Kenzie Wheeler transported fans back in time to the early 1990s with a cover of George Strait’s “Heartland” during night one of The Voice finale on Monday evening (May 24).
The 23-year-old Florida native performed Strait’s 1993 hit, “Heartland.” As a longtime George Strait fan, Wheeler said he’s wanted to perform a song from the country legend while on the show and now was his time.
“I didn’t expect to make it this far. I’m just thankful and blessed for sure,” Wheeler said, adding, “Having this opportunity knowing that I could possibly win this and have a record deal, it’s pretty insane.”
Coach Kelly Clarkson shared her excitement over his song choice prior to his performance, telling him, “This whole performance is about energy and vibes…I want everybody to feel like they just went to a honky tonk.”
She later continued, “Kenzie Wheeler, he just sounds like a country superstar” and told him he would one day be playing stadiums.
Wheeler showcased a new side of himself on stage with his “Heartland” performance as he really let loose and had fun while he was on stage.
— The Voice (@NBCTheVoice) May 25, 2021
He once again impressed Blake Shelton, who has been a fan of Wheeler since the stage.
“I thought that was really good, the modulation in the middle was unexpected,” Shelton told him. “Dusty had the mullet in the beginning of that movie. That song is from Pure Country, which George Strait was in. You sounded great and I’m glad you are teaching Kelly some country music.”
“It reminds everybody again, we all miss live music,” Clarkson added. “I want to go to the bar. Thank you for the inspiration. I love your voice, I can’t say it enough.”
Kenzie Wheeler has covered several country songs throughout the season, including Brooks & Dunn’s “Red Dirt Road,” Luke Combs’ “Beer Never Broke My Heart” and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ in the Dark,” and George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
Fans can vote for Kenzie Wheeler on the official The Voice website.