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'American Song Contest' fans praise Tenelle's 'culturally' rich finale performance

'Tenelle is exactly what this competition is about. A talent we never would have discovered otherwise bringing flavor of American Samoa,' a fan said
UPDATED MAY 10, 2022
Tenelle in 'American Song Contest' (NBC)
Tenelle in 'American Song Contest' (NBC)

After eight weeks of national upheaval, the fans can finally rest easy tonight: the 'American Song Contest' has ended. Even though K-pop queen AleXa went on to win, American Samoa's Tenelle struck a chord with the viewers.

Ten acts remained at the start of Monday's two-hour finale event, but at the end of the night, only one survived. And the top ten weren't only having a good time on Monday. Voting stayed open until the end of the episode, making it anyone's game until the very last second. The votes of viewers were then combined with those of jurors from across the nation, which were announced soon before the final results. Even though she didn't make it to the end, Tenelle continued to wow the audience with her teary-eyed performances following semi-final 2.


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Tenelle from American Samoa was the only grand finalist who represented a territory rather than a state, as well as the only performer who survived week five. As Kelly mentioned in her introduction, the islander serves as a vehicle for contiguous viewers to learn about the country and its inhabitants. This, together with the strong spiritual meaning of her song, has made her quite popular with voters up to this time.

Tenelle tells Kelly Clarkson, one of the show's hosts, before taking the stage that her parents are her biggest supporters and that her father assists her with her music videos and is the reason she loves music. Tenelle then reveals that her finale performance would include some surprises. Hers was one of the most upbeat and cheerful songs of the competition, and many believe that songs like this are exactly what the country needs right now. The lyrics were simple but strong, and it's impossible not to smile along with Tenelle as she performs.

Tenelle's song moved the fans, but the imagery of her performance wowed them as well. Tenelle, according to fans, is the epitome of the competition. She is a gifted storyteller who introduces viewers to the flavor of American Samoa that they would not have discovered otherwise. Her performance was incredible. Fans praised her performance on social media, writing: "Tenelle is exactly what this competition is about. A talent that we never would have discovered otherwise bringing the flavor of American Samoa. Her performance is such a moment. #AmericanSongContest".


Her culturally-rich performance was one of the many highlights of the night. A fan lauded her performance while dissing her competitor, Riker Lynch, and tweeted: "Oklahoma: “I’m going to make my finale special by amping up my choreo and becoming the Queen of Hearts” American Samoa: “I’m making my performance even more culturally important and special” Colorado: “Idk, my wife is gonna come up and we’ll salsa?” #AmericanSongContest".


While praising her performance and the entire choreography, another fan wrote: "I love the colourful and mesmorising staging. Such a feel-good, positive song from American Samoa. Tenelle is a lovely singer #AmericanSongContest".


Her emotion-driven back-to-back performances resonated with the public. Many people flocked to Twitter to say: "Come on y’all. That was incredible. And to have American Samoa and Oklahoma back-to-back. Really just says something. #AmericanSongContest" 




One Twitter user also referred to her as a huge underdog as she loses out on a number of votes from the fans as well as the jury, their tweet read: "American Samoa has less than 50,000 people, and the lowest Spotify streams of the finalists (thanks @ASC_charts). So in one way, Tenelle is a big underdog. But she’s incredibly charismatic, and I’m glad she’s in the final #AmericanSongContest".


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