Tessanne Chin: Pure gold
REGARDLESS of the outcome tonight, Ms Tessanne Chin is a winner in our books, by leaps and bounds.
We make that unequivocal statement with the full knowledge that public votes for talent contests don't always reflect the truth of the ability of those being judged.
What we can say, however, without fear of being successfully challenged, is that Ms Chin has, throughout her journey on the NBC Television show The Voice, displayed to the world a talent that is extraordinary.
Many people are still marvelling at her rendition of the Simon and Garfunkel hit Bridge Over Troubled Water two Mondays ago. The vocal range and dexterity that she displayed were simply majestic and justified her place in the finals.
It's difficult not to imagine her landing a recording contract when the contest ends, realising one of her dreams as a professional singer.
But, even as we take pleasure in Ms Chin's success, we must congratulate her for being a superb ambassador for Jamaica ever since she appeared on the blind audition on September 24.
The positive exposure that her involvement in The Voice has given to Jamaica is immeasurable, particularly in the United States, which still accounts for more than 70 per cent of our tourists.
Director of Tourism Mr John Lynch put it quite well when he said at the Jamaica Observer Press Club last week that "what Tessanne is doing now is like gold".
And who could deny that, especially when one considers that the December 9 show was watched by 13.2 million people, according to the US television rating firm TV by the Numbers.
Many tourist destinations relish that kind of viewership in a market that responds to the lure of a vacation that will be enhanced by exposure to vibrant cultures and people who are warm and hospitable.
Ms Chin, of course, personifies our culture and the characteristic of the average Jamaican. We, therefore, wish her every success as she moves forward with her career. We also thank her for joining the long list of Jamaicans who have signalled to the world that we are a great and talented people who can match strides with the best of the best.
As Mr Blake Shelton, one of the coaches on The Voice, said after Ms Chin's performance on Monday, December 2: "You're a world-class vocalist. You can sing with the best vocalists in the world. I haven't seen anything quite like you on this show."
That, dear reader, is a huge endorsement.