NBC’s The Voice is back for its 21st season, and things are already off to a heated start with a feud between coaches Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton during last Tuesday’s blind auditions. The two coaches are not just simply vying for this season’s trophy but also fighting over the same performers. As a country artist, Shelton always picks the country music performers, and so does Kelly Clarkson, who identifies as a country-pop singer. And the result is an intense, cutthroat rivalry between the two.
The amusing exchange of digs started after 28-year-old Lana Scott from Virginia performed Kelsea Ballerini’s “hole in the bottle.” Both Shelton and Clarkson didn’t waste any time and quickly turned around for her. They both raved at her vocals and range, with Shelton even declaring her performance as ‘that’s country.’
And at one point, as they were trying to pitch themselves, Blake Shelton told Scott that Kelly Clarkson doesn’t even like country music. He also jokingly commented that Clarkson probably didn’t know that “hole in a bottle” was a Ballerini song. The “Miss Independent” singer promptly pointed out that she and Ballerini toured together before and that she even asked her to fill in for her last season.
The exchange escalated after Shelton noted how he liked Scott’s whiny country thing that no one hears anymore. Clarkson took a shot at Shelton, telling Scott that she loved her cool, stylized country sound and that she wouldn’t call it whiny. The two then went off arguing about who knows more about country music.
Fellow coaches Ariana Grande and John Legend finally had enough and walked off the set to the backstage to chow on some popcorn. When they got back, the two were still jawing at each other, but thankfully they did stop after Legend put his foot down and asked if they could talk.
In the end, Scott picked Team Blake. And with eight wins under Shelton’s belt, Scott just might be looking to land a spot on the top.
Take a look at their bickering that starts at 1:58 in the video below.
The Voice airs at 8 p.m. every Monday and Tuesday on NBC.
Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson