Kelly Clarkson says goodbye to Jackson Marlow on ‘The Voice’ as ‘unbridled’ Abby Kasch wins country battle [WATCH]

During Monday’s third battle round episode of “The Voice” Season 16, Kelly Clarkson paired up Jackson Marlow and Abby Kasch for a country sing-off to Joe Dee Messina and Tim McGraw‘s “Bring on the Rain” (watch above). In the rehearsals Jackson admitted that he’d never sung harmonies before, while Abby shared a fun story about how she’d met mentor Kelsea Ballerini two years earlier. Even though Kelly desperately wanted a male country artist on her team, Abby was the stronger vocalist so she had to send Jackson packing.

“You both hit me in completely different ways,” Kelly told her two young country singers before she announced her big decision. “I loved the richness of Jackson’s voice and Abby, I love that it’s just unbridled. I knew this was gonna be a hard one for me. Although I think both of you are seriously talented, the winner of this battle is Abby.”

Later on backstage, Kelly explained her decision a bit further, noting, “That was a really hard decision for me because both are very talented. But I ended up going with Abby. I just felt that she has a passion for music, a love of the stage, and she’s just a joy.”

Jackson is the nephew of Season 13 finalist Red Marlow, who made it all the way to fourth place for Team Blake Shelton. Unfortunately, Jackson needs a few more years to mature before he can match his uncle’s powerhouse vocals. Do you think Kelly made the right decision to send Abby through to the Live Cross Battles?

In his “The Voice” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the battle: “Because the two artists admitted they aren’t the best at harmonies, Kelly agreed to rework the song so that they could both have their own moments. After the performance, Kelly said she loved the richness in Jackson’s voice, but also loved that Abby is ‘unbridled.'”

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