For her final few performances on “The Voice” stage on Monday (Dec. 16), Tessanne Chin took on a pair of musical legends whom lesser artists may shrink away from out of fear. But rather than retreat, she faced songs from The Beatles and Whitney Houston head-on.
While speaking with Zap2it backstage after her performances, Chin let us in on where the idea to reggae-fy “Let It Be” came from, what it was like to perform alongside coach Adam Levine and which moment on her road to the finale has meant the most to her. Below is our full conversation.
Zap2it: Congratulations on a great night! How are you feeling walking away from that?
Chin: Feeling good. Feeling like I put it all out there and I gave it my best, so no matter what happens, I’ll have no regrets.
Tonight your journey went full circle as you got to bring Pink’s “Try” back to the stage after performing it at your blind audition. What was that like?
It was just absolutely awesome. As I said before, I sang that because the message was true. That was me getting up and trying again, this whole thing with ‘The Voice’ and I didn’t know if I was gonna be received and to think we’re standing here in Top 3 is just absolutely mind-blowing. What made it even better is right when I was coming down the stairs, all of the Top 20 — well, the Top 17 — are there. So they were just rooting and it just gave me such confidence and it made me realize that I’m doing it for all of us. I’m having this moment because all of us want to be in this place and I’m grateful for it.
And then you got to take on “Let It Be” alongside your coach …
And reggae-fy it!
Where did that come from? Whose idea was that?
I think it was either Nate, the drummer, or Paul, the musical director. Me and Adam, we’re cool with that. At first, I was like, ‘But Adam, it’s the Beatles. They’re sacred.’
What was it like getting to perform with him?
He’s the best. He has made this whole experience so amazing for me. He’s taken care with everything when it comes to me and he’s invested so much in everything. It just felt right to be able to have fun with him on stage and to be able to just have a good time and not worry so much about judging and coaching. Just to be able to sing together.
Watching the packages before your performances, it’s clear you two have such a genuine relationship.
He’s awesome. You can’t help but feel that way because he puts you completely at ease. You know, we’ve been at this for two months now and you’re gonna build bonds. He’s awesome. I can’t say it enough, can not say it enough. I adore him.
Well, from one sacred bit of music to another — Whitney. How are you feeling about the performance?
First of all, both of us were hesitant about that because, like [Adam] said, it’s a risk. You’re playing with something there that don’t need to be played with, you know what I mean? Like, she is undisputed and she is the voice. So, we went through so many songs and we kept coming back to this one … and the reason is because it’s such an amazing song. It has the drama … it has everything. The soft bits, the hard bits, so we kept going around in circles and he goes, ‘Listen, the only way we’re gonna resolve this is if we go to rehearsal and rehearse it. If we rehearse it and it’s not right, then we’ll stay here until God knows what hour in the morning and get it.’ And we did and it just felt right. I wasn’t going to go up there and sing it like Whitney, I was going to go up there sing it was Tessanne, but as a tribute.
This is it. Tomorrow is the end of all of this. Win or lose, what’s the one thing you’re most looking forward to doing once “The Voice” ends?
Oh my gosh, just going home. Going home and just loving on all of my family and my dog and my cat and just being with my people. And celebrating with them because I know no matter what, we’re gonna be celebrating. Just looking forward to building a future from this. And maybe there may have to be a move, so we don’t know, but my mind is open, my heart is open and I’m ready.
Tonight, we also got to enjoy a look back at your road to this point. Of all the moments that that road has been made of, which stands out to you the most?
Definitely the moment that sticks out all the time to me is when they turned because that started all of this. And when I chose Adam as my coach.
“The Voice” Season 5 finale airs live Tuesday (Dec. 17) at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.