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The Top 11 contestants took the stage solo during “The Voice” on Nov. 27 in hopes of staying in the running for the final prize. Instead of performing a tune of their choice, they tackled a song suggested by the viewers via Twitter and “The Voice” app. But luckily for team Miley’s country cutie Ashland Craft, she was already familiar with the surprising country hit fans chose for her.

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You see, in rehearsals last week, Ashland ran through Zac Brown Band’s smash, “Chicken Fried” on guitar. Fans loved her brief, acoustic performance of the hit so much that they voted for her to sing it live.

When Ashland appeared onstage, she was full of confidence and energy. She donned a denim outfit featuring bedazzled, red, white and blue fringe, and was joined by musicians on hay bales, a stage set so clichéd that it generally elects a collective eye roll from the Nashville music industry.

Despite the set, she worked the crowd with finger snaps, handclaps and hip shakes, while putting her gritty and smoky vocals on the down home lyrics.

Needless to say, she wowed!

“You did not make any mistakes. You were so great,” coach Adam Levine praised. “I think there was something to you doing a straight-ahead thing. You were singing a song I know and love. I think you are great and belong in this competition.”

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After Adam’s comments, coach Miley Cyrus took a moment to compliment her mentee’s fringed outfit. She then told her, “I think you partied in the U.S.A. You used the stage, and you involved the crowd even with their clapping, so good job! I want to give you an A-plus on your confidence. Good job.”

Even though Ashland pleased the coaches, she’s not off the hook yet, as it’s up to the fans to decide whether or not she truly owned her moment. Results will air on NBC Tuesday, Nov. 28 when one artist is sent home.

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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