When "The Voice" saved the best for last in its Monday night premiere, it happened to be an immensely talented singer from New Jersey.
Felicia Temple, a 28-year-old nurse at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, blew the judges away with her soaring rendition of "All I Could Do Was Cry," the classic 1960 ballad by Etta James.
Alicia Keys was the first to turn her chair for Temple, a match made in music heaven -- Temple used to go by the nickname "Felicia Keys" due to how often she covered the songstress. Fellow judges Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani both turned around a minute later, while Adam Levine chose not to hit his button.
Upon completion, Keys gave Temple a standing ovation and when Temple revealed her love for Keys' music, Keys joined her on stage for a banner duet of her breakthrough hit "Fallin.'"
"This is surreal, like, I'm a preoperative nurse," Temple exclaimed.
As is often the case with "Voice" contestants, Temple has a compelling backstory; she is a nurse, a cancer survivor and a descendent of hip-hop royalty to boot -- she's related to a member of pioneers The Sugar Hill Gang, she said, though it wasn't made clear which emcee.
Naturally, Temple chose Keys as her coach and will surely be a contender this season. A new episode of "The Voice" airs Tuesday night on NBC.
Temple has released two R&B and soul-centric EP on her website, called "Bedroom Chronicles" and "To Whom It May Concern."
Bobby Olivier may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BobbyOlivier and Facebook. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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