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Why Huntley’s “Masterful” Playoff Performance Was Deemed His Best: “You’re a Star”

He might sing for Team Niall, but Huntley’s Playoffs set had the other Coaches ready to hand him a record deal.

By Benjamin Bullard

From day one, Huntley has been rockin’ Season 24 of The Voice with a distinctive set of soulful pipes and an always-on stage confidence that makes the Virginia-based Artist stand out not only on Team Niall, but as a much-needed blast of fresh rock ’n’ roll energy among all of this season's roster of talented singers.

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With The Voice entering the Playoffs elimination stretch to whittle Niall Horan’s remaining team of six Artists down to three, Huntley’s already-established reputation among all four Coaches made him perhaps the least-stressful pick to end up among the show’s final top 12 performers. After coming through with yet another killer cover — this time of David Kushner’s goth-pop ballad “Daylight” — Huntley left no doubt in any Coaches’ mind that they’d be seeing him again on the upcoming Live Performance Shows, and probably filling up arenas in the not-too-distant future after that.

Huntley’s “masterful” Playoffs performance of David Kushner’s “Daylight” on The Voice Season 24

Huntley was surrounded by a gifted gang of Artists on his Playoff performance night, with fellow singers Alexa WIldish, Claudia B., Julia Roome, Mara Justine, and Nini Iris all showing the Coaches why Team Niall might just be the most top-to-bottom talent-rich team to reckon with this season. And while Niall did agonize over who to keep and who, ultimately, to cut, at least he didn’t agonize over Huntley: All four Coaches agreed that he was a sure bet to keep The Voice rockin’ well into the Live rounds.

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

“What you’re giving us on stage is well beyond a competition,” said an amazed John Legend after Huntley’s powerfully soulful performance. “You’re already a star. You carry yourself that way with confidence; with that distinctive voice. And the execution every time is just flawless. …You belong as one of the Grammy-winning Artists that are singing in our finale.”

Nini Iris, Mara Justine, Claudia B., Julia Roome, Huntley, and Alexa Wildish onstage during The Voice

Gwen Stefani almost sounded jealous that Huntley wasn’t on her own team. “I just can’t believe how amazing you are,” she confessed. “Every single time, your actual vocal ability — especially in the lane of music that you do and your style of singing —  it is masterful. You have such great stage presence, and I just can’t believe you don’t already have a whole album. If I had a label, I would just like, snatch you. You’re amazing!”

Was there any criticism for Huntley’s singing on this night? If we’re being honest, well... no, none at all. Horan even admitted that he chose “Daylight” as Huntley’s Playoffs song as kind of a test… just to see how the typically high-energy Artist would handle a toned-down ballad.

RELATED: Every Winner From The Voice Season 24 Knockouts, By Team

“I wanted to see if he would step up to a song that he wouldn’t necessarily pick,” said Horan. “Wow, Huntley, that is some performance. First of all it’s the best you’ve ever sung… When you have a voice like that, it’s gonna be one hell of an album... and I’m gonna buy it!”

To which an enthused Reba McEntire chimed in, “Me too!”

Huntley was the first of the three Team Niall Playoff Artists to be chosen for the next round, as Horan dramatically saved his tougher two choices for the show’s very last moments. “To turn six [Artists] to three is just crazy to me,” Niall confessed, before at last selecting Mara Justine and Nini Iris to join Huntley in representing Team Niall in the show’s upcoming Live Performances.

How far can Huntley go as the competition rolls on? Find out by tuning in to The Voice Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC, and streaming next day on Peacock.