She did her family – and her native land – proud.
Kingston, Jamaica, native Anita Antoinette stepped up to honor her island-nation homeland Monday on The Voice, delivering a theatrical and spirited performance of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” as her mother – who brought the family to the U.S. for a better life – looked on in wonder.
“You gotta be proud,” Adam Levine told her amid cheers afterward, noting Antoinette’s obvious talent and the importance of sharing Marley’s message of freedom to the world.
“Tonight, you get to be that ambassador to Jamaica,” Levine said.
“It was authentic, it was beautiful, and it was true,” she said. “I just feel blessed to be a part of it.”
Antoinette’s singing capped two hours of solid performances, as The Voice‘s final dozen artists took to the stage, hoping to impress viewers who will whittle the group down to 10.
Likely earning a ticket back next week was soulful Chris Jamison, who had a serious pop star moment singing Nick Jonas‘s “Jealous” for Team Adam.
Wearing a black suit and tie that showed off his sleek frame, Jamison worked the stage like a junior Justin Timberlake in a musical moment that seemed a perfect fit for his groove and easy falsetto.
Loving it perhaps the most were the ladies in the crowd, who voiced their approval and would not let up.
“It just showed all the strength of your voice,” Stefani told Jamison. “The screaming in here was so loud, I think I have permanent damage!”
Levine, acknowledging Jamison’s hot looks, was jazzed as his artist had his best performance of the season and opened a lane for himself moving ahead. “Yeah, you’re cute all right but you’re a talented, talented singer,” Levine enthused.
Other early Season 7 standouts also kept their stock high, including Blake Shelton‘s Southern rocker Craig Wayne Boyd. He showed he could helm some classic country on George Strait’s ballad of longing, “You Look So Good in Love.”
Shelton hoped the quieter song would showcase a more tender side of the hunky artist, and Boyd did not disappoint. Even Pharrell Williams stood up to acknowledge the moment. “It was such a clean, super-professional performance,” he told Boyd, as Stefani and Shelton also acknowledged his skill.
“You’re such a professional and so natural. When you’re watching, it doesn’t feel like you are on the show, it feels like your show,” Stefani said.
Shelton noted that Boyd has had breakout moments back to back in recent weeks. And he’s only getting better. “Every time you get on this stage, you show a different side to who you are, and you take it to the next level,” he said. “That’s the mark of a star.”
Rocking it out for Team Adam on Monday was Matt McAndrew, who had his own big moment on Hozier’s “Take Me to Church.”
“Man, I can’t wait to hear this album that you are going to make after this show,” Williams said. Added Stefani: “That song was perfect for you. It gave us an insight on what you might be like if you made a record.”
After helming some big vocals on the show, including Whitney Houston, DaNica Shirey showed her own versatility in turning Radiohead’s “Creep” upside down. While the original version falls into the category of alternative rock, her coach, Williams, gave fans a glimpse of his producing prowess as he helped her to re-envision it as a soul song.
With a funk backbeat fueling her groove, Shirey turned heads with her fresh arrangement. “You’re a freak of nature. It’s incredible what comes out of you. It’s just shocking incredible,” Stefani gushed, praising Shirey’s white-and-black dress and her youthful look.
Noted Levine: “You have like a champagne problem here. You’re so good, so literally anything you sing is going to be amazing. This was great. Because it was totally not at all what was expected.”
Also returning strong was soul standout Damien, who did his own preaching with grand and emotional style on the Hollies’ ’60s classic, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.”
It was goosebump-inducing as the singing TSA agent – who has six brothers and sisters – got lost in the spirit of the song.
By the time Damien finished, Williams was on his feet and shaking his head in disbelief as Levine, his coach, also stood open-mouthed as the crowd wouldn’t stop cheering.
“I don’t know who is prouder – the church or Donny Hathaway,” Williams praised, invoking the name of the late soul and gospel vocalist whose smooth style matches up with Damien’s own.
“That performance that is Baptist, Pentecostal. That’s the Southern church, man. Congratulations!” Williams said.
The Voice continues Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC with the live results show, as the Top 12 artists are narrowed to 10.
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