Prior to Moten’s performance, she sat down for a virtual chat with her coach, Blake Shelton. During their Zoom discussion, Moten gave an update on her condition after falling on stage.
“Look at me, I know it’s challenge week but good Lord,” Moten, wearing casts on her arms, told Shelton. “My right elbow is broken, my left hand is fractured here at my wrist. So, I fell down pretty hard. The show must go on.”
Shelton then told viewers the reason why he assigned Moten to sing Parton’s iconic hit, “Jolene.”
“I gave Wendy ‘Jolene’ for challenge week,” Shelton shared. “Wendy has probably sung about every genre there is out there, but she’s done it from the standpoint of being a backup singer. This is a song that has to be told in a way that you soak up every lyric.”
Challenge week was surely a challenge for the injured 57-year-old Tennessee powerhouse who brought her A-game, singing a cover of the iconic Dolly Parton hit with casts on both her hands from injuries she sustained after last week’s “scary” fall.
The song was written solely by Parton and was inspired by a red-headed bank teller who flirted with her husband, Carl Dean, shortly after they got married. Parton reportedly got the idea to include the name Jolene in the song after meeting a fan during a meet and greet at one of her concerts.
“Jolene” is one of Parton’s biggest hits and according to the legendary entertainer, it’s also her most-covered song.
Following a standing ovation from her stunning performance, Moten received praise from her coach, Shelton, as well as John Legend and Kelly Clarkson,
“My Lord, Wendy, every week you are just so perfect, so great at everything,” Legend said. “You showed a different side of you, and I was just transfixed. It was like religious for me. Just telling the story and putting us all under your spell the whole time, it was beautiful.”
“To come out here as if nothing’s happened to you, and you’re perfectly fine and to tell a story like that in such a sorrowful way, it was so beautifully sad, which is like my favorite kind of music,” Clarkson added. ”Well done!”
“I love what John said about the restraint because that’s such a classic country song, and we all know the things you could’ve done with it, which would’ve been cool too,” Shelton said. “But the fact that you honored the original, and you just laid it down and let the story be what it is.” Shelton continued, “Incredible job, and by the way, America, I’ve never seen a better example of strength and perseverance and fearlessness standing on this stage. Not losing focus on what you’ve come here to do, which is to win this thing. We got to go to the finale Wendy, come on!”
The Voice returns tomorrow night, Tuesday, November 30, at 8/7c on NBC.