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Manasseh Samone Powerfully Covered The Voice Alum Koryn Hawthorne During the Playoffs
Inspired by her older brother's tragic death, Texas singer Manasseh Samone chose to perform the Christian song, "Speak the Name."
The Dallas singer — who didn’t make it on Season 22 and returned to Season 23 with a vengeance — sat out for The Knockouts, thanks to the series’ all-new Playoff Pass. For The Playoffs, she and the other four acts on Chance The Rapper’s team would go before Chance, Coach Blake Shelton, Coach Kelly Clarkson, and Coach Niall Horan, with just two moving forward into the Live Show Performances’ semi-finals.
“Manasseh’s my secret weapon,” Chance said.
The 23-year-old performer chose to sing the gospel song “Speak the Name” by Season 8 teen finalist Koryn Hawthorne. Hawthorne later recorded the single with Christian singer Natalie Grant, performing during the Gospel Music Association’s (GMA) Dove Awards and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Gospel Performance/Song.
Samone said the song spoke to her as someone who’d grown up without a father and dealt with the tragic death of her oldest brother.
“This song relates to me ‘cause back home, I would worship at my church, and it would encourage so many other people,” said Samone. “But they didn’t know behind closed doors that I was dealing with my own things.”
Samone explained her older brother had HIV and AIDS when his health drastically deteriorated to a point where “he didn’t even look like himself.” His untimely death helped shape the gospel singer into the person she is now.
“Witness for us; that’s what we need!” Chance — who also identifies as a Christian — excitedly said during studio rehearsals. “You are leading worship with this. Please, stay in that mode.”
Samone would perform live for the Coaches, competing against fellow Team Chance singers Kala Banham, Jamar Langley, Ray Uriel, and Sorelle to get into the next round. Chance was visibly moved by the singer, who wore a black sequin gown during her intimate performance.
“I could kind of sense the nerves early in the song; you were trying to come out here and prove why you got the Playoff Pass,” Horan told Samone. “By the end of the song, you did exactly that.”
Horan said Samone gave her best stage performance yet and that her passion was one for the books, to which Coach Clarkson agreed.
“I just love a passionate performance,” Clarkson added. “You felt it, you meant it, you believe it, and you look beautiful.”
Like Horan, Coach Shelton also recognized Samone’s nervousness at the start of the song.
“The shaky parts, trying to get up to the level of energy or even pitch in the first half — and then once you kind of cut loose, you definitely put it together there at the end,” Shelton offered.
Shelton told Chance he had a “tough” decision on his hands as to which two acts would make it to the Live Performance Shows.
Chance called Samone’s song “the best.”
“There are people that are watching at home right now; their eyes are welling up with tears ‘cause you just professed the name of Jesus in front of 10 million-plus viewers at home,” Chance told the singer.
Chance also commented on Samone failing to make it past the Season 22 Blind Auditions, her winning the all-new Playoff Pass, and singing a song from a past Artist “who went on to make it huge as a gospel artist.”
“It feels very ordained,” said Chance.
Later in the episode, The Voice Host Carson Daly brought the five Team Chance acts onstage, asking Chance to make the tough decision.
“I’m incredibly proud of all of you guys; you guys are just awesome individuals,” he told the singers. “You guys have true love for music, which you see every week when you guys come up here. Everybody top to bottom should be winning this show.”
Sadly, Samone would not be picked for the semi-finals, though Sorelle and Ray Uriel would move ahead.