Why Kelly Clarkson Was Missing on ‘The Voice’ for the First Battle Round

The Voice Season 20 Kelly Clarkson
Trae Patton/NBC

When The Voice began its Battle Rounds in the March 29 episode, one key member of the coaching panel was noticeably absent: Kelly Clarkson.

Instead, joining John Legend, Nick Jonas, and Blake Shelton was stand-in Kelsea Ballerini. While Kelly did appear in the segments featuring team adviser Luis Fonsi and her competitors, she wasn’t sitting stage-side for the Battles. And there’s news that she won’t be there person for the next Battle Rounds as well. So what’s the reason for her absence?

“Unfortunately, our own Kelly Clarkson was not feeling well this week,” host Carson Daly explained in the episode’s opening moments. “And while she did not test positive for COVID, as you can imagine we’ve got some very strict guidelines on our set.”

Daly confirmed that Kelly was watching at home and would be communicating closely with Kelsea. Throughout the night, Kelsea’s phone was in her hand as she discussed decisions with the coach. Fans have seen the country artist on the show before as Kelsea played adviser to Team Kelly’s contestants in Season 16.

the voice season 20 kelsea ballerini

(Credit: Trae Patton/NBC)

“I feel like we’re kind of kindred, and I know what she likes. Just pretend I’m Kelly,” Kelsea told the other coaches at the beginning of the episode. She also got in some great digs, like telling Blake he reminded her of her dad.

Kelsea confirmed that she will continue to appear as the Battle Rounds continue, news she shared on Instagram.


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A post shared by Kelsea Ballerini (@kelseaballerini)

Tune in to see Kelsea continue her stint on The Voice and stand by for Kelly’s return as the competition continues on NBC.

The Voice, Mondays, 8/7c, NBC