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Why Tom Nitti’s “Haunting,” “Unbelievable” Knockout Caused a Reba-Gwen Showdown

Reba McEntire strategically used a Save to ensure two members of her team made it to the next round — despite Gwen Stefani's best efforts to steal.

By James Grebey

One of the secrets to The Voice’s success is that there are two levels of competition going on. There are the Contestants, who are singing their hearts out in an attempt to win over the Coaches (and, eventually, the viewing and voting public). And then there are the Coaches themselves, who are trying to make sure one of their singers wins the top prize. 

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Jacquie Roar won her Knockout on Monday night (November 6), but Coach Reba McEntire won, too, as did Tom Nitti, another singer on her team who she strategically saved — much to Gwen Stefani’s chagrin. 

Roar, Nitti, and Alison Albrecht were the three members of Team Reba facing off in this Knockout. Here's what happened. 

Tom Nitti’s Knockout performance causes a Reba McEntire-Gwen Stefani showdown 

Tom Nitti performs on the voice season 24 episode 13

For his performance, Nitti picked The Temptations’ classic 1966 track “(I Know) I'm Losing You.”

“Tom’s Country-Soul,” McEntire said of Nitti’s genre of music. “To do a more soulful song? I’m not surprised at all because that’s in his DNA.” 

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“All three of you were absolutely spectacular,” said Coach Niall Horan after the Knockouts ended. “Tom that was… phew, it was haunting. To go down this route and stick a strong, soulful vocal on a song like that, I think you did an unbelievable job.”

Coach John Legend singled out Albrecht as having the best voice but gave Roar the edge for overall performance. Stefani, meanwhile, was impressed by Nitti but also joked that watching Roar perform was like running into an ex. (Roar was originally on Team Gwen.) 

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“Tom, you’re soulful, you’re country, you’ve got the whole package,” McEntire said. “I loved your attitude on stage. That little kick thing you do, I like that, too.”

Ultimately, she gave Roar, the win, but that's not where the story ends. The second she had a chance, McEntire slammed down on the button to Save Nitti — followed shortly by Stefani, who attempted to use her Steal. 

“I think that that was just an amazing performance and I’m just so curious to see what you do next. I just want you to know, I’m a fan, and I would love to have you [on my team],” Stefani said in her pitch to Nitti. 

“When I first heard you, I turned my chair because I heard that specialness in your voice,” countered McEntire. “And now to get to know you and watch you perform, it’s a complete package, and I’d love to keep you on my team.”

Nitti opted to stick with McEntire, who he said had faith in him since day one. 

“I had a method to my madness,” she explained. “I knew I wanted Jacquie. But I also wanted Tom. Gwen tried to steal Tom? No. It wasn’t going to happen. He has so much soul along with the country. Makes him a great singer.”