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John Legend Had the Best Reaction to Blake’s Team Singing One of His Hits

He was a fan! 

By Christopher Rosa
Hillary Torchiana vs. Kevin Hawkins on John Legend's "Preach" | The Voice Battles 2022

The Voice Coach John Legend tends to be a bit more critical when Contestants perform his songs on the show. So viewers were curious to see how he'd react when Blake Shelton chose Legend's "Preach" for Hillary Torchiana and Kevin Hawkins' Battle on Season 22, Episode 11 (which aired October 24). 

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"John's such a melodic writer, and he's got so much drama and dynamics in his music that it's 'gonna give these two a chance to show us all the tools they have in the shed," Shelton said about why he chose this song for Hawkins and Torchian's Battle

Prepping for the performance took some time. Shelton said that while Torchiana and Hawkins hitting certain difficult notes was impressive, it took him out of the overall set. 

"It's unbelievable that you guys can go there, but I'm not sold that it's the right thing to do, either," Shelton explained, while his Battle Advisor Jimmie Allen added, "They should definitely take into consideration they're sitting a John song in front of John...I'd be nervous." 

"John's already weird about when somebody does his song anyway," Shelton told Torchiana and Hawkins. "We know that from the Blinds, so I don't want any reason that he may hear [the notes] and go, 'Well, when y'all did that...' and Gwen [Stefani] goes, 'Well, why did they do that?'" 

Thankfully, Legend had nothing but praise for Torchiana and Hawkins's rendition of "Preach." "Thank you for singing my song," he said. "I felt your passion, I felt your love. It was really beautifully executed. Hillary, you're a wonderful singer and it felt like you really dug into the spirit of the song. Kevin, hearing you song reminded me of how upset I was with Gwen when she Blocked me."

Hawkins ultimately won the Battle, advancing him to the Knockouts. To see what happens, watch The Voice on NBC Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c and next day on Peacock.