Reba McEntire, who is currently serving as a coach on the NBC reality television show “The Voice” for the first time, was left devastated on Monday night when a member of her team had to quit the show due to “personal reasons.”
McEntire Addresses Contestant’s Exit
US Weekly reported that McEntire, 68, opened the show last night by revealing that her country music singer Tom Nitti had to leave the program due to “personal reasons.”
“I have wonderfully talented people, but Tom had to leave for personal reasons, so I only have five artists tonight,” she said.
Nitti’s departure left McEntire’s team with five contestants: Ruby Leigh, Jordan Rainer, Jacquie Roar, Noah Spencer and Ms. Monét.
“My team is gonna light the stage on fire,” McEntire continued. “You better watch.”
Nitti had been one of McEntire’s favorites ever since she was the first coach to turn her chair around for him when he auditioned by performing “Sign, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” by Stevie Wonder.
“Something in my gut said, ‘Turn your chair around,’ I did, and I’m just thrilled to pieces you’re gonna be on my team,” she told him at the time.
McEntire later sang Nitti’s praises when he won his Battle Round against teammate Dylan Carter with his rendition of “’Til You Can’t” by Cody Johnson.
“I thought it was absolutely marvelous,” McEntire said of the performance. “Even though your style of singing is so different, it complemented each other. It was just magical to me.”
Nitti Breaks His Silence
Nitti’s official contestant bio states that he is originally from New Hartford, New York, and that he is a veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart after being deployed to Afghanistan. Once he left the military, Nitti became a member of law enforcement, and he currently trains troopers at the New York State Police Academy.
Nitti addressed his exit from “The Voice” on Instagram, saying that he has “been dreading this day ever since the blind audition.”
After thanking his friends and family for their support, Nitti said that “as much as it absolutely stings to say, I had to make probably one of the hardest yet easiest decisions ever and ultimately at the end of the day, my kids will always come first and if I had to make the same decision again I’d do it over and over.”
“This isn’t the end of me and I’ll do what I do best for everyone to see which is keep my head down and move forward playing music and raising/creating new memories with a family I will continue to grow,” he continued. “I never believed that whole things happen for a reason statement but in this case I think God has it all figured out. He knows I don’t break easily. For everyone asking, I’m alright and still standing.”
“Im more than ready to continue to live life now happier than ever before,” he concluded.
McEntire Takes Blake Shelton’s Place On ‘The Voice’
This is McEntire’s first season serving as a main coach on “The Voice,” as she took the place of Blake Shelton after he left at the end of the 23rd season of the show earlier this year.
“It’s a lot of pressure, because nobody can replace Blake Shelton. He’s a huge personality and a wonderful person. So I’m just getting in there trying to have fun and represent country music as best I can,” McEntire told Newsweek back in September.
“It’s a well-oiled machine, so getting in at this time is marvelous,” she added. “Everybody knows the game plan, from the crew, the producers. Everybody on the show is so nice, so sweet, and have been so helpful. I’m loving it.”
Nitti was one of the most talented performers on “The Voice” this season, and it’s a shame to see him go. Who are you rooting for this season? Let us know in the comments section.
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