Just about every contestant on ‘The Voice‘ says they’ve “wanted to do this for as long as they can remember,” but Jermaine Paul makes us really believe it. Before taking the stage to perform a show-winning (maybe?) rendition of ‘I Believe I Can Fly,’ the hopeful explained — through tears — just what it means to him to get this far in such a huge competition.

As we’ve learned this season, Jermaine has always been in the sidelines, overshadowed by big celebrities as a backup singer for Alicia Keys. Sporting a super fly white coat and backed by an unbelievable choir, the frontman captivated the audience. His country coach, Blake Shelton, could hardly keep his Wranglers in the big red chair as he watched on, smiling like a proud dad.

It’s a good thing R. Kelly‘s talent is all peed out — err, played out — because Jermaine Paul just trumped him. “You got me to stand on my feet. That song was made for you,” Christina Aguilera told him after he finished his first performance of the evening. “That’s what this show is about. You shined like a superstar tonight.”

Cee Lo said he liked how ‘The Voice’ hopeful presented himself, and that he and Shelton did a good job collaborating on how the kick-off performance should play out. When it was Blake’s turn to speak, he was a pile of mush.

“My heart is in my throat right now. I’m speechless,” the country music icon said. “I’ve listened to that song a lot of songs, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard it until tonight. I learn things from you Jermaine. If I could channel things from you when I perform…” he trailed off, “you’ve got to teach me that.”

Mid-way through the show, Jermaine paid tribute to his coach with a rendition of the chart-topping single ‘God Gave Me You,’ and immediately following, put his feelings into words. “It means so much to me more than you’ll ever know,” he told Shelton. “God gave me YOU, bro. You got a brother in me.”

A brother from another mother? We love it. Blake was definitely full of something this evening, but it wasn’t his usual BS (pun intended). The singer had nothing but compliments for his contestant, telling Jermaine before they performed a duet, “I want to feel what it feels like to sing with somebody that powerful.”

Appropriately, they chose to sing ‘Soul Man’ together, and shockingly, it was a good fit. With Jermaine’s soul and Blake’s man-ness, the song was a perfect match for the coach and contestant duet. “The odd couple” — Carson Daly’s words — rocked the stage side by side, and we were delighted to see that they went all out for the delivery, down to choreographed black and white outfits. Backup trumpets were the best way to complete the sound they were going for, and overall, the delivery was a great way to round out their season together.

Will Jermaine Paul be crowned ‘The Voice’? Voting opens following Monday’s show and the lone winner will be crowned on Tuesday night’s finale. Until then, we wait.

Watch Jermaine Paul Perform ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ on ‘The Voice’

Watch Jermaine Paul Perform ‘God Gave Me You’ on ‘The Voice’

Watch Blake Shelton + Jermaine Paul Perform ‘Soul Man’ on ‘The Voice’

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