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Why John Legend Stole “Gutsy” Kristen Brown After She Vocally Stumbled in the Knockouts

Sometimes a vocal mistake can't overshadow a singer's true character.

By Matthew Jackson

Three-way Knockouts are rough on The Voice, even more than Battles. For each round, a Coach has to pit three great singers against each other, and each time there can only be one winner, leaving the other two to thank the Coaches and go home...unless someone hits those all-important Save or Steal buttons.

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Watch The Voice Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock. 

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

But getting another shot on The Voice doesn't always come because you're technically perfect. Sometimes the character of a singer is just as important as their vocal cords, as John Legend's Monday night (November 13) Steal proved.

Watch Kristen Brown sing "This One's for the Girls" by Martina McBride on The Voice Season 24 Knockouts

Kristen Brown performs on the voice episode 2415

Team Gwen's Monday night Knockout showdown was a three-way matchup between Kara Tenae, CORii, and Kristen Brown, who chose Martina McBride's country classic "This One's for the Girls" as her song. If you're just watching at home, it's not always easy to tell who's going to win and lose any given battle, but this time around, it seemed like Brown wasn't a contender for the top, thanks to some vocal slip-ups near the end of her performance that seemed to doom her. 

Still, after admitting that she got "emotional" while singing to a young girl in the audience during her song, Brown did get some positive feedback from the Coaches.

"I loved your song," Reba McEntire said. "I just think it's hard to sing soft after singing loud, so that was a very gutsy choice on your part."

Coach Niall Horan not only agreed, but went on to call Kristen his favorite of the three performances.

"I really felt that emotion," he said. "I honestly didn't care that you lost the plot...I've always been a fan of Kristen, so I'm gonna stick with Kristen."

RELATED: Every Winner from The Voice Season 24 Battles

When it came time for Coach Gwen Stefani to make a decision, she ultimately picked Tenae as the winner of the Knockout, but that didn't stop her from praising Brown. 

"I adore Kristen," Stefani said. "I did notice that second half, vocally, wasn't your sweet sweet spot, but I didn't care, because if I were a girl, I would relate to you right there."

Brown was all set to graciously say her goodbyes to the show, even noting that she couldn't wait to go back home to the vocal students she teaches and tell them about her experiences, when the Steal button came in. John Legend, it turns out, was finally ready to use a Steal, and he used it on Kristen Brown.

"She's been so good throughout all the rounds of the competition," Legend said. "I know she's going to do well in the future."