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And the winner is Tessanne Chin
The streets of Jamaica exploded with jubilation as Tessanne Chin was crowned the winner of NBC’s The Voice Tuesday night. Crowds at public viewings could be seen waving Jamaican flags, jumping and screaming for joy in the streets as Chin won US100,000 and a record deal with Universal Music Group.
Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller, in a statement, said: “You have been a fine ambassador for Jamaica during this gruelling competition and your voice, your victory, will now serve to set the new standard for others to follow. “We in Jamaica feel a special pride that you are one of us and we look forward to celebrating with you in a larger and appropriate way on your return to the island.”
Here in Trinidad, the support for Chin throughout the competition had been unwavering, even amidst calls from some Jamaicans to boycott T&T goods after 13 Jamaicans were deported for various reasons upon arrival at Piarco Airport. Few Trinidadians, however, were more supportive or could have related better to Chin’s experience than Trinidad’s own, Anya Ayoung-Chee. She took part on Project Runway and experienced a similar support from the entire Caribbean as the competition progressed from week-to-week.
In a telephone interview yesterday Ayoung Chee said she was overjoyed by Chin’s success. “It’s overwhelming, seeing this Caribbean girl on this huge stage. It was humbling to know that I shared a similar experience,” she said. The two women met for the first time in 2010 on the set of the music video for “Loving You”, where Tessanne Chin collaborated with soca star Kees Dieffenthaller. They instantly clicked and Anya later gave her the Chiffon dress from the video as a gift.
While Ayoung-Chee was not fully updated on the rift between Jamaica and Trinidad, she wanted to make it clear Jamaicans had supported her every bit as enthusiastically as Trinidadians supported Chin.
What many people are now asking, is whether Tessanne can reach to the same level of success as Barbadian superstar Rihanna. Ayoung-Chee believes she has the potential but she will do it her own way. In an on interview billboard.com, Chin shed some light on the direction her career would take. She said she did not intend to make a reggae album but the style would always remain a part of what she did.
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