zone on Nov. 22, wowing Shelton with a rendition of Gabby Barrett's crossover hit "I Hope."
"Every season, there's this conversation we have at some point about an artist having their breakout moment. Some never have it. You just completely changed the landscape of this entire competition," Shelton said. "That was by far the best performance that you've had!"
Scott went back to country music's 21st century songbook on Nov. 15, performing Tim McGraw's "Humble and Kind."
Lori McKenna wrote the Grammy Award-winning song about being as decent a human being as possible and cut her own version following McGraw's meteoric success.
In the context of Scott's Top 13 run on The Voice, it proves that her vocal delivery and performance style allow her to wring every drop of emotion from one of the most powerful endorsements for the Golden Rule to reach country airwaves over the past 20 years.
Scott, the source of the funniest Shelton versus Clarkson banter of Season 21, earned some of the season's highest praise from Shelton following a Nov. 8 performance of Carly Pearce's "Next Girl" during The Voice Season 21's Live Playoffs.
"You're it. You are the country artist on The Voice this season and I could not be more proud of you and of that performance," Shelton told Scott. "You are ready for this. We need you in country music right now. Ask Kelly, we need you on the radio and in country music right now."
Scott separated herself from the country-leaning pack on Nov. 1 with her Knockout Rounds victory over Carson Peters. Her talents were on full display throughout a rendition of Taylor Swift's "Wildest Dreams." It edged out Peters' equally impressive take on a song made famous by George Strait, "Amarillo By Morning."
Shelton used his save back on Oct. 12 to keep Scott on his team and on the show following her performance of Maren Morris' "The Bones."
The blind auditions for The Voice continued on Sept. 21 as Scott covered Kelsea Ballerini's "Hole In The Bottle." The singer impressed all coaches but received just two chair turns, with Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson fighting for her to join their teams. Scott is a native of Chesapeake, Va., and now resides in Pasadena Cal. Sporting a beautiful denim dress and knee-high boots, she showcased that singular country twang, taking over the stage as a true artist.
As she ended her performance, Shelton quickly exclaimed, "that is country!" He continued, "I can't put a value on your tone. You have that whiny country thing that we just don't hear anymore, and the fact that you have so much energy and so much personality on stage, my God, thank you for coming to this show."
Clarkson was equally impressed with Scott's performance. "I love your sound, it kind of reminded me of [The Chicks'] Natalie Maines mixed with Pam Tillis," Clarkson said. "You just have that really cool, stylized country sound, which I love. I wouldn't call it whiny." In which Shelton exclaimed, "People who don't understand country music, don't understand how awesome that is."
As the dynamic duo continued to banter back and forth to convince the contestant to join their teams, both fellow coaches Grande and John Legend went off-camera for a little popcorn snack as they continued to banter.
Clarkson was heard saying, "Oh my God, Lana, I grew up in Texas on country music. I don't wear cowboy boots or a belt buckle. I love country music, though. I grew up going to Country Fest and things like that, it is a lifestyle. I think I would be a really good coach for you, and you would look really snazzy in this turquoise number, right here."
To which Shelton explained, "After 21 seasons of doing this, I don't show up pandering by trying to gift jackets and first aid kits and robes, I try to offer them a trophy at the end of this thing. That's my number one gift, I give people, is the championship." When the other two judges returned, Shelton questioned Scott's love for the country. Shelton asked if she was born loving country music.
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) September 22, 2021
Although Scott admitted to loving other genres, she did share that country was her favorite. She explained that she grew up with country music and cookouts in Virginia where her family were always huge fans of Faith Hill and Blake Shelton and had their music in the background. She stated, "My dad loves you, by the way. I sing a variety of music, but country is my home base."
So as you can imagine, she ultimately chose to join Team Blake. "I love you both so much, I can't even tell you. So, this is a dream," Scott said before making her decision. "I have to trust my heart, and this is for me and you Dad -- Blake."
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