Utahn James Violet lost his battle-round sing-off on “The Voice” on Monday night, but he wasn't eliminated from the hit NBC series. He ended up on the team of the only judge who didn't turn his chair around for him in the blind auditions, and he'll continue on to the next round of competition.
Violet, who grew up in Syracuse and now lives in Salt Lake City, and fellow Team Gwen Stefani member Kyndal Inskeep sang Maren Morris' “I Could Use a Love Song” in Monday's battle round. Stefani praised both of them and said she was “torn,” but ultimately chose Inskeep as the winner of the one-on-one competition.
But the moment host Carson Daly said Violet was “available to steal or save,” judge/coach John Legend immediately punched his button — barely beating out Stefani, who hit her button to save Violet and looked decidedly put out that Legend went for the steal. And that left the 20-year-old Utahn once again deciding which judge/coach he would work with.
(He originally chose Stefani over Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton.)
Legend was the only one of the four judges who didn't turn his chair around for Violet in the blind auditions, although he called the Utahn's performance “fantastic.” But after Stefani went with Inskeep on Monday, Legend went hard after Violet.
“James, I really heard the magic in your voice and I don't have anyone on my team like you,” Legend said. “It would be so much fun to work with you and pick the best songs to make the most of your immense talent and your super-cool vibe.”
(Ironically, at his blind audition, Legend told Violet he didn’t turn around for him because “I happen to have quite a few guys on my team already that remind me of you stylistically.”)
After eliminating him on Monday, Stefani insisted she never intended to drop Violet from her team.
“I've got to be honest. I had this plan this the whole time. You were always on my I'm-going-to-save-him list,” Steffani said. “I'm, like, so terrified you're going to go with John. Like, it's awful!”
“I only have one steal,” Legend said, “and, James, it's all yours.”
“C’mon, this coach loves you so much,” Stefani shot back.
“She was ready to toss you to the garbage heap,” Legend retorted.
“This is so hard,” Violet was seen to say at the end of Monday's episode — which NBC turned into a cliffhanger.
In Tuesday’s episode, however, viewers saw the Utah singer choose to join Legend’s team. (His new coach is married to a Utah native: Model and TV presenter Chrissy Teigen.)
Violet will next perform/compete in the knockout round of “The Voice” at a date to be announced.