The four coaches of “The Voice” gave Roseville singer Libianca Fonji – who only uses her first name as a stage name – a standing ovation Monday night during the first episode of the playoffs live on the NBC show.
During a busy evening that saw the top 20 contestants sing a song each during the two-hour show, Libianca stood out with her rendition of Doja Cat’s current global hit, “Woman”.
Coach Ariana Grande gushed: “I love Doja and I love you, so this is the best scenario” and praised Libianca for her “incredible and thrilling performance”.
Libianca’s own coach, a particularly lively (and somewhat obnoxious) Blake Shelton, called his entire squad “unstoppable” and told Libianca that “I don’t need to speak your voice, it It’s incredible”. He went on to call her for “how connected you are to every song you do on this show and how personal it is to you.”
Speaking of staff, viewers learned a bit more about Libianca, 20, who was born in the United States but, at the age of 4, moved to her parents’ homeland of Cameroon. She returned to the United States at age 13 and is currently working as a mixing engineer, songwriter and creative director. She said she had struggled with anxiety, but “music was my therapy.”
Prior to her performance, viewers witnessed a brief interaction between Libianca, Shelton, and advisor Dierks Bentley. Shelton expressed her disbelief in choosing him as her coach and replied, “When God makes his choice, I have to go with him.” Bentley replied, “God is intelligent.”
In Tuesday’s live episode, Libianca will learn whether or not she qualifies for next week’s semi-finals.