Wendy Moten Performs “Jolene” with Both Arms in Casts on ‘The Voice’

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Monday night (November 29), Wendy Moten embodied the saying, “the show must go on.” Moten, a member of Blake Shelton’s team on The Voice, performed on the competition stage with both arms in pearl-studded casts. The Memphis-born singer had taken a serious tumble at the end of her previous performance when she tripped over a speaker on the stage.

The fall resulted in a broken right elbow and a fractured left wrist, yet just a week later, Moten persevered in the musical competition to sing her rendition of “Jolene.” The song was famously written and originally sung by country legend Dolly Parton in 1973.

For Moten, singing “Jolene” is another part of Challenge Week on The Voice. This series of performances for the Top 10 are designed to push them out of their usual style, and Moten is no exception. “The Top 10 is going to be singing songs that stretch them beyond their comfort zones,” Carson Daly, host of The Voice, explained at the beginning of the challenge. “They’re going to be tackling genres that push their skill sets to the next level.”

Despite both of these challenges, from both The Voice and ill-timed fate, Moten excelled. Her delivery of Parton’s classic country staple was exactly what the coaches (Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Ariana Grande, and Blake Shelton) expected from Top 10 contestants.

“That’s such a classic country song… the fact that you honored the original,” Shelton said. “I’ve never seen a better example of strength, perseverance, and fearlessness.” Speaking to her personal tenacity, Shelton stated: “Watching you perform with two casts on challenge week singing country music—people are going to find out what Wendy Moten is all about.”

Shelton did half-jokingly plead “[p]romise me you won’t break both your legs” before Moten’s “Jolene” performance, but after her first tumble, we have a feeling that will be Moten’s last Voice misstep.


Watch Wendy Moten perform “Jolene” below, and read more about her journey on The Voice here.

Photo by Trae Patton/NBC.

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