Covering a song by legendary hit-maker Garth Brooks is quite the challenge for any artist.

But, two singers on season 12 of NBC’s “The Voice” rose to the occasion during an epic battle round performance on Tuesday, March 28.

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Country-leaning hopeful Taylor Alexander, 25, squared off against fellow Team Adam member Jesse Larson, 34, on the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year’s No. 1 hit, “Shameless,” written by Billy Joel.

Stepping out onstage with their guitars in hand, both guys brought their A-game. Jesse quickly and confidently shred a lick on his instrument, despite not knowing the song before being a contestant on the show. Then, both singers traded lyrics with noticeably different singing styles. The cowboy-hatted Taylor leaned into the microphone to flaunt his earnest voice and country twang, while Jesse doused viewers with his gritty vocals and flawless vibrato.

Needless to say, both performers were equally impressive! In fact, coach Adam had to break the tie between the fellow judges’ split decision.

“I’ve got to stick with my country guy over here. I’m pretty impressed by how Taylor stepped up,” said Blake Shelton, who was first to comment.

Alicia Keys, who thought the performance was a toss up, added, “Taylor, there were moments when you stepped out, and I like how you got really strong with it. Jesse, I think that your voice has such a unique style to it. It creates a world of its own. So, I look forward to seeing who Adam chooses.”

“You guys are both your own characters,” added Gwen Stefani. “Jesse, you are super gifted and you can do anything with your voice. If you wanted to you could blow the whole roof off. I loved how you had the dynamics in your voice. I think I’d go with Jesse… something about your spirit was fun to watch.”

Although Adam admitted to being impressed by Taylor, he ultimately chose to keep Jesse on his team.

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“Jesse, you are musically gifted,” he said. “Music just effortlessly flows out of you. The people who really do well in this show, I believe, are the ones who really share their joy for making music with the world. And that’s exactly what you both did. I’m super proud of you.”

After the battle round, Adam even compared Jesse to last season’s winner, Sundance Head. Now, that’s quite the compliment! Jesse will now move onto the grueling knockout rounds.

“The Voice” airs Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC.

Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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