The Voice pulled off its first live-performance episode since the COVID-19 pandemic began on Monday night (May 4) … and then the coaches weighed in on the experience. Speaking via video chat as each coach quarantines at home, country star Blake Shelton hit the nail on the head.
“Well there’s no way around it, this is super weird,” Shelton said from his home in Oklahoma, his familiar styrofoam cup in easy reach. “But it’s a way that we can keep the show going and keep these kids in front of America. They still get their opportunity, still get their chance, they’re still hanging out there week to week based on how their performance goes, and it’s tough, there’s no way around it. … But the show must go on, as they say.”
Talking with show host Carson Daly, Shelton was joined on the chat by fellow coaches John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and Nick Jonas — who noted that he doesn’t know any different, since this is his first season as coach. Each helped explain what the live-show-from-home experience was like, just before cutting the field down to nine competitors the next night. The singers had an extra difficult job, the coaches said, asked to set up their own lighting, audio and video gear, plus figure out makeup and wardrobe and somehow sing their best with no audience to feed off. But they certainly made it happen, Jonas said, calling the episode “one to remember.”
The coaches also explained how they are personally getting by during the nationwide quarantine and what they expect from their teams going forward, with Legend noting that their at-home setups actually mimic the way artists are discovered these days. Kane Brown, for instance, started his career by singing covers on social media and just collaborated with Legend on the ballad, “Last Time I Say Sorry.” But in the end, it was Clarkson put the strange night in perspective.
“This show is called The Voice,” she said, “and what attracted me to be on the show is that it is about the voice. Even the blind [auditions], you don’t see [the contestants,] you just hear them. So it’s kind of perfect and the production team has done a great job … Yes, everything else is weird. But you still hear how people sound and that’s the quality of talent on this show. The show’s been on for 18 seasons now and I thought it was pretty cool to do something different.”
Check out the results of this week’s cuts here, as The Voice continues on NBC Monday and Tuesday nights at 8/7c.