Recent Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI) graduate Wé (pronounced “way”) McDonald, of Paterson, stunned watchers of NBC’s “The Voice” during the show’s Olympic Premiere on Sunday, August 21st, when the 17-year-old hopeful turned all four chairs during her sensational rendition of “Feeling Good.”
She was one of just two singers showcased during the show’s Blind Auditions thirty minute premiere run.
Her deeply passionate and soulful take of the Nina Simone classic had Miley Cyrus, Blake Shelton, and Alicia Keys pressing their buttons before the beat even dropped. Adam Levine joined his fellow coaches in turning his chair during the final moments of the song.
Cyrus referred the PCTI alumna as “a total star,” while Shelton commented that she was “someone we learn from,” and said that he “hit his button out of jealousy.”
Levine called her performance “remarkable,” but it was Keys who sealed the deal by connecting with McDonald on an emotional level, saying, “I don’t want you to be like anybody else. You were born to show people what love sounds like.”
Ultimately, the PCTI Performing Arts program graduate selected Keys as her coach.
While in high school, McDonald performed in PCTI’s spring musicals, and secured roles in both “42nd Street” and “Man of La Mancha.” She was also active in the American Sign Language program.
“PCTI is extremely proud of Wé,” said PCTI superintendent Diana Lobosco. “She is exceptionally gifted, and our whole school community is cheering her on as she begins her journey on the road to stardom. We look forward to seeing more of her talents on display during season 11 of ‘The Voice.’”