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Ousted 'Voice' singer: Adam Levine, Usher tried to 'sway' public opinion

May 22, 2013 at 12:30 PM ET

"Voice" coaches Adam Levine, Shakira and Usher trade words over Kris Thomas' performance.
Trae Patton/NBC
"Voice" coaches Adam Levine, Shakira and Usher trade words over Kris Thomas' performance.

Team Shakira’s Kris Thomas was the unintentional center of attention during Monday night’s episode of "The Voice," when his coach delivered a spirited defense of his performance that left Adam Levine and Usher hiding behind their chairs.

Yet after he was dismissed from the NBC singing competition on Tuesday, Thomas wondered if Levine and Usher’s comments about his rendition of Miguel’s “Adorn” -- that Thomas seemed to be thinking about it too much -- might have influenced America’s opinion.

“I saw (the coaches’ disagreement) and I was kind of a little bit in disbelief like ‘Is this really happening?’” Thomas told TODAY.com. “But I'm so glad that Shakira backed (Adam and Usher) off of me like that.

“I kind of feel like those were strategic critiques,” he continued. “They were trying to sway people's opinions. It's a game, and they played it.”

Regardless of the end result, Thomas said that he “wouldn’t change a thing” about his "Voice"tenure, including the performance that sent him home.

“It was a risky song choice. It's a current song that's big in R&B, but I don't know about overall, and we did completely remix it,” he explained. “Honestly, I'm glad we did it because it stood out and it got people talking and it got people's attention. It is what it is, but I'm proud of it.”

Also leaving “The Voice” on Tuesday was Team Usher’s Josiah Hawley, whose rendition of Coldplay’s “Clocks” likewise met with mixed reviews.

“I did my best,” he told TODAY.com after the show. “I feel like it was a good song (and) I feel like I did a good job.”

Once chastised by his coach for not taking the competition seriously enough, Hawley said he’s learned the value of hard work from the show. “I'm taking away just how hard you have to work to get to the level you want to be at,” he reflected. “That's an amazing thing to know and to realize, and Usher's a great example of that. He puts amazing people around him, then he works really hard.”

He may possibly reunite with his coach in the future, telling us, “Afterwards, Usher's like 'Hey, man. Let's keep in touch. We're gonna work,’ and I'm like, 'Yeah, I'm down for that.’”

The exits of Thomas and Hawley mean that each of “The Voice’s” newest coaches are down to just one artist on each of their teams: Shakira has only Sasha Allen, and Usher’s hopes rest with Michelle Chamuel.

“Poor Michelle,” Hawley quipped, before assuring TODAY.com, “She’ll be just fine.”

“The Voice” continues through the upcoming holiday, with the Top 8 performance show airing on Memorial Day Monday at 8 p.m.

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