After six weeks, the March 22 episode of The Voice concluded the Blind Auditions. Teams were finally chosen and contestants prepared themselves to head into the upcoming Battle Rounds, but Team Kelly was hit with a bombshell after learning that their celebrity coach would be absent for the foreseeable future.
Although Kelly Clarkson has confirmed that she isn’t leaving The Voice, showrunners have revealed that pop star Kelsea Ballerini will be sitting in for her during the Battle Rounds. So why is Kelsea Ballerini temporarily replacing Kelly Clarkson on The Voice?
Why is Kelsea Ballerini sitting in for Kelly Clarkson on ‘The Voice’?
Carson Daly revealed that Kelsea Ballerini is filling in for Kelly Clarkson on recent episodes of The Voice because Kelly is sick. Although there is no indication that Kelly was quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19, she did reveal that her illness was the cause of her absence.
Luckily, Kelly’s friend and former guest coach Kelsea Ballerini was free to step in as her substitute. Carson said on the show, “Unfortunately, our own Kelly Clarkson was not feeling well this week. Kelly is staying at home but she’s watching the battles remotely, and we were very lucky enough to get her good friend and our good friend [Kelsea Ballerini].”
Although Kelly had to take a few sick days, she didn’t leave Kelsea without guidance. Kelly tells Kelsea in a teaser for the upcoming episode, "Either way you go, it's great. And you should feel safe picking whoever because I don't think either one of them is going home."
Kelsea previously appeared on The Voice in 2018 to coach six contestants who hadn’t earned a spot in the Blind Auditions for a digital segment called The Comeback Stage and returned in 2019 as a battle advisor for Team Kelly.
In the past, Kelsea expressed her admiration for Kelly to Extra, noting that she can learn just as much from Kelly as the contestants. She explained, “It’s different though doing it with her because I feel like I’m learning from what she’s saying. So I feel like I’m being way more quiet because I’m listening to everything she’s saying. I’m like ‘I need to do that too.'”
Because Kelly chose Kelsea to sit in on arguably one of the most important episodes of the season, it goes without saying that the feeling is mutual. Kelly previously said of working with Kelsea, “Oh it’s easy with her because she’s done it before because she did The Comeback thing last year."
Despite Kelly’s absence, it seems that Kelsea Ballerini may give Blake Shelton, John Legend, and Nick Jonas a run for their money. But fans who aren’t familiar with the singer want to know — how did she get famous?
Where did 'The Voice' guest coach Kelsea Ballerini get her start?
Knoxville-born Kelsea Ballerini started her career in entertainment at only 19 years old after signing a deal with Black River Entertainment. The same year, she released “Love Me Like You Mean It,” which later reached No. 1 on Billboard’s airplay chart and made her one of CMT’s Next Women of Country in 2014.
Catch Kelsea on The Voice Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.