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Why Niall Horan Stole “Flawless” Claudia B. After Her “Unbelievable” Battle

Claudia B. and Mara Justine performed "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield on The Voice Season 24 Battles. 

By James Grebey

Once Claudia B.’s time on The Voice is done, she plans on having “a little elopement” with her fiance, as she got the call that she was going to be on the show shortly after getting engaged. But, it looks like that elopement will have to wait a bit longer, as thanks to a Steal by Coach Niall Horan, Claudia B. isn’t done with The Voice just yet. 

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Watch The Voice on NBC and Peacock. 

Coach John Legend had Claudia B. and her teammate Mara Justine perform Dusty Springfield’s 1969 classic “Son-Of-A Preacher Man” for their Battle, thinking it lent itself to both of their talents. 

“Claudia’s voice is a little more clear and a little more pop. and Mara’s voice is a little grittier, and she’s a little more of a throwback,” Legend said. The song "Son-Of-A Preacher Man," he explained, is “such a good crossover between soul and pop, and rock, too. It’s right in the wheelhouse of everything both of you do.”

The song choice had some extra resonance for Claudia B., as the 24-year-old’s fiance, Jacob, is the son of a pastor. “So, really I am marrying the son of a preacher man,” she said.

With the two killer talents facing off, the possibility of Steals was on everyone’s minds before the Battle even started. 

Why did Niall Horan steal Claudia B. on The Voice?

Mara Justine and Claudia B. perform on The Voice Episode 2412

“If they both do their very best, it’s going to be a really tough decision for me,” Legend said. “I’m going to have to pick one of you, but what I want to happen is that the other coaches will be begging to steal you.” 

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

Claudia B. wanted to win the Battle outright, of course, but she went into it being very aware of the possibility of Steals. 

“I want to impress John with a performance, but I know that the other three coaches are watching and they’re going to be hearing maybe what one of us could bring to their team if they choose to Steal us,” she said. “But only one of us will win the battle, and potentially only one of us will stay, so there’s a lot at stake. 

The performance earned rave reviews from all four Coaches, with Horan saying he hadn’t “heard that one sung that good in a while.” Coach Reba McEntire gave Claudia the edge, citing her “unbelievable vocals,” while Coach Gwen Stefani leaned towards Mara Justine, but she praised Claudia B.’s strong identity through her voice. “That’s something that you can’t really teach somebody. That makes us get to know who you are, you stand out,” Stefani said. 

Horan, who said he wished he’d been able to have both Claudia B. and Mara Justine on his team from the start, initially put his support behind Mara, though he praised Claudia B.’s ability to make the song her own and to have so much power and control while still being herself, compared to Mara’s more overt stage presence. 

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

“Both of these Artists really do what they do best. This is a really tough choice because Claudia did nothing wrong, she sounded so great, she has a great tone,” Legend said, before announcing the winner: “Mara just has a little more edge.”

However, the instant that Host Carson Daly mentioned the possibility of a Steal, Horan slammed his forehead down on the button to snag Claudia B. for his team. 

“I Love how pure Claudia’s voice is,” he said. “There’s no way I was ever letting Claudia go home. She’s going to fit right in on Team Niall.”

“I love when my Artists get stolen because I love making sure these Artists have all the opportunities they can to shine and make their voices heard on this show,’ Legend said, happy that his earlier dream of having the losing singer get Stolen came true. 

“But, you never know, I may regret it in the future,” he continued, perhaps worried that Cluadia B. might now give Team Niall the edge over Team Legend. “It may come back to haunt me.”

But how far will Claudia B. go? Find out by watching The Voice Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock.