'The Voice' Season 18: Toneisha is the last woman standing and here's why she should win
Tonight's results saw all four male contestants voted through, while all five female contestants were forced to battle it out for the final Top 5 spot
Toneisha Harris of Team Blake Shelton sang her way into the Top 5 tonight. And as viewers debate on who will win the show in next week's finale, we take a look at four reasons why Toneisha deserves to be the winner of 'The Voice' in 2020.
Vocal skills and range
Since day one, Toneisha has proven to not only be a gifted vocalist but an extremely skilled one as well. She has a natural range that very few of the other contestants can match and also has the power to back that range up. Additionally, she hasn't had a bad performance yet.
In tonight's 'Instant Save', Toneisha took on Minnie Riperton's 'Loving You' and knocked it right out of the park. The song is sweet, soft and mellow, yet it takes such immense control and skill to be able to sing it as flawlessly as Toneisha did tonight. And if that wasn't enough, she even managed to hit Riperton's high whistle note - something most singers don't even attempt when they cover this song. This puts Toneisha in the league of singers like Ariana Grande who have, in fact, managed to hit that high F#6 with crystal clear precision.
Bold song choices
In addition to her ridiculous range, Toneisha has consistently picked songs many singers would shy away from, including Celine Dion's 'Because You Loved Me', Rihanna's 'Diamonds', and Kelly Clarkson's 'Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)'. She has proven that she is an extremely versatile artist, singing everything from rock to R&B with ease. And with every performance, she has proven she has what it takes to stand with the greats. Her powerhouse vocals make these performances sound effortless and perhaps that is why viewers aren't voting for her.
Kelly herself pointed this out in the Top 9 performances episode on Monday. Acknowledging that the singer wasn't even on her team, Kelly stated following the singer's performance of 'Because You Loved Me', "Toneisha, this is my request...I wish you would honor me with coming to my Vegas show in 2021, and just… taking my stage over, singing that song...I want it to go live...I want people to hear just how big that song [is.] 'Cause I feel like you couldn't even hear how big you epically got. It was incredible. You are an incredibly gifted vocalist. So good."
The current setup and production for 'The Voice' significantly took away from Toneisha's performance. The audio definitely did not do the singer's vocals justice since it did not pick up the sheer power in her voice, a power that is absolutely necessary to tackle a song as big as Celine's and Kelly's.
In addition to rave reviews, Toneisha was offered not one but TWO jobs following her performance: Aside from Kelly's offer, Blake also asked Toneisha to join him in an upcoming tour, because regardless of the competition, everyone acknowledges that Toneisha is a sublime vocalist who needs to continue singing, no matter what.
Toneisha was a four-chair turn, so it's no surprise she is a favorite among the coaches. Her rendition of Foreigner's iconic hit 'I Want to Know What Love Is' blew the coaches and the audience away.
Coach Nick Jonas stated at the time, "That was one of the most powerful vocals I've ever heard, not just in this competition, but that I've ever heard...I would be honored to get to work with you." Kelly stated, "Your voice is a total blessing. You are the reason that this show exists," John Legend said, "You're already amazing, you already deserve to be in the finale. The only thing we're asking for is the opportunity to work with you."
Not only was she touted as the winner from the moment she stepped onto the stage at the Blind Auditions, Toneisha had the coaches begging for the opportunity to work with her, instead of it being the other way around. And that says a lot about just how talented she is.
A well-deserved shot
Toneisha, at age 44, is certainly one of the older contestants on the show. Her road to finding her voice and sharing her gift was long and winding. The singer, who began her career as part of a traveling gospel group when she was 12 alongside her mother and aunts. At just 13, she was offered a recording contract, which her mother turned down so Toneisha could finish school first. In the interim, the young singer went on to make a name for herself, coming in second place at the Vickie Winans' Rising Star Competition in Maryland, featuring on Bruce Parham's track 'Call Jesus' (which hit number four on the gospel music chart), and entering the Top 20 of BET's 'Sunday Best'. She also dabbled in acting, appearing in the '60s-themed musical 'Avenue X' in 2009.
Toneisha's mother was strict about her only singing gospel music, but her father would take the budding star on secret car rides where they would share their love for R&B music. When her father passed away, Toneisha left behind 15 years of gospel singing to pave her own musical path. But right as her career was taking off and the singer was gearing up to participate in 'The Voice' in 2011, she had to put it on hold after her son was diagnosed with leukemia at just 12-years-old. The diagnosis caused Toneisha to stop singing entirely as she tended to her son.
Now that her son is in college and cancer-free and her family is in a better place again, Toneisha has decided it was time to finally make her presence known, and boy has she done just that. She has come back stronger each episode this season, demonstrating growth in her vocal abilities and picking songs that show America she is not afraid to fight for that top spot. And after the journey she has had till now, Toneisha deserves this second chance at doing what she was born to do: sing.