by Jodee Brown
It is fitting that Tessanne Chin’s handle on the popular picture-sharing website, Instagram is ‘TheBesTess,’ because after pulling off one of the most incredible renditions of a Whitney Houston song in recent memory and showing exemplary humility throughout her run onThe Voice, she has painted an image of excellence and grace that has ever graced a talent show stage.
That image is now worth a lot more than 1,000 words, as the 28-year-old Jamaican singer took home the title on the season five finale of the American talent show on Tuesday night, pocketing US$100,000 and a recording contract with a major U.S. label. The result, which also made Adam Levine the winning coach on the show, was confirmed following a two-hour season finale, featuring a number of performances including all the season’s contestants, as well as guest performances by the likes of Lady Gaga, Ne-Yo, Paramore and many more.
The standout performance of the night, however, was from Tessanne, who received the opportunity to sing with legendary singer and idol, Celine Dion, causing her to hysterically burst into tears as she tried to channel the shock. That nervous energy, however, was translated into the typical vocal brilliance she displayed throughout the competition, performing Love Can Move Mountainsalongside the Grammy-winning musician, with both clearly enjoying themselves and giving a display of pure musical talent.
As surprising as that performance was, it was a fitting follow-up to her final live performance show set on Monday night, as she competed against eventual runner-up, Jacqueline Lee and second runner-up, Will Champlin for top spot on The Voice. After singing her rendition of the song which got her in the competition in the first place – Pink’s Try – and performing a sumptuous duet of The Beatles’ Let It Be with Levine,Chin was handed the toughest of tests – Whitney Houston’s classic, I Have Nothing.
Given Houston was one of the greatest singers to ever grace the world, Chin would no doubt be judged by the highest of standards by music lovers and judges alike. But after showing fluency and vocal clarity that few singers possess, Tessanne not only performed to that standard, but had the audience and judges in shock, wondering if she had a ceiling, as Levine pointed out during his post-performance commentary.It was the stuff of legend that even had the likes of Piers Morgan speaking Jamaican patois and later earned her asecond straight number one on the overall iTunes chart.
Locals packed Half-Way-Tree in Kingston during the finale, reminiscent of last year’s Olympic Games in London, and erupted with joy and relief once Tessanne’s name was announced, and everyone from top local musicians, media personnel and high ranking politicians congratulated her from her efforts.
Where Tessanne Chin will go from here is unknown and how Jamaican music will capitalize on this victory remains unclear, but those pictures will be painted over time, everyone can only hope this artist continues to create masterpieces as her career blossoms.