Tessanne seals spot in knockout round of ‘The Voice’ with stellar performance

Tessanne Chin has every reason to smile after advancing to the knockout round of 'The Voice' after edging out Donna Allen during their performance on Monday night.

Tessanne Chin has every reason to smile after advancing to the knockout round of ‘The Voice’ after edging out Donna Allen during their performance on Monday night.

by Jodee Brown

Versatile Jamaican songstress, Tessanne Chin is through to the knockout round of the popular American talent show, The Voice after winning a tightly-contested battle round against veteran American pop singer, Donna Allen Monday night.

Chin and Allen, both standouts on the show mentored by elite singers, Adam Levine and Ryan Tedder were surprisingly paired together during the battle round, in which they had to perform a rendition of Emeli Sande’s hit song, Next To Me together. As expected, they gave a rousing, emotional rendition of the song and made it extremely tough for Levine and fellow judges, Christina Aguilera, Cee’Lo Green and Blake Shelton to choose between them.

Allen’s powerful, raspy voice immediately stomped her authority on the song while Tessanne’s smooth, sultry vocals effectively added the balance and extra charisma necessary to make the rendition come off flawlessly. Following their two-minute rendition, tension arose as the judges lauded them on their performance.

While Shelton gave the edge to Allen, Aguilera and Green both cited Tessanne’s clarity in their decision to give her in the edge. Ultimately, it was the coaches’ decision, and Levine ended up choosing Tessanne to move on to the knockout round, where she will compete against another member or her team for the right to move on to the highly-anticipated live performance stage.

Despite Allen’s exceptional performance in a losing effort, none of Levine’s rival coaches opted to use one of their two steals to take her on board to the next round, to the surprise of many. For his part, Green cited patches in Allen’s voice during her performance as a reason for not opting to take her on.

Battle Night 2 on The Voice will air live Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on NBC and 7 p.m. (local time) on RETV in Jamaica, with TVJ showing a delayed broadcast at 9 p.m. local time.

WADA probes Jamaica’s drug testing agency over alleged gaps prior to London 2012

The World Anti-Doping Agency is investigating alleged inconsistencies in Jamaica's anti-doping policy prior to the London 2012 games, which saw Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce retain their 100m titles.

The World Anti-Doping Agency is investigating alleged inconsistencies in Jamaica’s anti-doping policy prior to the London 2012 games, which saw Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce retain their 100m titles.

by Jodee Brown

Jamaica’s drug-testing agency, the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) is now facing an investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency(WADA) over alleged loopholes and a lack of policing of its athletes prior to the 2012 Olympics in London, according to reports Monday.

The Associated Press reports that WADA is conducting an audit of JADCO after data revealed to the Jamaica Gleaner by JADCO’s former director,Anne Shirley indicating that little to no out-of-competition testing of Jamaica’s athletes took place in the seven months prior to the summer games in July and August of last year. According to Shirley’s data, there were 96 tests administered during Jamaica’s national trials and a local invitational meet in May and June of that year. However, Shirley insisted that no testing took place for five of the seven months leading up to the London games.

Additionally, Shirley’s figures revealed that, aside from 10 out-of-competition test administered in February and one in April of 2012, JADCO’s out-of-competition program stopped. These figures were then published in a Sports Illustrated article this past summer, driving worldwide attention to the issue and triggering talk of a possible expulsion of Jamaica from the 2016 summer games in Rio de Janeiro should any damning findings regarding Jamaica’s anti-doping policies be found.

WADA Director General, David Howman told the Associated Press that the agency was kept out of the loop regarding Jamaica’s alleged lapses in its drug-testing policy.

“There was a period of — and forgive me if I don’t have the number of months right — but maybe five to six months during the beginning part of 2012 where there was no effective operation,” he said. “There might have been one or two, but there was no testing. So we were worried about it, obviously.”

Howman admitted that this is an ‘extraordinary’ audit, with Jamaica being a ‘high priority’ because of these findings.

Shirley said the findings were alarming, telling the AP“It irritated me as a Jamaican: one test out of competition, for what, five months or four months? Given that it was an Olympic year, I felt that more could have been done.”

JADCO chairman, Herbert Elliott blasted Shirley in a response to the AP, branding her as a ‘Judas’ and ‘demented’ while rubbishing the data she collected. He admitted that JADCO could not accommodate auditors from WADA at a date they originally set and does not expect such a visit before the end of 2013.

Howman says that excuse hasn’t sit well with WADA.

“It doesn’t over-impress us,” he told the AP“If there’s going to be that sort of delay, you need to have a better reason.”

International Olympic Committee (IOC) medical officials also revealed that they weren’t made aware of these alleged gaps until Shirley’s data was revealed. Though they admit they would have ordered additional tests on Jamaican athletes had they known about this data sooner, IOC’s medical commission chairman, Arne Ljungvist intimated that it would be unfair to pinpoint Jamaica’s drug-testing issues given their high status and reputation within the track world.

“Jamaica is far from being alone, you know?” she said. “We know that out-of-competition testing in the proper way is not being conducted unfortunately in many parts of the world. One shouldn’t single out Jamaica.”

Jamaica’s high-level performances at the last two Olympics, including nine gold medals and three world records (all involving sprint legend, Usain Bolt) has garnered them worldwide attention, thus making WADA’s probe that much more critical as Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce and others aim to defend their sprint titles at the 2016 summer games in Brazil.

“It’s almost abnormal, OK? Let’s face it. For a country of less than three million people,” she said.“What, you’re saying there’s something peculiar in the water in Jamaica?”