NBC’s “The Voice” upset some viewers Tuesday night by leaving the word “Lord” out of a popular Christian hymn.
The final eight contestants performed “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” and substituted “oh” for “Lord” in the chorus.
The original chorus of the song includes “Lord” twice: “Will the circle be unbroken by and by, Lord by and by? Is a better home awaiting in the sky Lord, in the sky?”
Viewers upset by the change took to social media to express their frustration and call on NBC to apologize for the switch.
“Lord” was among the top 10 most-mentioned terms on Twitter nationwide after the performance.
“If the producers don’t want Lord said on the show then they should choose another song!” one viewer tweeted.
“I am so disappointed with NBC and will probably never watch The Voice again,” another viewer tweeted. “How dare you take the Lord out of a song!”
After facing harsh backlash on social networks, country singer Blake Shelton, a coach on the show, told the website Zap2it that he sang the original lyrics from his chair.
“That’s not the version I grew up on,” he said. “And that’s not the version I was singing sitting in my chair, if that clears up anything [about] where I stand on this thing.”
He later tweeted a similar sentiment in response to an angry comment from a fan.
“That’s not the way I sang it!” he said.
On Facebook, viewers bombarded the page of “The Voice” with requests for apology.
“I am not asking the voice to be Christian,” one viewer commented. “I am asking you to be respectful.”
As of Wednesday morning, NBC had not commented on the performance or the backlash.