May 02, 2017 12:35 PM

There’s a reason why Alicia Keys compared Chris Blue to the likes of Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke and other greats on Monday night’s episode of The Voice.

The Tennessee native was the last contestant to take the stage during the top 11 performances and brought down the house with his powerful rendition of Percy Sledge‘s classic love song, “When A Man Loves A Woman” — and his fiancée was there to see it.

“It was a pretty emotional song, and then having my fiancée present in the audience did not help,” Blue told reporters after the live show. “I got choked up mid-way through it and then had to fight to finish the song.”

He adds of the performance: “It was just really special.”

Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Not only do Blue and his fellow members of Team Alicia (Vanessa Ferguson and Stephanie Rice) have a coach in common —they’re also engaged!

Ferguson, who shined bright during her performance of Rihanna’sDiamonds,” is planning for a September wedding back in her hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina. But even if she’s crowned the winner of The Voice, don’t expect her to sing at her own reception.

“I always say I’m a person, but I sing — I’m not a ‘singer,'” she shares. “My friends will probably sing at my wedding, but me? I just want to be the bride.”

Rice, on the other hand, rocked out to her performance of the Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes” and says she “has some things in the works” that she’s keeping under wraps when it comes to her impending nuptials with her fiancée, Janeth.

“When this chapter comes to a close, then I’ll be able to focus on that and open up a new chapter with Jan,” she says. “I’m really excited.”

Rice’s road to finding love and acceptance wasn’t always an easy one, as her parents disowned her after she came out to them at 18 years old. Although she didn’t know “Behind Blue Eyes” before preparing it for the show, Rice says she felt a strong connection to the tune’s lyrics.

“When I heard the first line, ‘No one knows what it’s like to be the bad man’ — it kind of hit me,” she says. “A lot of unfortunate things have happened in my life where I felt like that a lot. Then the chorus says, ‘But my dreams aren’t as empty as my conscience seems to be.’ That kind of sums up the past decade of my life. I’ve been battling being told, ‘Your life is empty,’ but I feel like my life is full and full of dreams.”

Since coming on the show, Rice found support in her two older brothers who have stood by her throughout the process.

“My brother, Tim, flew out here last weekend and he was in the audience for my performance,” she says. “I think this is the coolest thing ever — he got these shirts made up that say ‘Team Steph,’ and he told people that if they change their Facebook profile to my picture, he’ll give them a shirt.”

In Rice’s hometown in Texarkana, Texas, Tim went to over 70 houses to give people their shirt.

“He was telling me that I’ve touched lives that I didn’t know that I’ve touched back home,” she says. “After feeling ostracized from my hometown at one point in my life, it’s a beautiful full circle thing that’s happening for me.”

The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

You May Like