“I’m so sorry, I am under the weather,” Kelly Clarkson tells her fellow “The Voice” coaches during a new promo video for the upcoming battles (watch above). With Kelly out sick for this round, Grammy-nominated country/pop star Kelsea Ballerini replaces her (temporarily) on the four-person panel. This is actually Kelsea’s second stint as a part-time coach on NBC’s reality TV show, having previously mentored the “Comeback Stage” artists during Season 15. The Season 20 battle round begins Monday, March 22.
Kelsea recently took to Twitter to express her gratitude, calling herself a “super fan” of Kelly’s successful career. “When @kellyclarkson calls and asks you to keep her seat warm, you put all those years of being her super fan to work,” she wrote. “Thank you @johnlegend @nickjonas and ole pops @blakeshelton for making me feel like part of the @NBCTheVoice family.”
Kelly, who’s expected to return during the knockouts, responded by tweeting, “Team Kelly is in great hands with you @KelseaBallerini.” For a closer look at Team Kelly Clarkson, including photos, bios and artist rankings, click through our photo gallery below.
So how exactly will this coach shake-up work? Kelly will still be in charge of matching up her 10 team members into five battle pairings. But since she can’t be there in person to see them perform on the big stage, Kelsea will have the power to determine which person to keep and who to send home. Kelsea is also fully in control of the “save” and “steal” buttons, which allows her to keep contestants in the competition if they lose their battles.
“Just pretend I’m Kelly,” Kelsea tells fellow coaches Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas and John Legend in the promo video. When John asks who’s to blame if she messes up, Kelsea smiles back, “Her,” referring to Kelly. That prompts Blake to proclaim that he already likes Kelsea better than the person who normally sits in that chair. Kelsea deadpans in return, “Hey Blake, have I ever told you that you look like my dad?”
As in years past, a group of battle advisors will be on hand to mentor the four coaches’ teams. These special guest stars for Season 20 are: Dan + Shay for Team Blake, Luis Fonsi for Team Kelly, Brandy for Team Legend and Darren Criss for Team Nick.