The Voice 24: Competition Veteran Mara Justine Wows, Sings with John Legend

The Voice season 24 Blind Audition - Maura Justine
Pictured: Mara Justine — (Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC)

The Voice 24: Competition veteran Mara Justine wows once again, sings with John Legend

The Voice season 24 kicked off on Monday night, without Blake Shelton for the very first time. Nevertheless, the panel had great chemistry, and the night one talent was very strong, including a familiar face, Mara Justine who ended the night on a high note. (Read our Recap)

Mara is a 21-year-old from Galloway, New Jersey. She talks about her big Italian family and notes she started singing at 8 years old. She talks about her mom being adventurous and how they ride motorcycles together. But now she drives and her mom rides on the back as she has gotten weaker recently after a breast cancer diagnosis, which came only a month before Mara found out that The Voice invited her to audition. Mara shares that “music is my medicine.”

Mara previously competed on America’s Got Talent and American Idol

Obviously, the show didn’t mention this, but Mara is a competition veteran, as she previously appeared on America’s Got Talent at the age of 11 on Season 9 where she competed as a finalist. She then went on to compete on American Idol Season 16 at the age of 16 where she made the top 14. Five years later, she arrives on The Voice.

Mara sings “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John, and she has a very full and mature sound. In the first 10 seconds, John Legend, Gwen Stefani, and Reba McEntire turn (in that order). Niall Horan hits his button after she hits multiple impressive low notes. Mara’s voice shines when she hits notes that show off her character. Here she showcased her voice with rasp and belting notes. However, Mara seemed to dodge certain notes and not hit them with her full power like she has in previous performances. But I didn’t mind that because the performance dynamically built up to a climatic high note which she flat out nailed. The ending of her audition was the moment of the night.

John invites Mara to sing a duet of his hit “All of Me”

Niall notes the difficulty of her song choice, asking, “if this is where you have set the bar, what are we going to see from you next?”. Reba is impressed by how she has a soft spoken voice, yet sings in a “big voice.” John remarks that, “they didn’t have the foresight that I had, in understanding what a magical gem you are as a vocalist,” explaining he was the first to turn. Gwen thinks she could help Mara with her stage presence, admitting that she would “freak out” if chosen. Niall brings out the ultimate trick with a finger pointer saying “pick Niall” and Blake’s name crossed out. Gwen insists that her husband Blake would never do that. Niall jokes, “we are already talking about the battles on Team Niall.”

After John asks if she’s sung one of his song’s before, he wonders, “do you want to sing a song together?” They duet on “All of Me” and it’s even better than Mara’s audition. Her harmonies with John are exquisite and she deviates from the melody in a way that shows off her artistic side. Her phrasing is creative and the song brings out a soulful side her audition lacked even if her audition was amazing. The moment is magical. The moment is also quite funny as Niall comes on stage and bets “pick me”.

Niall asks Mara is who she wants as a coach, but she won’t reveal her answer until the beginning of Tuesday’s episode.

Blake Shelton still looms large

Although this is the first season ever without Blake, the coaches mentioned him plenty of times. Reba is a nice replacement for him, and Niall who is a reigning champ also seems to be a favorite for contestants. Gwen and John have more experience on the show and still were able to win over contestants, but they seemed to struggle a bit more with pitches at times as they competed against the reigning champ and the Queen of Country.

Mara ended the night with a wow moment, but there were other singers who were also outstanding on Night 1. Those singers included Team Niall’s folk singer-songwriter Alexa Wildish and Team Gwen’s 16-year-old pop balladeer Joslynn Rose. Honorable mention goes to Team John’s Deejay Young who showcased a crazy good falsetto.

About Blake Busch 273 Articles
I am a graduate of Drake University with a BSBA in marketing and minor in data analytics. My favorite shows to follow are American Idol and The Voice. I also love crime thrillers, Top Chef, and Masterchef. My hobbies include cooking, baking, playing basketball, and watching sports.