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Why “True Artist” Mara Justine’s “Compelling” Knockout Sparked a Double Steal
The gloves are off as Gwen Stefani and Niall Horan fight to give the Team Legend standout a new home.
For Team Legend's first Knockout, Coach John Legend pitted Mara Justine, Kaylee Shimizu, and Caleb Sasser against each other. Shimizu ultimately emerged victorious, with Legend dubbing her “one of the most gifted vocalists I’ve ever been around...She’s 17 years old; she can do so many amazing things with her voice — she has to stay on the show.”
Mara Justine sparks a Double Steal on The Voice Season 24 Knockouts
“It doesn’t matter what song you sing; it sounds like it could be your song that you wrote. You feel like a real, true Artist,” Stefani told Justine while Horan confessed that he’d “always been a huge fan” of her “emotive" stage presence.
Even though he picked Shimizu as the winner, Legend also had praise for Justine. "That was so good, I think it’s the best performance you’ve done on the show so far,” he admitted. “…You really do feel like you have a point of view as an Artist, and it’s very compelling.”
“Mara, it’s obvious that you need to come home to Team Gwen,” said Stefani, getting super-serious about her love for Justine’s husky, heartfelt sound. ”…I’m actually, like, feeling nervous right now, because I feel really passionate about you. There’s so many people that can sing amazing. But there’s not a lot of people that can connect with people through their own originality. I’m not an actress right now — this is my real heart talking to you. So I would love to have you on Team Gwen!”
That was a hard sales pitch to top, but Horan was determined to try. “Mara, [from] day one — maybe apart from one other, I’d say [you were] my favorite Audition. I’ll never forget it, and John will tell you, I hounded him with text messages going, ‘I’m gonna get you back for this!’…When I think of who’s great on The Voice this season, you’re the first one that comes to mind. I’m telling ya — you’ve got something serious about you.”
Ultimately, Justine opted to go Team Niall!