TV: Love Note to Tessanne Chin
by Bob Schwartz
Last night were the semifinal performances on The Voice. There are three worthy contenders left, including Cole Vosbury and James Wolpert. Then there is Tessanne Chin from Jamaica.
Tessanne sang Bridge Over Troubled Water and owned the night. Talent competitions are not meritocracies, so she may not win, and it won’t matter.
1. She is beautiful, inside and out, delightfully open-hearted, loving and modest. You can tell this by watching and listening to her and by the testimony of her coach, Adam Levine. Adam obviously has a crush on her and he isn’t alone.
2. Even with the normal lyricism of a Jamaican accent, hers is especially enrapturing. Randy Jackson, former judge on the soon-to-be-former American Idol, constantly complimented contestants by saying they could sing the phone book. Tessanne could read the phone book and people would pay for it.
3. Her performance last night was one of the great performances on a singing competition ever. There are dozens of recorded covers of the original, most famously by Aretha Franklin. Listening to some of them, there may be a few that are technically more pristine, but not a one that seems to have skipped the singer’s vocal cords and lungs and sprung directly from a beating heart. This may explain in part why her coach was tearing up, as were undoubtedly many others.
All that is why it doesn’t matter whether Tessanne wins or not. If you don’t watch The Voice, see her first performance of Pink’s Try. And consider that performances are gifts, no matter what the circumstances, and Tessanne is a very talented and generous giver.