Written in 1923 by Thomas Chisholm and composer William M. Runyan, the hymn predated anything else Smith has performed on The Voice by nine decades. But it still resonated with listeners, being the top Voice selection on iTunes Tuesday.
The segment leading into Smith’s Monday night performance was emotional, with Smith talking about his faith and how it intertwines with his music.
“None of this would ever be possible in your own strength,” the Harlan County-native said, choking up. He said God is, “like, ‘I’m going to do everything for you, and all you have to do is wake up every morning and do what you love.’
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“This performance, it’s a chance for me to show who I really am.”
Smith and coach Adam Levine talked about how to present the hymn, Levine concluding, “I don’t think the band should be playing on this. I think it should be just you.”
And indeed, it was just Smith and a piano on stage in a performance that slowly built, but never quite engaged the vocal acrobatics his other performances have. It didn’t need to.
Coach Blake Shelton talked about the performance being something of a balm for the events of the weekend with the terror attacks in Paris, and Levine added to that saying, “Sometimes so much about the world is so confusing and so sad. They you come along and there’s a lot of hope.”
Smith was the first competitor saved by popular votes on Tuesday night’s show.
The show slowly announced the other saved singers until getting down to Mark Hood from Team Pharrell and Korrin Bukowski from Gwen Stefani’s team. Both then sang a song – Hood an energetic Signed, Sealed, Delivered and Bukowski a charming Don’t Know Why – and the winner was decided by a vote of Twitter hashtags. In on screen results, Bukowski maintained a steady lead over Hood – like UK over Duke – and she ultimately was the final entry in the Top 11.