The season's live episodes kicked off on Nov. 30, and half of the remaining 20 contestants participated in the 4-Way knockout rounds. The rest of the singers had participated in the 4-way knockouts during the previous week of competition.
One contestant who was looking to advance to the Top 17 was Team Kelly Clarkson member Ryan Gallagher. While announcing which contestant advanced from the previous episode, host Carson Daly revealed that Ryan had left the competition.
While some initially cited family issues as Ryan's reason for leaving, he revealed on his Instagram feed that there was much more to the story — and that he didn't leave on his own accord.
Why did Ryan Gallagher leave The Voice? Keep reading to find out.
Why did Ryan Gallagher leave 'The Voice'?
The 31-year-old Michigan native was favored to make it through to the next round (and to potentially win the season), which made it all the more shocking when Carson revealed that Ryan had left the show before the episode aired.
"As a side note, Team Kelly's Ryan Gallagher had to exit the competition so the 4-Way winner was decided with the votes received from these three remaining artists," Carson said on the show, before pivoting to announce that Taryn Papa had won the round.
Carson did not give further details about Ryan's departure from the show, leading many fans to speculate about it on social media.
One popular theory was that Ryan had exited the hit NBC competition because of a family emergency. He had previously revealed on the show that his mother had been hospitalized while battling COVID-19. She has since been released from the ICU.
But Ryan himself refuted that on his Instagram stories on Nov. 30. He initially promised his 60,000 followers that he would go on Instagram live, but he later canceled that with a mysterious message.
"Hey everyone. I have to postpone the Instagram live. More information to follow," he wrote. "Prayers please."
The cryptic messages about his exit from the show didn't end there.
Ryan hinted that he didn't make the decision to leave 'The Voice.'
In another Instagram story post, Ryan assured fans that his absence from the show was unrelated to family health issues. He indicated that he also did not leave the series on his own terms.
"Thank you everybody for your concern for my family; however, everybody is fine," he shared in another story. "That's not the cause of what happened tonight on The Voice. I didn't drop out of the show. Details are still to come. I'll keep you posted."
Ryan further teased that there was drama between him and The Voice with his third and final Instagram story posted on Nov. 30. He shared a photo of himself wearing a bow tie. In the bow tie, Ryan wrote a small caption that fans easily could have missed.
"2020, you are an interesting one," the cryptic text read.
Interestingly, Ryan had tweeted about performing on the Nov. 30 episode just hours before he was set to take the stage.
"Here we go America!! Never thought a small town guy like me would make it here!" he wrote early on Nov. 30.
It appears, therefore, as if Ryan's exit from the series was decided the day of the live episode.
Just a few days after his initial disqualification from the competition, further insight into what happened has been shared.
A source from the show's production confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that Ryan was released from The Voice because he broke protocols related to the coronavirus pandemic. As viewers will know, the show eliminated live audiences and limited contestants' physical contact with their mentors and coaches.
It's unclear what exactly Ryan did to break the protocols, but he has since made it evident on his Instagram page that he is waiting to share his side of the story.
"Standby [sic] for more facts!" he wrote at the end of the caption on his Dec. 4 Instagram post.
The Voice airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.