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“Jesus, She Can Sing”: How Nini Iris “Genuinely Amazed” the Coaches During Playoffs
Nini Iris commands the stage with "River" by Bishop Briggs in the Playoffs on Season 24 of The Voice.
The Blinds, the Battles, and the Knockouts are behind us, and Season 24 of The Voice has now moved on to the Playoffs. For the first time ever, each Coach has a Super Save entitling them to bring back any eliminated singer from any team. Niall Horan used his Super Save to bring back 13-year-old Julia Roome, but before that, Nini Iris took to the stage.
By the time we got to the end of the Playoffs, each team was whittled down from six members to three. We started with Team Niall, and Nini was the opening act with a powerhouse performance of “River” by Bishop Briggs. During rehearsals, Nini talked about the lyrics – asking someone to push you to your limit – a feeling she could identify with as she fights to sing another day and, hopefully, take the crown.
Watch Nini Iris sing “River” by Bishop Briggs on The Voice Season 24 Playoffs
Nini’s voice has an innate power that is difficult to obscure. Still, she managed to bring down the intensity for the song’s more intimate moments and ramp it up when the moment was right. She was supported in the second half by a couple of background singers who did a killer job, make no mistake, but were unnecessary.
From verse to chorus and back again, Nini commanded the stage; every note full and powerful, presence practically dripping down the floorboards. Ending the song, the instrumental backing dropped out and her voice pierced an otherwise silent room with a commanding call to action, “shut your mouth and run me like a river.” Rather than close-mouthed, the Coaches were slack jawed. Most of them anyway.
“Wow,” Gwen Stefani began, encapsulating the feeling still lingering from the performance. “You can do anything with your voice, yet you are so tasteful. You don’t overdo it; you are always building it to the right moment. I think you are so gifted; you have such an intuition about yourself, and that’s what we want.
Mirroring Gwen’s sentiments, John Legend added, “You just every week are showing that you are a real star and you present yourself with such confidence and such skill. I am just genuinely amazed by you. We all wish that we had you on our team.”
Niall Horan, meanwhile, was concerned about what the quality of Nini’s performance might portend for the rest of the evening. “I have to send three people home. If this is a sign of what’s to come, we’re in for a night of insane performances… Jesus, she can sing!”
Only Reba McEntire had anything but praise to give, though she had plenty of praise as well. “I think you are a very strong vocalist but I’m going to disagree a little bit. I think you took it just a little bit too far in your choreography. If you were still and standing, I think that would have enhanced your performance. But you’re great; I love your voice,” Reba said.
Despite a potential imbalance between vocal power and stage presence, Nini’s delivery was enough to get her through the Playoffs and keep her on the show. John even called her a “no brainer.”