Jackie Romeo sings on "The Voice" Battle Round episode that...

Jackie Romeo sings on "The Voice" Battle Round episode that aired Monday. Credit: NBC/Trae Patton

Massapequa’s Jackie Romeo punched through on her Battle Round bout of the NBC singing competition “The Voice” Monday night, defeating Olivia Rubini to retain her spot on John Legend’s team. The formidable Rubini remained in the running, after being stolen by Dan + Shay for that duo’s team.

The final performance of the night, the matchup pitted Romeo, 20, against Hockessin, Delaware’s Rubini, 24, who had become friends with her over the course of the competition. Team captain Legend had chosen for their song “Edge of Seventeen,” by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Stevie Nicks from her first solo album after Fleetwood Mac, “Bella Donna” (1981).

Each put their spin on Nicks’ melancholy but pulsating meditation about loss and death, while simultaneously harmonizing as if they had been doing so for years. Each of the two singers earned praise from judges Reba McEntire, Chance the Rapper and the country-pop duo Dan + Shay (Daniel Smyers and Shay Mooney).

Twelve-time Grammy Award winner Legend told Romeo and Rubini he “just loved your interaction with each other, your unique approaches to the song. Olivia, you have this stylized, softer approach, and then, Jackie, your voice just cuts through in this really powerful way. It has, like, this crispness to it, and it was a joy for me” to hear it. Without hesitation, he announced, “The winner of this Battle is Jackie.”

Romeo had said in a prerecorded segment on the episode that she had been completely unfamiliar with the song, and so, “The first thing that went through my mind is absolute shock,” she told Newsday Tuesday afternoon. Speaking by phone from a car on the Southern State Parkway, Romeo noted that, “It really goes to show that no matter what genre they stick you in, or songs that go outside your confidence zone, if you put in the work and you practice, singing anything is possible.”

The Debbie Gibson protégé explained that, “I listened to the song on repeat for three days straight and I sang it as much as I possibly could. The goal was to have it in my bones as if I've been singing it my whole life … just to make sure that it felt effortless and not something I was just learning.”

On the show, Romeo, the daughter of accountant John Romeo and commercial-insurance agent Helen Romeo, had praised “the emotional release in these lyrics,” and invoked the death of a relative — specifically, her maternal great grandmother Helena Gielarowski, of New Hyde Park, who died in mid-2022. Born in 1934, Gielarowski lived through World War II in her native Poland and did not immigrate to the U.S. until she was in her early 20s.

“She couldn't leave the house because she had a heart condition … and so she never got to see me perform live because she couldn't walk and she couldn't drive. So her big thing was sometimes News12  would show me on TV and she would play it over and over again. And the second she passed away is when I got the gig with ‘The Voice.’ ”

Legend said in the episode, “I love Jackie’s voice. It’s crispy — like, it crackles a bit. Like the best Southern fried chicken — it’s got the nice, crispy tastiness to it.” And he told the young woman, “You have, like, a gospel flavoring to your voice. It’s very interesting hearing it on rock music,” the roots of which included gospel as well as blues and country-Western.

“I feel like as a pop-soul singer, I’m working with a master,” Romeo said on the show. “It just makes me feel so much more confident. I’m so excited to perform this and, like, just have fun.”

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