Romeo teen, Detroit mom make it to next round of 'The Voice'

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

It's on to the next round for two Michigan singers competing on the 20th season of NBC's "The Voice."

Romeo teen Rachel Mac and Detroit singer Zania Alaké on Monday beat their competitors in the knockout rounds, meaning they'll compete in this season's live shows next.

Alaké, 34, wowed the judges with her version of Gladys Knight's "If I Were Your Woman," beating fellow Michigan singer, Rio Doyle, 16. Three of the four judges gave the single mom a standing ovation.

"Oh my god, that felt like it was on your record," said judge Kelly Clarkston. "...I love that song."

Zania Alaké, a single mom who once co-produced and starred in an Anita Baker tribute show, is now competing on Season 20 of "The Voice."

Judge Nick Jonas said Alaké is "one to watch."

"You just had a special moment on this show," said Jonas. "It connected with me and I think everyone felt it here."

Mac, meanwhile, sang Jewel's "Foolish Games," going head-to-head with Zae Romeo of Texas.

Jonas said he loved that Mac, who grew up with her single father, connected the song "to something emotional." 

"When you were hitting those high notes, it was really gorgeous," said judge John Legend.

And even though two of the four judges said they preferred Romeo's performance over Mac's, Jonas chose Mac. Romeo was eventually stolen by Clarkson.

"She's kind of a dark horse," said Jonas. "I think she's one of the strongest vocalists we have and I know she can get even better."

Mac said she never imagined getting this far on the popular singing competition.

"Words can not explain," said Mac on Instagram. "I’m sure you all know by now, but (Romeo) is my absolute best friend. I feel blessed to have shared such a monumental moment with him tonight."

Rapper Snoop Dogg, who critiqued the singers during rehearsals, applauded Detroit's music legacy.

"Detroit has been known for having some of the greatest vocalists of all time," said Snoop.