Top 11 singer Jershika Maple earns standing ovation

November 23, 2021
(L-R) Joshua Vacanti, John Legend, Jershika Maple on "The Voice."
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Fans hold a lot of power on “The Voice,” especially this week. 

Not only do they get to determine which Top 11 singers will advance, but America also had a say in Monday’s song selection during fan week.

“Fans control everything, so much so, that the fans pick the songs our Top 11 sing,” host Carson Daly announced. And they proved to have impeccable taste in their tailor-made selections for each singer, paving the way for the best night of music in the competition so far. 

But, with high stakes come mounting nerves — which almost got the best of John Legend’s Jershika Maple, who admitted she “almost threw up” right before hitting the stage.

“I’ve never had that happen before,” she said. Regardless, she delivered one of the best performances of the night. 

‘The Voice: Blake Shelton’s ‘bragging,’ Kelly Clarkson’s ‘sweating’ after Top 11 reveal

Last week on ‘The Voice’:Kelly Clarkson feels like an ‘idiot’ for letting this Top 13 singer go

Clarkson continues to have a slight advantage with four singers in the Top 11. Blake Shelton has three artists on his team. John Legend and Ariana Grande each have two singers left. 

Here’s what went down tonight on “The Voice”: 

Team Clarkson

Girl Named Tom

The sibling trio, composed of Bekah, 21, Joshua, 24, and Caleb, 26, were pushed out of their comfort zone on Ingrid Andress’ “More Hearts Than Mine,” a “modern country song.” Clarkson said they’re “really pushing themselves” with the selection.

Thankfully, they earned the Country Cowboy’s seal of approval. “I like you guys doing country,” Shelton said. Clarkson added that the group is always “ready to challenge” themselves. 

“You walked in the room and didn’t know the song at all and then came up with it quickly,” Clarkson said. “People are really connecting to you and it’s a beautiful thing.”

Gymani

The Georgia artist said it was an “emotional roller coaster” finding herself among the bottom three last week, but she said fan’s votes said gave her the “fuel to shine bright like a diamond.” It’s no surprise her fan pick was Rihanna’s “Diamonds.”

She earned a standing ovation for her slowed-down rendition. Grande said she did a great job “making it your own and honoring” the song. Clarkson said she felt like she was at Gymani’s own show, not the NBC singing competition. 

Jeremy Rosado

Rosado, a worship leader and Christian artist, was assigned the gospel singer Cory Asbury’s “Reckless Love.” Rosado said the selection showed “my fans understand who I am at my core.”

“It’s great to see what the fans see in you,” Legen said. “You seemed so perfectly in your element.” Clarkson supported Rosado’s wish of pursuing Christian music after competing on “The Voice”, adding: “I’m excited the fact that you’re doing what you love and want to do after the show.”

Hailey Mia

Fans of the high school freshman selected Sia’s “Elastic Heart” for her to perform. Clarkson said it’s “100% Hailey’s best song” that she’s performed on “The Voice.”

The judges marveled at the amount of depth and range Mia has at 14-years-old as the youngest in the competition. “The notes that you hit with ease…wow,” Shelton said. 

Clarkson called her a “Darkhorse”: “I swear to you that you can make the finale.”

Team Legend

Jershika Maple

Legend said Maple’s rendition of “How Can I Ease The Pain” by Lisa Fischer “plays right into her strengths.” But the coach added the song’s “high notes are going to push Jershika to her limits.”

Maple tapped into the pain of being “teased and bullied” at school for having dyslexia in order to connect to the lyrics. She made the challenging notes look easy and had Legend and Clarkson out of their seats dancing. Of course, she received a well-deserved standing ovation.

“Your vocal runs are so special and specific to you and cool as hell,” Clarkson said. Legend added: “It was so great to watch. So great to see you being your full self.”

Maple admitted that she “almost threw up” before her rendition: “That’s never happened.”

Joshua Vacanti

The fan’s picked Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” for Vacanti, which is “100% perfect in my lane,” Vacanti said. Legend agreed that this Freddie Mercury song “was made for him.”

Vacanti brought his signature “rock, operatic vibe” by opening his performance standing on a piano. He ended on his knees belting out the final note, earning himself a standing ovation. 

“It’s a good thing the fans are getting involved this week because this is the perfect song,” Shelton said, before turning to Legend: “You would have never thought of that.”

Legend said he knew Vacanti was destined to sing Mercury. (Shelton objected: “Liar!”) “Very few singers can handle it. You are a superstar Josh. America knew you could slay that Queen song and you have given your best performance.”

Team Grande

Holly Forbes

Forbes may be singing Heart’s “Alone,” but the Kentucky native says she feels far from alone with her hometown support: “My town has been so supportive. They gave me the key to the city of Catlettsburg.” (Oct. 14 was also declared “Holly Forbes Day” in Ashland, Kentucky.) 

Shelton called her rocking rendition “epic.” Legend agreed, adding: “The power is beautiful. I love your passion top. I feel your commitment to every song.”

Grande said she doesn’t “understand how “Forbes” continues to get better.”

Jim & Sasha Allen

The father/son duo dedicated a rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” to their fans. Sasha said he was “scared” to share his story of being trans on such a large platform, but said they “feel” the overwhelming support.

“The relationship, the bond you two have… is absolutely incredible to watch,” Shelton said. Grande added that Jim is a “musical genius.”

Team Shelton

Wendy Moten

The fans picked Aretha Franklin’s “Freeway of Love” for Moten, who had no complaints. She said it’s her “favorite song.” Moten added: “It’s my birthday. I’m going to sing a party song, on my birthday in front of millions of people.”

“We saw you had way more fun than you ever had,” Grande said. “It was infectious.” Legend added that “no one on this planet can do what Wendy can do.”

Shelton said the veteran vocalist is “performing like a legend,” adding that “everything you do vocally is literally perfect.”

Lana Scott

Scott, the lone country singer left in the competition, said she’s overwhelmed with love from her fans. That includes her dad, who “has been putting signs up all throughout his job” in Virginia. She dubbed her fanbase ‘Lanterns,’ although Shelton prefers ‘Fannas.’

She had a “breakthrough moment,” Shelton said, during her rendition of Gabby Barrett’s “I Hope,” a song Scott said she could imagine herself singing on country radio. She received a standing ovation. 

“You just completely changed the landscape of the competition,” Shelton said. “That was by far your best performance that you’ve had… C’mon ‘Fannas.’ Vote!”

Grande said Scott has “never sounded better.” 

Paris Winningham

Winningham exuded soul on Bill Withers’ “Use Me.” Shelton promised his rendition would have “several notes that are going to make Kelly stand up.” He was right. Clarkson jumped to her feet to dance along to his performance, along with Legend.

“I counted them,” Shelton said. “I think there were 3 Kelly stand-ups.”

Clarkson added, “It was like really good.” Legend said he would “would pay money to see Paris sing.”

How to vote

The singers’ fates are now up to America. 

Viewers can vote on NBC.com/voicevote or via “The Voice” official app. (Limit 10 votes per artist, per method.) The results of overnight viewer voting will be revealed during Tuesday’s live show (8 EDT/PDT).

The field of 11 will be narrowed to 10. “The Voice” continues Tuesday at 8 EST/PST on NBC.

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