Reality shows know how to break hearts with the strength of a million high school prom dates. They just love to build someone's hopes up so the audience can (even if they won't admit it) enjoy watching them fall right on their face on the national stage.
NBC's The Voice is a little different from that side of the medium. It doesn't purposely put on singers who have more confidence than actual musical talent so some stuffy British jerk can insult them on national TV. We're not naming names, of course. That would be tacky and something they would do, not us.
Dallas singer Manassah Samone delivered a powerful performance of Lauren Daigle's "Rescue" last season on the NBC musical reality competition, but none of the judges chose to turn around their chairs. She clearly won over the crowd with her impressive range and deep, booming vocal delivery, but for some reason not one of the judges could be bothered to give her a chance.
Clearly, the producers and talent coordinators thought she deserved another shot at catching the attention of the new crop of judges, so The Voice brought Samone back for last Monday's round of "Blind Auditions." Even though she had nowhere to go but up, the singer did much more than just the minimum.
This time, Samone performed her rendition of Andra Day's "Rise Up," and unlike last time, one of the judges wasted no time hitting that big red button that turns around the chairs. New celebrity judge Chance the Rapper took less than a minute into Samone's performance to show his approval. The other three — Niall Horan, Blake Shelton and (gasp! really?) Kelly Clarkson — didn't take a chance on Samone, but when she delivered the final high note, she had the crowd and Chance the Rapper standing and clapping.
"They didn't turn around!" Chance said. "This is the biggest blessing of the whole show so far. I can't believe I got you just like that!"
Chance said Samone's voice reminded him of a young Jennifer Hudson. He complimented Samone on her powerful vocals, impressive breath control and spot-on tones, describing her performance as "operatic." That was fitting; Samone told him that she studied opera for two to three years, and that is when she learned all the skills he mentioned.
Clarkson gave supportive feedback to Samone's performance, but said she didn't turn around because it felt like Samone was "still fighting with the tug-of-war of technique and passion." Clarkson noted, however, that the singer still had a chance to win a spot on the show.
Samone wrote on her Instagram page that she's thrilled to have Chance the Rapper as her coach for this season of The Voice.
"For Chance the Rapper to give me a major compliment by saying I remind him of the young Jennifer Hudson," Samone wrote, "that is HUGE."