Sawyer Fredericks dedicated the first of his two songs to his mother Kirsten on Tuesday night’s episode of The Voice. He explained, “Shine On” is close to her heart because she would sing it to him when he was little, and the family was facing challenging times.
Kirsten has been with the 16-year-old folk-singer through every step of his Voice journey. During rehearsal, Pharrell asked her if being away from their Upstate New York family farm is difficult. She admitted it is because she misses the rest of the family. As Inqusitr reported, she discussed this in March during a local newspaper interview, saying how proud she is of the older boys for taking over the extra responsibilities on the farm. She couldn’t hold back the tears as she watched Sawyer’s touching performance.
When asking his fans to download his cover of “Shine On,” Fredericks also encouraged them to listen to the original May Erlewine version, saying, “Please also listen to May’s original. The full song has another powerful verse, and she is one of my favorite singers.” At the time of publishing, Sawyer’s version was at No. 4 on iTunes, and his second song of the night, “Take Me To The River,” was at No. 13. The fan favorite has been in the top ten since the playoffs began. Each iTunes download counts as a vote. When a contestant’s song lands in the top ten on iTunes, those votes earn a multiplier bonus and are multiplied by ten.
Frederick’s version of Al Green’s “Take Me To The River” was different than anything we’ve seen from the laid-back farm boy so far. He chose to ditch his beloved guitar for the upbeat, retro-vibe production. There was a lot going on around him, with high-energy dancers emphasizing his calm, still presence. Sawyer walked the stage and engaged the audience, which is something his mom said in the past was huge for him. He reached outside his comfort zone and it paid off. It proved he can be true to his deep soulful roots, while still being hip and fun.
Blake Shelton complimented him with, “Man, you sing so amazing. That’s all you have to do. People can run around you and do flips, and it doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter,” then looking enviously in coach Pharrell’s direction, “It doesn’t freakin’ matter.”
Watch The Voice tonight on NBC at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET to see if Sawyer Fredericks makes it through to the semifinals.
[Image by Tyler Golden/NBC]