The Blind Auditions
17-year-old Ethan Lively was a notable addition to Team Blake on NBC's The Voice season 20. Hailing from East Tennessee, the young contestant's cover of George Strait's "You Look So Good In Love" was so impressive during the blind auditions that he was dubbed, "the tender cowboy." He may have only gotten a one-chair turn but let's be honest...from the first note, we knew he was destined to master his country music singing skills under Blake Shelton.
The high school student explained in his intro video that he performs at festivals and events in his small town and has actually never flown in a plane before. He was excited to perform George Strait on the show as he was drawn to the outlaw Texas sound. Even from his brief appearance so far on the show, you can just feel Lively's positive attitude.
"Growing up wasn't always easy. We lived paycheck to paycheck in a trailer. Not having a whole lot, I learned if you want something, you got to work hard for it," Lively explained.
Following his performance, when Nick Jonas asked when the young singer had first discovered his voice he admitted that he had been singing since he was 3 years old...though he'd only developed his deep drawl around the age of 14.
"It was really a great performance, and you're right in the place you need to be," said John Legend. We couldn't agree more. As impressive as it would be to join Team Legend, Lively will most likely thrive working with Shelton.
Shelton applauded Lively's song choice, wondering why more people didn't choose George Strait songs on the singing competition.
"I'm a little bit embarrassed that I'm the only one that turned around," Shelton said. "Sometimes, it's a little sad to me the lack of country music knowledge these other coaches have."
"You've got an interesting voice because it's sandpapery," the coach continued. "Your speaking voice is almost bigger and louder than your singing voice."
We can't wait to see what Shelton can coach out of him moving forward on the show. We can only imagine all of the incredible covers to come from other Nashville greats. You can also follow along with Lively on social media for more singing outside of the show.
"You are so charming," said Kelly Clarkson, "and I hope you stay exactly as you are."
The Battle Rounds
In the very first battle round, Lively went head to head with another member of Team Blake who had gotten a four-chair turn during the blind auditions -- Avery Roberson. With the help of advisors Dan + Shay, the two country singers battled for their place on Team Blake to James Otto's "Just Got Started Lovin' You." You could tell from the judges' faces, including Kelly Clarkson's fill-in Kelsea Ballerini, that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the performance.
The performance was so good on both ends, it seemed that anyone could be named the winner. Following the performance, Nick Jonas claimed he felt like he'd been line dancing at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth, which led John Legend to admit he'd never actually been to a honky-tonk before. Though the feedback seemed fairly split down the middle, Shelton ultimately named Lively the winner as he felt he gave the stronger performance.
But this wasn't the end for Roberson! Ballerini had been busy texting Kelly Clarkson during the feedback and was able to steal him for Team Kelly!
When moving into the knockout round of the competition, Lively was paired up against Jordan Matthew Young. He opted for another old-school country song by covering Travis Tritt's "Help Me Hold On." He got some solid advice from Snoop Dogg who was helping all teams during the Voice knockouts, but Young really showed up with his performance of The Black Crowes' "She Talks to Angels."
"I'll start with you Ethan," Coach Blake started. "From a country fan standpoint, your voice is so crazy it's so cool. There's just not anybody out there, maybe Trace [Adkins], maybe Josh Turner, but there's not one right now that takes up your lane."
Ultimately Young was named the winner of the knockout round but we have a feeling this isn't the end for Ethan Lively. At just 17 years old he has so much time ahead of him and we can't wait to follow along!