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How “Thoroughly Perfect” Huntley Won the “Best Knockout” Niall’s Ever Seen on The Voice

Three amazing Artists, one tough choice for Team Niall. But was Huntley the Knockout round's only winner?

By Benjamin Bullard

In one of the hardest Knockout-round decisions you’re ever likely to see on The Voice, Niall Horan sweated it out and breathed a major groan of uncertainty to himself before waving Huntley and his swagger-y, rock-’n’-roll sound through to the Playoffs. But even that didn’t stop Horan from cashing in his own Save to keep one of the other Team Niall Artists around on the show — or from standing up and cheering when John Legend and Reba McEntire stepped in to Steal back the one who still remained.

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In short, no Artist went home after a stellar Team Niall showing in a Knockout round that featured Huntley tearing it up with Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Horan almost had no choice but to keep things interesting with a last-minute Save of Claudia B. after her cooing, jazzy rendition of Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why.” Meanwhile, both Reba and Legend (who admitted he “just became a Noah fan today!”) vied to Steal Noah Spencer, the Virginia-based bluegrass musician whose laid-back Appalachian approach convinced all four Coaches that none of these three talented Artists deserved to be sent home.

RELATED: An Official Recap of Team Niall on The Voice Season 24

Noah was the last of the three to take the stage. But after already relenting to Claudia B.’s “different planet” level of talent (as Niall put it) and being bowled over by what Legend described as Huntley’s “thoroughly perfect” performance, it was clear Horan had an impossible choice on his hands. “This is crazy!” said Gwen Stefani as Spencer’s smooth style sealed the idea that anyone could win — and Legend was loving the three-way intrigue, too. “How you gonna decide, Niall?!” he cajoled… all before Spencer had even had a chance to finish singing.

Watch Huntley sing “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi on The Voice Season 24 Knockouts

Huntley performs on the voice season 24 episode 13

In the end, it was Huntley’s stage-ready reliability — all while putting his own spicy spin on an arena-proven Bon Jovi anthem — that earned him Horan’s final seal of approval. “I chose Huntley as the winner because he is consistent — rips the roof off the place every single time,” he said. “The gravel in his voice; the tone. I think for the Playoffs, we’re gonna have to get this roof reinforced!”

Not that Huntley’s command performance (“Have you ever sang out of tune in your life?!” admired Stefani) made Horan’s job exactly easy. “That’s the best Knockout I’ve ever seen on this show,” he said when it was time to make his final decision. “… Something special just happened in these three performances that I really, really, really hope that none of you have to leave here. I have zero idea what I’m gonna do.”

As fate would have it, though, everything worked out to keep all three Artists around for a while longer. Despite a Steal attempt at Claudia B. from Legend (who confessed “I really understand the style of music that you wanna do, and I feel like I can really help you get there”), Horan used his own Save to keep the Nashville-based Artist singing for Team Niall. And McEntire, who’d already teared up during Spencer’s earnest and yearning set, stepped in with what might’ve been the show-stopping Coaches’ comment of the entire night.

RELATED: Every Blind Audition on The Voice Season 24, Broken Down by Team

“I guess the thing I miss most is sitting on the back porch of my home. And you made me feel that warmth — like I was sitting on that back porch in my porch swing,” said Reba, while Gwen gave a heartfelt and approving nod: “That just gave me chills and tears,” said Stefani. “It’s so true!”

McEntire’s words hit their mark, because Spencer ended up electing to join Team Reba even after Legend made a serious effort to Steal Noah over to his own team. “[It’s the] first time it’s made me homesick in a while,” the Queen of Country said of Spencer’s performance. “It really made me feel something.”

It’s not often that Knockouts reinforce the idea that some Artists are simply too good to let go — but fortunately for Horan, that’s exactly what happened on this night.

How far can Huntley and the rest of Team Niall’s talented singers go in the Playoffs? Find out by watching The Voice Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock.