NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider The Voice

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.

By Benjamin Bullard

If The Voice wasn’t already competitive enough during the Battles, the Knockouts are where things start to get really interesting. 

How to Watch

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

For Team Legend's first Knockout, Coach John Legend pitted Mara JustineKaylee 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.”

RELATED: Every Winner from The Voice Season 24 Battles

That said, Justine's Knockout impressed both Niall Horan and Gwen Stefani enough to attempt to use their Steals. Of course, she could only pick one team to join. 

Mara Justine sparks a Double Steal on The Voice Season 24 Knockouts 

Mara Justine performs on the voice season 24 episode 13

“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.

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

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.”

RELATED: A Full Breakdown of How The Voice Works

“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!