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Why Lennon VanderDoes’ Knockout Made John Legend Cry So Much, He Couldn’t Speak

Lennon VanderDoes performed “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz for his tearjerking Knockout performance on The Voice Season 24. 

By James Grebey

Lennon VanderDoes brought John Legend to tears with his Knockout performance on The Voice. Unfortunately, though, deciding the winner of the Knockout wasn’t Legend’s call to make, it was Niall Horan’s — and, even worse, Legend and the rest of the Coaches were out of Steals. 

VanderDoes opened Legends floodgates with a performance of “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. It was a song that resonated with the 27-year-old, who said it reminded him of his pursuit of music. During rehearsals, VanderDoes explained that, before The Voice, he’d been playing anywhere that would have him, including dive bars and even hot dog stands, but he “won’t give up.”

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

Mega Mentor Wynnona Judd was a fan of VanderDoes’ high voice, cautioning him only that he should focus less on making sure that each next note he was going to sing was “right.”

“You can either be right or you can be loved,” Judd said — and in the end, VanderDoes was indeed loved. 

The Phoneix, Arizona, resident was pitted against two of his Team Niall teammates: Alexa Wildish, singing Cher’s “Believe” and Julia Roome, singing Joni Mitchell’s “Unstoppable.”

Watch Lennon VanderDoes sing “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz on The Voice Season 24 Knockouts

The Voice 2416 Lennon Vanderdoes Julia Roome Alexa Wildis

All three performances were astounding, but VanderDoes’ was especially moving. Gwen Stefani started tearing up and Horan might’ve brushed a tear or two away, but it was Legend who was legitimately crying.  

“Ever since I became a dad I, definitely cry more much more than I used to. Lennon, I thought of you as the underdog…” began Legend before he lost his composure. (Coach Reba McEntire rushed over to offer Legend a tissue.)

“I felt you being fully yourself and it felt moving to me,” Legend eventually continued. “It felt so passionate and so moving, it just got me.”

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

“I hope you realize that’s the biggest compliment another artist can give you, is to sit there and cry,” McEntire said to VanderDoes. “Because you touched John to his core.” 

“You made us both cry!” said Stefani. “It was so moving because it was done so intentionally with the lyrics. There’s no winner.”

However, in the end, there did have to be a winner. Horan named Wildish the winner of the round. 

But… this might not be the last we see of VanderDoes. The episode ended with the tantalizing reveal that, for the first time in 24 seasons, Coaches on The Voice might get a chance to bring back previously eliminated contestants. We’ll have to wait and see if VanderDoes will be getting such a reprieve, but in any case, he holds the distinction of bringing John Legend to tears on national TV.