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Mara Justine: Everything to Know About The Voice Finalist's Journey in Season 24
The 21-year-old from New Jersey has had an interesting saga this season.
Time really does fly when you're Coaching the next generation of musical talent.
It's kind of hard to believe, but Season 24 of The Voice is over. The final crop of singers includes the likes of Huntley (Team Niall), Jacquie Roar (Team Reba), Lila Forde (Team Legend), Mara Justine (Team Niall), and Ruby Leigh (Team Reba). To help fans get ready for the conclusion, NBC Insider put together explainers on each finalist, chronicling their respective journeys across the season. This one concerns the saga of Mara Justine.
Where Did Mara Justine Place in The Voice Season 24?
Mara Justine did not win Season 24 of The Voice, placing third in the final voting.
Everything to know about The Voice Season 24 contestant Mara Justine
Hailing from Galloway, New Jersey, the 21-year-old Justine knocked it out of the park from the word "go" with an impressive cover of Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" during the Blinds Auditions. The debut performance yielded a coveted bidding war between all four Coaches, with Justine ultimately throwing in her lot with John Legend.
Fighting back tears in the premiere episode, Justine revealed that her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer about a month before she auditioned for the show. "I think with everything that my mom is going through now, music is my medicine," the contestant said. "It gets me through everything and so, being here is a blessing. This is a life-changing opportunity for me. I get emotional because I have a new outlook on life. So to have this opportunity, it means everything to me."
As the competition moved into Battles, Legend paired Justine with Claudia B., asking them to go head-to-head over Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man." Mara ended up walking away victorious and advanced to Knockouts.
"Both of these artists really did what they do best," Legend said following their Battle. "This is a very tough choice because Claudia did nothing wrong, she sounded so great, she has such a great tone, but Mara just has a little bit more edge."
Justine's Voice tenure seemed to be up during Knockouts (she sang Harry Nilsson's "Without You") when Legend chose Kaylee Shimizu as winner, but Gwen Stefani and Niall Horan saved the day with a pair of Steals (Mara opted for the latter).
“Mara, [from] day one — maybe apart from one other, I’d say [you were] my favorite Audition," Niall said. "I’ll never forget it, and John will tell you, I hounded him with text messages going, ‘I’m gonna get you back for this!’…When I think of who’s great on The Voice this season, you’re the first one that comes to mind. I’m telling ya — you’ve got something serious about you.”
Mara Justine from Playoffs to Lives on The Voice
And then came the Playoffs. Justine landed on "You've Got the Love" by Florence & The Machine because of how it related to the pain and hopelessness she felt over her mother's cancer diagnosis.
“I don’t think a song could suit me more perfectly,” she explained. “The message is so impactful because I’m literally feeling every lyric to my core. When my mom gave me the news that they found more cancer, I kind of questioned the meaning of life, to be honest. This song brought me back to that moment … But this journey has been the most incredible blessing ever. She’s seeing me up on this stage just bringing the good news and that literally gives her strength."
Justine's earnestness absolutely came through in the performance, allowing her to move on to the Live shows — the fate of which are determined by the American public — alongside Huntley and Nini Iris. As a member of the Top 12, Justine sang Teddy Swims' "Lose Control," for which she received a standing ovation and remained in play.
For the Semi-Finals, she belted out Chris Stapleton's "Parachute," once again citing the track's relevance to her mother's medical situation. "She has been recovering, but it has not been easy," the finalist said (via Wide Open Country). "I have seen her fight. It makes me want to fight even harder knowing that she believes in me and she's so proud of me."
The Semi-Finals also included a cover of Taylor Swift's "Don't Blame Me," performed by Justine, Jacquie Roar, and Nini Iris.
Watch all of Mara Justine's performances on The Voice Season 24
How to watch The Voice Season 24 finale
The Voice Season 24 finale was divided into two parts: Night 1 on Monday, December 18 featuring the Top 5 Artists singing one last time for America's vote. Night 2 took place Tuesday, December 19 including the results plus memorable performances from the Coaches and your favorite superstar singers. Stream it all on Peacock.
Originally published Dec 13, 2023.