Oahu-born singer Ciana Pelekai’s journey on NBC’s reality singing competition “The Voice” ended tonight in a Knockout Round.
Despite being told that she did a “fantastic job” by her coach John Legend, the 20-year-old Radford High School graduate, who now lives in Las Vegas, lost to Chicago vocalist Pia Renee.
“You came up with your ‘A’ game tonight, and you should be incredibly proud,” Legend told Pelekai, speaking about her performance of Lizzo’s “Cuz I Love You.” In a later post on Twitter, Legend also told Pelekai, “You lit the room on fire!”
— John Legend (@johnlegend) April 20, 2021
In the introduction to her Knockout performance Pelekai explained that she usually sang ballads and that performing the “Cuz I Love You,” which contains elements of rap, would be like “stepping out of my comfort zone.”
Pelekai got advice from rap legend Snoop Dogg, who was this season’s mentor for the Knockout Round. Snoop advised Pelekai on finding a middle ground between rap and melody “like you’re talking, but you’re putting your melodies on there to have it make sense.”
After her performance, coach Nick Jonas praised Pelekai for her energy and enthusiasm. “Ciana, you came out swinging,” he said. “It got turned up to an 11. The verse stuff got kind of lost in that, but I think you’re an exceptional vocalist.”
Pelekai later posted on Twitter that she was thankful for the support and to have made it so far. “This isn’t the end for sure. This is only the beginning,” she wrote.
Even though I didn’t move onto lives I’m still thankful that I’ve made it this far.. also being mentored by the most amazing singers out there!
This isn’t the end for sure. This is only the beginning.. ❗️stay tuned for new music coming out soon yall❗️mahalo for the support🙏🏾❤️
— Ciana Pelekai (@officiallyciana) April 20, 2021
Renee impressed the judges with her stirring rendition of the Jackie DeShannon classic, “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” with Jonas saying that she reminded him of Whitney Houston. Renee also was a sentimental favorite, as it was revealed that her mother had recently died.