The voices Season 20’s battle rounds kicked off on Monday, and substitute coach Kelsea Ballerini already had a tough decision on her hands!
Kelsea replaces her friend Kelly Clarkson, who was ill during the filming of this season’s battles and, with Kelly’s participation, combined Gean Garcia and Ryleigh Modig for an impressive version of Ariana Grande’s “pov.”
Both young singers wowed coaches with their range and impressive careers. “If Kelly were here, I’d say, ‘Why did you pair these two together? It’s horrible!'” Blake Shelton said of the difficult decision ahead, praising Gean’s “intense” acting style and tone. Unique “cool” from Ryleigh.
“As a songwriter, you’re the kind of artist I’d die for writing songs, writing songs,” Nick Jonas tells Ryleigh, eliciting a shocked reaction.
John Legend admitted that he was “beginning to question myself as a human being” when he realized that at Blind Auditions he was not turning his chair for either Gean or Ryleigh. “They both have really unique approaches and unique voices.”
“I’d say you have the hardest job today,” Nick told Kelsea. Check out the full battle performance in the clip below:
Faced with the difficult decision, Kelsea had to take her “phone to a friend”, calling Kelly to get her opinion. “Very sorry!” Kelly apologized. “Either way, it’s great. You should feel safe choosing whoever it is, because I don’t think any of them will go home.”
“Kelly sounds good to me,” Blake jokes in the meantime. “I think I heard the waves of the sea in the background.”
Ultimately, Kelsea cast Ryleigh on Kelly’s behalf, noting that “there’s just no one on the show quite like” the young singer. “He nailed every lick, every note.”
And Kelly’s prediction turned out correct, as both John and Nick pressed their button to rob Gean. “I made a mistake in the blinds … you have a home in Team Legend and I would love to work with you,” John pitched.
The apology worked, as Gean said he thought he was a better fit in Team Legend. “I had to rob Gean,” John said as he celebrated. “He has that fire, he has that rank. He needed it in Team Legend.”
Kelsea was announced as Kelly’s understudy last week when Blind Auditions came to an end and the coaches finalized their Season 20 rosters. “Just pretend I’m Kelly,” the country star said in a promo for upcoming shows, proving he has the Kelly spark when it comes to getting robberies. and shooting fellow trainer Blake Shelton: “Hey Blake, did I ever tell you you look like my dad?”
ET spoke with Kelsea prior to the battle rounds, detailing how her last minute involvement in this season of The voice they joined in “the biggest whirlwind” when Kelly got sick.
“I was at home in Nashville and I got a text from Kelly around 9pm, like, ‘Hey girl … I’m not feeling well. I don’t have COVID, but with the protocols, I don’t feel safe going on set. Could you cover the Battle Rounds for me? ‘”Kelsea recalled, noting that saying yes meant I had to be in Los Angeles the next day to start filming. all. I landed, did my hair and makeup, prepped, greeted Nick Jonas, John Legend and Blake Shelton, sat in Kelly’s seat and said, Pretend until you make it! “
Fortunately, Kelsea got some seaweed from Kelly herself, who was watching a live broadcast of the Battles and texting her notes, “and bugging Blake all the time,” she added with a smile.
“I really enjoyed it,” Kelsea shared, though she couldn’t joke much about the moves she had to be a part of on Team Kelly. “I didn’t have time to get nervous, because it was very fast, and that’s good for me. If I know something is happening, I reflect on it and I get very nervous and anxious, so it was actually a real blessing. I really liked sitting on the seat, I’m not going to lie. “
The voice airs Mondays at 8 pm PT / ET on NBC. Check out more of season 20 in the video below!