A top 8 favorite receives high praise after her faithful “The Voice” performance The Voice/YouTube screenshot
The Voice/YouTube screenshot

Blake Shelton has been coaching NBC’s “The Voice” since the show’s inception in 2011. Now that the program is in its 12th season, he says he’s finally found the contestant he’s been waiting for.

That contestant is none other than 15-year-old Aliyah Moulden. The poised singer has improved with each performance since her blind audition. And, this week proved to be no different.

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On Monday, May 15, Aliyah turned out a rousing rendition of MercyMe’s faithful hit “I Can Only Imagine,” as part of the show’s semifinals. She looked and sounded elegant on the elaborate stage covered in majestic waterfalls and beautiful flower arrangements. She walked along a built-in bridge and belted out the powerful song lyrics with so much passion and confidence. At one point, she was joined by a group of dancers, which gave the showstopper a fitting element of surprise.

Aliyah’s “I Can Only Imagine” rendition made for the perfect follow up to her Top 10 performance of Labrinth’s “Jealous,” which she dedicated to her later father, whom she never met.

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Blake, who gave his mentee a standing ovation, showered her with compliments. He said, “I signed on to do this show as a coach in 2011 hoping that someday I’d be able to meet and work with an artist like you. Somebody who comes into this show with talent, and that we can actually see a development and a change and a growth throughout the course of this competition. You are the model ‘The Voice’ contestant, bar none, that we’ve ever seen on this show.”

Watch the video above to see Aliyah’s powerful cover of “I Can Only Imagine.”

Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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