NBC’s The Voice finished up the final Battle round of season 20 during the April 13, 2021 episode, and some of the banter between coaches was heated. At one point after a battle, coach Blake Shelton even said that Kelly Clarkson fakes illnesses to get out of having to coach on the show.
Shelton and Clarkson have a long-standing feud on The Voice, as they’re often at odds over the country singers on the show.
Clarkson wasn’t feeling well when the Battle rounds were being filmed, however, so country music star Kelsea Ballerini stepped up to take her place, for the time being, leaving Clarkson open for criticism from Shelton.
Shelton Told the Contestants They Got ‘Stuck’ With a Coach Who ‘Fakes Illnesses’
The last battle of the season for Clarkson’s team was between JD Casper and Kenzie Wheeler, and they sang Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ In the Dark,” which Shelton says is a song that stood the test of time.
During the Blind Auditions, Kenzie Wheeler had been blocked from Joining Shelton’s team, which put him on Team Kelly, and Shelton used that against Clarkson when he was critiquing the performance.
“Kenzie, you were blocked from being on my team and ended up with a coach who fakes illnesses,” Shelton shared. “She didn’t even show up to work today, okay?”
Shelton added that he thought Wheeler was the clear winner of the Battle.
Ballerini Had to Choose Which Contestant Won the Round
Nick Jonas also thought that Kenzie Wheeler did a great job.
“Kenzie, I feel like you just hopped out of a time machine and showed up for the Blind Auditions on this show,” the youngest coach joked. “Talking about the hairdo, the overall vibe. There’s just an authenticity to your whole thing that is so fun to be a part of.”
Jonas thought JD Casper had done an amazing job and that the song choice was perfect for Casper.
John Legend told both contestants that they sounded great.
“For Kelly [Clarkson] and Kelsea [Ballerini], it’ll really just be a matter of preference,” Legend said.
When it came down to it, Ballerini had to make the choice between the two contestants.
“I really really enjoyed that,” she told both singers. “You’re both so talented, and I know Kelly is sitting at home sick and making me do this.”
Jonas interrupted to say that Clarkson was only “allegedly” at home sick.
“JD, the song choice might have favored Kenzie a bit more,” Ballerini added, gesturing to Casper’s guitar and suitcase drum. “But you’re still standing there doing like 18 things at once, so that’s really amazing.”
She added, “And Kenzie, I just don’t think you know how good you are, and I think it’s a really, really wonderful, compelling thing about you… I hope you never realize how good you are.”
She chose to go with Kenzie Wheeler as the winner of the battle, meaning he got to move on to the Knockout round while JD Casper got sent home from the competition.
The Voice airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on NBC.