‘The Voice’: Mark Burnett Reveals Why ‘Lord’ Was Dropped From Hymn

We are finally learning more about why producers of THE VOICE changed the lyrics to a popular gospel song last night.

The NBC singing show took a lot of heat on social media after dropping the word “Lord” from the classic hymn “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and replacing it with a simple, “Oh.”

The quick switch — which came during a group performance by the final 8 contestants — came as a shock to both judge Blake Shelton and Executive Producer Mark Burnett.

“I don’t know what, uh — how it happened, or — I’m learning about it just like you guys are,” Shelton told Zap2It.com. “I was sitting in my chair singing that song how I grew up on it, with ‘in the sky, Lord, in the sky.’ I sang it as loud as I could. And that might be why I didn’t realize until after the fact that ‘Lord’ was either taken out, or it was just performed some other way.”

Burnett — who coincidentally is producing a Bible-related miniseries for NBC — was also caught by surprise.

“I realized immediately what had happened,” Burnett he told the website. “I thought I’d misheard on the sound. Then came the next chorus, and I’m like, ‘OK, it’s live TV, so I’ve got to wait until the next commercial break. I’m running over there and asking the question.'”

Burnett later explained that the show was required to use a public domain version of the song in order to be able to make it available on iTunes.  That version, it turns out, also did not use the word “Lord.”