Kirsten West Savali is a cultural critic and senior writer for The Root and was awarded a 2015 Harry Frank Guggenheim Fellowship. Her provocative commentary explores the intersections of race, social justice, religion, feminism, politics and pop culture. Follow her on Twitter.
Jacquie Lee (pictured above right), the 16-year-old dynamo currently vying for super-stardom on NBC’s The Voice, slayed the competition last night with a gritty, growling, soaring rendition of Nina Simone‘s “I Put a Spell On You.”
Yes, the thought of a teeny-tiny White girl tackling the High Priestess of Soul’s classic song of possession, pain, fear, anger and longing seemed impossible. But Ms. Jacquie showed up and showed out — shutting up all doubters in the process.
Watch Jacquie’s performace below:
What did I tell you? Did she do it, or did she do it?
See Rolling Stone‘s recap of last night’s episode here.
For those of you unfamiliar with The Voice, it is a singing competition that offers an energizing spin on American Idol. The judges are country crooner Blake Shelton, hip-hop, soul funkmaster CeeLo Green, industry veteran with the velvet voice Christina Aguilera, and gorgeous Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.
During the first round of the season, singers perform in a blind audition and judges compete to get their favorites on their teams. As it progresses into the knock-out round, two singers from each team go head-to-head and the judge has to eliminate one of them. And the super fun nail-biting final round of the season finds one person from each team competing to be the winner of The Voice.
So far this season, my favorites are Team Adam’s Tessanne Chin and Preston Pohl, Team Christina’s Jacquie Lee and Matthew Schuler, Team CeeLo’s Amber Nicole and Caroline Parnell, and Team Blake’s Ray Boudreaux.
Do you watch The Voice? If so, who are your favorites?