Jamaica’s Tessanne Chin: #Voice of the Year


I arrived back in Jamaica from my two week visit to Amsterdam and London on the night of December 16 jetlagged and drained. I was in the air during the most important penultimate airing of the American reality show The Voice that evening and had missed the excitement of following the fortunes of Jamaican singer Tessanne Chin as she navigated a steady path to victory. As soon as we landed I tuned in to Twitter to see what i could glean about the evening’s performances. This collection of tweets is largely from that evening when instead of falling into bed after the ravages of intercontinental travel I stayed up till 1 am hooked to Twitter and the live commentary available there on Tessanne’s relentless ascent up the iTunes charts. Thanks to top journo Emily Crooks for her live tweeting and sometimes hilarious commentary (calling for a sign language interpreter from South Africa to interpret Cristina Aguilera’s body language after another stunning performance by Jamaica’s songbird eg).

Read the rest of this post on Storify–linked below:

Operation #Tessanne: Shoring up the votes for Jamaica’s Voice

Jamaicans devise ways to cast votes for their songstress Tessanne Chin on The Voice


SEZi @SeziYesi
Please remember to hashtag #TeamTessanne #tessanne as the tweets go towards the win!!! #thevoice #pleasesupport #islandgirl

Sezi’s instructions to Tessanne Chin’s numerous supporters in Jamaica and Adam Stewart’s Instagram are a hint of the Voice mania that has overtaken the country. This  evening NBC’s popular singing reality show introduces a first-of-its-kind Twitter vote using the hashtag #VoiceSave.  This will allow tweeters to keep one contestant from joining the reject heap in an ‘instant save’ during a five-minute voting window toward the end of the results show. 

I’ve been quite amused by the national frenzy to make sure Tessanne Chin, the popular Jamaican singer on this season’s Voice, is not eliminated due to a shortage of votes. Everyone from radio talk show hosts to scholars to teachers is busy devising methods to beat Jamaica’s inherent ‘economy of scale’ problem. How else could a small country with a population of 2.5 million, three at the most, compete in generating the required votes for their favourite singer?

You just have to admire the ingenuity called forth by everyone and their grandmother, check out these tweets to see what i mean:

@SadeSweetness: My co-worker in Trinidad just gave me remote control of her pc via #Lync to vote for @TessanE via @Skype

Bitch! Lol RT @thtGrlDanielle: Every email in my contact list going vote fi tessanne whether u like it or not

Come on peeps, buy @Tessanne’s #thevoice songs on itunes, we need to get her numbers up. NO, downloading it illegally wont help. Ole Teef

Morning! We have until 11am.. Get up. Get voting. Or get friends/family in USA/CAN to vote for… instagram.com/p/gnXW0XBI2a/


Purchase during the voting period for the purchase to count for Tessanne’s votes. Voting period begins @ 9:55 PM.

And di las lick before me really gone to mi bed…Mek sure oonu vote, and tell your friends and family in the USA to vote for #tessanne

Right now Cuffe cant go outta road and do nuh wrongs cuz di whole world know him now and to how dem luv Tess dem wudda buss pon him

How could she not be the headline of @JamaicaObserver? We’re so proud of her! @NBCTheVoiceinstagram.com/p/gUS4JJvBHj/
Keeping it short today…tomorrow I’ll post about TVJ’s ‘exclusive rights’ to the Voice gambit, and how it fumbled before it found its footing.

Project Runway’s latest winner, Anya Ayoung-Chee…

Photographs of Project Runway’s latest winner, Anya Ayoung-Chee…

Anya Ayoung-Chee
Anya and Varun...
Anya in my living room...
Anya and Ataklan at Redbones, Kingston. Notice the neckpiece by Kristy...
Anya had fans long before Project Runway...here she is posing with one...
Flavour of the month?
Party, my place...
and you can hardly see her in this hat at the launch of ARC magazine at Alice Yard

So since she’s the flavour of the month and since i have some photos of her I thought I might as well post some images of Anya Ayoung-Chee, the designer from Trinidad and Tobago who just won the 9th season of American reality television series, Project_Runway. It was Ataklan (“…one of the best lyricists, songwriters and freestylers not only of his generation but in all of Trinidad at present”) who introduced me to her some time back in Trinidad when she was just emerging from the ignominy of having had private, personal video footage broadcast to all and sundry by unscrupulous folk of the worst kind. I was struck by her looks of course and her flagrantly innovative personal style but complementing these was her personality, the warm intelligence of someone totally comfortable in her skin.

The nation of Trinidad and Tobago watched with bated breath last Thursday as Ayoung-Chee negotiated the final round of Project Runway and against all odds won. She had already won several challenges earlier in the season as well as the US$10,000 fan favourite prize so there’s really not much basis for the numerous people complaining on Twitter and Facebook that Project Runway had become Project Anya or that Anya had ‘stolen’ the show from Viktor or Joshua. Their clothes were more conventional, predictable and tame compared to Anya’s collection which boldly retrieved the tropical from cold storage. Judge for yourselves…

Finally Anya is going to put the $10,000 she won to good use. As she said in an interview on the Project Runway Blog:

“I decided to use the money to set up a microfinance loan program for young creatives in Trinidad and Tobago. I’d like the fund to grow to be across the Caribbean. I grew up in a way that really didn’t encourage creative careers as a viable way of making a living. I grew up thinking I should become a doctor, or something more “conventional.” I’m very lucky to have parents who supported my real desire to become a designer, but a lot of young people grow up thinking that they can’t do a creative job for a “real” living. So I want to bridge the gap between the people who want to do something in a creative field and provide a way for people to make a viable career.”

More power to her! Let one of her tweets be the last words here…

@AnyadeRogueAnya Ayoung-Chee

 Thank you all the people I have not yet mentioned! Your dedication to the future of young Caribbean creatives will not be in vain!!
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