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Editor’s note: Kamalei Kawaʻa was eliminated from The Voice on April 22, 2024.

Kamalei Kawaʻa lost a round, but is still alive in the ring on The Voice, a singing competition on NBC and Peacock. The University of Hawaiʻi Maui College graduate competed in a knockout round on April 15.

In a contrast of styles, Kawaʻa chose to sing The Voice coach John Legend’s ballad “All of Me” to battle teammate Maddi Jane and her rendition of Dua Lipa’s “New Rules.”

Kamalei Kawaa singing
Kamalei Kawaʻa appears on The Voice. (Photo credit: NBC)

According to NBC Insider, “Kawaʻa honed the song during rehearsals with Jane, Coach Chance the Rapper, and Season 25 Mega Mentor Keith Urban. ‘To hear a John song not feel like John is such a huge feat,’ Chance said.” He also advised Kawaʻa and Jane to sing like one of the other coaches would be “stupid to not steal me.”

After Kawaʻa’s sweet soulful rendition of “All of Me,” Legend thanked him for singing his song.

“I’m known for being a bit tough on people covering my songs, but I was just really into your version, it was beautiful,” Legend said. “The whole demeanor with which you carry yourself, with gratitude in your spirit, we feel that and it comes through in your voice.”

Related: UH Maui College grad gets two-chair turn on The Voice

After agonizing a while, Chance chose Jane over Kawaʻa. Legend was quick to hit his red steal button, and coach Reba McEntire—who was moved to tears by Kawaʻa’s performance—hit hers.

“The greatest singers in the world sometimes don’t touch my heart, but you’ve got a big heart, and you share it with people,” McEntire said, although Kawaʻa chose to continue on with Team Legend.

The Voice now moves into the playoffs, where coaches select players to advance to live performances.

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