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Hear Deejay Young’s “Out of Sight” Range That Got Him an “Electric” Battle Win
Young’s fabulous falsetto soared to new heights on Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River.”
Blind Auditions are over and Battles have begun on Season 24 of The Voice — and right off the bat, Team Legend faced the unenviable task of choosing between the soulful swagger of Ephraim Owens and the smooth falsetto sounds of Deejay Young — a four-year Hamilton touring veteran who swiveled three Coaches’ chairs during his Blind Audition for Season 24.
Both performers knocked it out of the park in their duet performance of Justin Timberlake’s awesome breakup classic “Cry Me a River.” But of course only one could advance in the end, leaving all three of John Legend’s Coaching colleagues relieved that the tough decision of disappointing one of the Artists wasn’t theirs to make.
Watch The Voice Season 24 Battles: Ephraim Owens vs Deejay Young
It might’ve been one of the most talent-packed matchups of any of this season’s Battles, a fact not lost on Niall Horan — the only Coach who didn’t pivot for Young back in the Blind Audition phase (but even then only because Young’s falsetto fell outside Horan’s “particular type” of Coaching expertise).
“When you guys were in harmony together it was electric,” gushed an obviously impressed Horan. “Tell you what, Johnny boy’s team is stacked up!” he added, admitting that he favored Deejay’s performance by just a smidge.
“It’s his problem, not mine!” added Gwen Stefani, who simply couldn’t decide between Young’s pro-level stagecraft and the authentically accessible crowd appeal of Owens — who’d already earned a coveted four-chair Coaches’ turn in his earlier Blind Audition.
Legend himself had nothing but love for his team members’ dialed-in duet, though he found a way to make a funny faux pas — at Timberlake’s expense, no less — while trying to find a way to praise them.
“Both of you have such different voices, but the way you were able to just be really in sync with each other,” he began, before catching his unintentional name-drop of Timberlake’s old boy band. “NSYNC — I didn’t mean to say that!” he teased. “That was, like, an unintentional dad joke!”
Still, Legend nailed what made each of his artists stand out. “Ephraim, your tone is rich and has depth to it. It was just fun to see you doing all the things that make you yourself,” he said. “And then Deejay, your voice is just elastic; it can do so many amazing things. You range is crazy! That’s what makes this hard — because both of you could do really well in this competition.”
In the end, Legend chose Young, who said he’s found inspiration in the memory of his late grandmother, an unfailing supporter whose voice he actually incorporated into one of his own songs before she passed away in April of 2022. “Sometimes I’ll listen to it just to hear her voice,” he reflected. “She was so proud of me and all of the things I’ve done to get to this moment, and I know she’s with me.”