‘The Voice’: John Legend nabs ‘one of the best singers in the competition’ by blocking Blake Shelton

Camila Cabello just keeps on killing it in her coaching gig on “The Voice.”

During the second half of the show’s Season 22 premiere Tuesday night, Cabello managed to snag Reina Ley, a precocious 13-year-old mariachi singer from Arizona. Ley’s robust performance of the Mexican standard “Cielito Lindo” captured the hearts of Cabello and fellow coach Gwen Stefani, who got up out of their chairs to twirl around onstage as Ley sang.

“Your voice is incredible. I love that you’re singing a mariachi song,” said Cabello, who’s also of Mexican descent. “I’m so proud of our culture, and all of that music is such a beautiful thing to tap into.”

The two were a match made in heaven as Ley chose to join Team Camila.

“This is the kind of artist I wanted,” said Cabello of Ley. “She has such a buttery, beautiful tone, but at the same time is a really capable singer…and also, as an immigrant child, I felt like she could be my little sister.”

Here’s what else went down on Tuesday’s episode.

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Camila Cabello nabs singer from John Legend with passionate pitch
Twenty-two-year-old vocalist Chello won Cabello and coach John Legend over with his unique tone and smooth rendition of “Just the Two of Us” by Grover Washington Jr. and Bill Withers.

Cabello praised the Pennsylvania singer’s vocal style and said she could “picture listening to your records in the car.”

“The fact that you could make (the song) so cool without any riffs or runs at first – it was just your tone,” Cabello said. “I am willing to just get on my knees and beg ‘cause I know John’s going to try to get the last word in, but I see a lot of potential in you.”

Legend said Chello’s stage presence brought “joy,” and he connected with the singer over their shared background of performing in church.

But it was Cabello who couldn’t let Legend have the last word. The singer bonded with Chello over their love of singer-songwriter Jon Bellion.

“It makes so much sense that you’re a fan … because what I see in you, I see in so many of my favorite artists,” Cabello said. “You’re somebody that I just want to sing with and perform with.”

Cabello’s persistence paid off, with Chello choosing to join Team Camila.

“Camila is new, but she has proven to be very formidable,” Legend said afterward. “She’s been beating me a lot. She’s out to destroy me.”

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Gwen Stefani blocks John Legend from four-chair singer Kevin Hawkins
Kevin Hawkins, a middle school piano teacher, floored the coaches and scored himself a four-chair turn with his silky smooth vocals and electric performance of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely?”

However, Legend was immediately removed from the running after Stefani used her block button, preventing him from pitching himself to Hawkins.

With humor, coach Blake Shelton attempted to capitalize on Legend’s block. “You came here maybe hoping to get John Legend to turn around,” he said. “I’m here to tell you that I’m the next closest thing to John Legend on this particular season.”

And Hawkins was swayed by Shelton’s logic, as the singer opted to join Team Blake.

“This is what happens when you block me,” Legend said afterward. “It backfires.”

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John Legend blocks Blake Shleton to steal country singer
Youth basketball coach Peyton Aldridge brought the house down with his country growl and commanding cover of The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” prompting Legend, Stefani and Shelton to spin around in their chairs.

Legend was quick to use his block button on country king Shelton, dashing his hopes of snagging Aldridge for his team.

“I was just so captivated by your voice. It’s so strong and clear and beautiful,” Legend told Aldridge, later joining him onstage for a quick cover of his song “All of Me.” “I also had a feeling you might be interested in Team Blake.”

For Stefani, her interest in Aldridge went beyond the music.

“What’s interesting about you is you already know so much of who you are,” Stefani said. “I would just like to get in there and figure out how (to) get people to really know your personality, to really get to your heart.”

“A piano teacher who sings Stevie Wonder, and I don’t have a chance to fight for,” Legend said. “I wish I could work with you Kevin. Thank you, Gwen, for denying us that chance.”

Stefani told Hawkins: “I just wanted to make sure you got the right coach. Your voice sounds like a record; it sounds like a Grammy performance. … You’re going to shine on this stage.”

And Shelton was not a happy camper, using his block as an opportunity to attempt revenge on Legend.

“John Legend can kiss my (expletive),” Shelton said. “You did have a great moment there with John singing, and it was very special. But what would really have him talking tomorrow morning on the ‘Today’ show would be if after that moment happened, then you chose Gwen Stefani to be your coach. He would be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe he did that.’ ”

Legend’s block paid off in the end, with Aldridge choosing Legend as his coach.

“Peyton’s definitely one of the best singers in the competition so far,” Legend said afterward. “I’m glad I blocked Blake because I probably would have lost (Peyton) to him.”

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