Sat | Dec 10, 2016

J'can-born Voice contestant not daunted by Tessanne comparisons

Published:Sunday | November 16, 2014 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Contributed Anita Antoinette
Tessanne Chin
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It's on to the next round for Jamaica-born Anita Antoinette, coached by Gwen Stefani, as she advances to the final 12 in this season's staging of the United States singing competition 'The Voice'.

Last Tuesday, the singer delivered another memorable performance as she belted out the lyrics to Meghan Trainor's popular hit All About That Bass. Not only did she do justice to the song, but a reggae twist to the original version and a few saucy dance moves had the live studio audience totally captivated. The performance guaranteed her a spot in the final 12 and saw Antoinette leading the pack of finalists on the popular iTunes chart, much like she did the previous week with her version of MAGIC!'s Rude.

fan base growing

Her fan base has been growing steadily, with Jamaican entertainers Shaggy and Lady Saw joining Tessanne Chin, Dahlia Harris, and Nikki Z on the singer's list of supporters. As her support list continues to grow with each performance, so does the comparison between her and last year's winner, Tessanne Chin. Many feel the young entertainer truly has what it takes to make it all the way to the top, while there are others who believe she is merely 'piggybacking' on the fact that she is Jamaica-born. In a recent interview with the singer, Antoinette said she was well aware of the comparisons and the negative remarks that are made, but revealed that the feeling she gets from the love shown by many across the region overrides any negativity. "There are people who will always be like that - not everybody will like you - but that doesn't change who I am or where I'm going," she said. "Besides, the support and the love I have been shown thus far have been so heart-warming, it's overwhelming."

APPEARED OUT OF NOWHERE

Popular media personality Nikki Z, who has been one of Antoinette's supporters since her blind auditions, weighed in on the Tessanne Chin-comparison. "She has what it takes to reach any goal she sets for herself. Whether she wins 'The Voice' or not, people will be hearing about her for years to come. There is no comparison between her and Tessanne," she said. "Tessanne entered with a fan base, a pretty strong following, while Anita appeared out of nowhere and is capturing hearts as an unknown. They are both great singers, but from very different worlds. Anita is a classic underdog here to prove herself to the world."

Making it known that she is not daunted by the comments about her being the competition's underdog, Antoinette said her aim is to impact as many people as she can, using the competition as her platform. "Of course, I'm an underdog. My whole life is an underdog story. It's been a struggle, but what's important is that at the end of the journey, you get to leave people with a message," she said. "Win or lose, I just want to inspire people. The goal is not to be famous, but to encourage people to never give up on their dreams no matter what."

Antoinette grew up in the community of Duhaney Park before migrating to the United States at age eight. Her father is well-known reggae singer Clinton Fearon, singer and bass player for the 1970s reggae group The Gladiators.

shereita.grizzle@gleanerjm.com