Blake Shelton used his final steal during Season 23 of The Voice on Monday night (April 24). The longtime country coach pressed his red button for Team Kelly Clarkson’s 22-year-old standout, Rachel Christine.
The Wisconsin native delivered a dramatic cover of Stevie Nicks’ “Rhiannon” during the latest Knockout Round. She went up against a country singer named Holly Brand. Clarkson chose Brand as the winner of the round after she belted out an unforgettable cover of LeAnn Rimes’ version of “Blue Moon of Kentucky.”
Brand swept the judges off their feet with her effortless yodel and whistle notes. Her moment also found her showcasing a different side of herself in front of the judges with a throwback to classic country, as she previously channeled more modern country songs including Faith Hill’s “Mississippi Girl” and Ingrid Andress’ “Lady Like.”
Christine, who rehearsed the Nicks hit in front of Mega Mentor Reba McEntire and Clarkson, earned nods of approval for her handling of the microphone and natural storyteller voice before she hit the stage. She also impressed the panel of judges during her performance and had Clarkson on her feet the entire time. But ultimately, Brand had the edge with her effortless whistle notes.
“You guys both did great. What is not awesome is Knockout Rounds. They suck,” Shelton told both artists afterward. “Holly, you have a great yodel. You really have awesome control of it. Rachel, I felt like after what Holly came out here and did, I was just like, ‘And now she’s going to come out here and do ‘Rhiannon’? But you did an awesome job.”
“Rachel. You did an awesome job of coming back on my radar,” Chance the Rapper added. “Holly. You completely blew me away.”
Niall Horan followed up Chance the Rapper’s comments, telling Christine that her “ability to change things up was impressive.” He told Brand that “I’ve been a fan of [you] since day one. I think we got to see what Holly Brand is all about.”
Clarkson, who had the difficult choice of selecting only one of the two artists to advance, said both singers “picked the perfect song.”
“Holly, the whistle notes, and how you somehow incorporated them into a Patsy Cline hit, I thought that was incredible. Rachel, you remind me so much of me when I was younger. You come after someone singing whistle notes, and the crowd is like, ‘Ah’ and then you have to start so mysterious, and all Stevie Nicks, I don’t know if anyone sitting here could do that and not feel shaken. You are an incredibly gifted singer.”
After much thought, Clarkson named Brand the winner of the Knockout. However, Christine doesn’t have to worry too much about going home, since Shelton stole her in the final seconds of the two-hour episode.
“I think in a moment like that, I mean, what Holly did was flashy, and it’s undeniable. But now you get to show somebody you can do just as incredible,” Shelton told Christine. “You are my last steal — my last steal ever.”
The Voice Season 23 airs Monday nights on NBC.