'The Voice' Fans Outraged Over Contestant Who Is 'Already Famous'

Bryan Olesen, a former member of the Grammy-nominated band Newsboys, joined John Legend's team.

The Voice has long been a show that offered aspiring singers the opportunity to have themselves heard, but not, some fans are outraged over a contestant who they say is "already famous." On Monday night, 49-year-old Bryan Olesen took the stage to sing "Love Runs Out" by OneRepublic, prompting three of the four coaches to turn around: John Legend, Reba McEntire, and Dan + Shay.

During his segment on The Voice, Olesen explained that he used to be the lead guitarist for Newsboys, a Christian rock band who were four-time Grammy nominees and have had numerous chart-topping hit songs. He played with the band from 2004 until 2006, performing in just one Newsboys album, 2004's Devotion. Upon leaving the group, the Lincoln, Nebraska native began focusing on the band he founded, VOTA.

Olesen's performance was a hit with the judges, as even Chance the Rapper — who did not spin his chair around — said, "I thought it was an awesome vocal performance," and added that he regretted not hitting his big red button. Olesen eventually chose to go with Legend's team. "I want to be clear about how great that performance was," the coach said. That was the best performance we've seen."

TV Insider reports that — even though the coaches loved it — some fans of The Voice are not happy about Olesen competing, as they seem to feel he's already had his shot at stardom. "Just a little confused how this is allowed.. he is already famous," one person wrote in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

They later added, "I don't understand.. Dan&Shay said I was expecting to turn around and see someone famous... well yeah you literally did.." Another person asked, "So #Gramny nominated artists are allowed to compete?"

Notably, this is not necessarily an unprecedented situation. TV Insider pointed out that jazz vocalist Wendy Moten, who competed in The Voice Season 21, had recorded multiple albums before auditioning, and had previously been nominated for a Grammy. Furthermore, Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope had previously fronted a pop-punk band, Hey Monday, and had some small success before going solo.

TV Insider pointed out that The Voice doesn't have any rules against famous singers competing on the show — per official Eligibility Requirements — as long as there aren't any affiliations with the show or its network, NBC. However, producers do retain the right to disqualify an auditioner if they believe the individual could "create the appearance of impropriety." For now, Olesen will remain in the competition.