During the first installment of The Voice season finale on Monday night (May 24), each contestant was asked to selected a “dedication song” honoring something or someone. For staunchly country contestant Kenzie Wheeler, who hails from Team Kelly, that meant tipping his hat to his hometown with a Tracy Byrd cover.
Wheeler selected “The Keeper of the Stars” for his performance, taking the song’s star-crossed lyrics of a love that has always been meant to be and singing them in honor of the town where he grew up. Wheeler, who is a seventh-generation resident of Dover, Fla., was clearly emotional talking about his family, friends and all the supporters he has back home.
Fittingly enough, the stage design was set up to look like a night sky, complete with trees and stars, as the young Voice hopeful offered up his take on “The Keeper of the Stars.”
It comes as no surprise that both of Wheeler’s performances on night one of the finale came from the country genre: Since the very beginning of his run on the show, he’s been a staunch traditionalist, and has seldom ventured outside the realm of classic country. Earlier on in Monday night’s episode, he performed George Strait’s classic “Heartland.” While there may not been much of a genre contrast over the course of the episode, Wheeler did show impressive emotional range, offering first an up-tempo, honky-tonk hit followed by an emotional ballad.
Byrd first released “The Keeper of the Stars” in 1995; it was the fourth and final single to come off his No Ordinary Man album. The song was a No. 2 country hit and was named the ACM Awards’ Song of the Year.
The Voice‘s two-part finale episode will continue on Tuesday night (May 25), airing at 8PM ET on NBC.
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