There are only a few steals left on season 24 of The Voice — and Team Legend’s Battle on Tuesday was an excellent reason to use one.
Coach John Legend paired up Mara Justine and Claudia B. on Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man” and even predicted in rehearsals that the performance would lead to the Battle loser being stolen by another coach.
They certainly impressed the coaches with the soulful performance, with Niall Horan marveling,”I haven’t heard that song sung that well in a while. Probably since it was first released!”
Gwen Stefani called the performance “flawless,” giving a slight edge to Mara for her “star quality.”
“How do y’all do this?” Reba McEntire agreed. “You’re so talented and so young… When y’all got into it, I got into it. That’s a good performer!”
“My god, John, have you got a problem here,” Niall said with a laugh.
But John was nothing but proud of the pair, praising how different but impressive the pair’s voices are.
“You just delivered today, and I was so proud to be your coach,” he added.
Ultimately, John named Mara the winner of the Battle, but it wasn’t the end of the road for Claudia, as Niall instantly hit his button to steal her to his team!
“There was no way I was letting Claudia go home,” he told the cameras. “She’s gonna fit right in on Team Niall.”
ET spoke with Gwen ahead of this season’s Battles, where she opened up about how surreal it is to return to The Voice without hubby Blake Shelton by her side. The Cowboy departed the NBC singing competition earlier this year, after 23 seasons.
“It feels kind of like [my] first season, before I knew he existed,” she shared. “It’s kind of weird, but it’s also like, I’m having so much fun.”
“Like, I’m only here because it’s fun,” Gwen added. “The coaching and actually getting to know your team after the Blinds is my favorite thing, ’cause it’s like, the dream’s there.”
She admitted, however, that it is a little nerve-wracking to look to Blake’s chair and instead see The Voice‘s newest coach — the Queen of Country herself.
Of how Reba’s handled her first season so far, Gwen recalled the Blind Auditions with a laugh.
“She did great. She didn’t have to do anything,” she remembered. “She’d be like, ‘I think you were great. I’d love to have you on my team,’ and then they’d be like, ‘I pick you!'”
The Voice airs Mondays at 8 p.m. PT/ET and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. PT/ET on NBC.