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‘The Voice': Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson War Over Promising Singer

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Night Four of the Blind Auditions on The Voice Season 16 took place Tuesday (March 5), and although packed into a short 60-minute telecast, definitely helped coaches Adam Levine, Blake SheltonKelly Clarkson, and John Legend build their growing teams.

One particular contestant had the show’s two country-loving coaches (namely, Shelton and Clarkson), as well as Legend, turning their chairs. Georgia native Rebecca Howell came out with a shaky introduction, but belied this with a powerful performance of “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.”

“I am so nervous,” Howell confessed pre-show. “I’m 18 years old, and I’ve never even been on a plane before coming out here. I just graduated high school. I was singing at school, singing at the fair, and I come from a super-small town, so this is the biggest thing I’ve ever done.”

Luckily, Howell had a big voice to match her big moment, and when the three coaches spun around, they had plenty to say.

“I realize I may be an unorthodox choice for you because everybody assumes you’re gonna pick the obvious choice, Blake,” said Legend, who seemed to know he was a long shot to be chosen, but had genuine hopes regardless. “I think you sounded fantastic, and I feel like R&B and country are very close to each other.” (To this, Levine, the one holdout, snorted about this being a “fool’s effort.”)

Clarkson chimed in next, enthusing that Howell had an almost Lee Ann Womack-type vibe that she loved. However, she also seemed ready to admit defeat—grudgingly—calling out, “It’s not gonna happen. Go ahead, Mayor of Country Town,” to Shelton.

Shelton, of course, seemed confident as ever. “The thing that I love about Georgia vocalists is the whiny, nasally sound,” he unabashedly noted. (“That’s your pitch?” Clarkson said, incredulously). He added, coolly, “I don’t need to ‘explore’ the genre of country music..”

Clarkson squealed, “I don’t either! I’ve already had hits in country!” To which Levine dryly observed, “I think you should pick John.”

No chance of Legend winning this particular battle, but Shelton did seem quite confident that he’d be the victor. So it came as a fun surprise that Howell decided to join Team Kelly!

“Bye bye, Blake,” merrily observed host Carson Daly. “I deserve a drink and a cake,” enthused a thrilled Clarkson.

Meanwhile, Levine urged Shelton to write a song about the experience of losing out to Clarkson, which Shelton took all in good humor.

Tune in weekly as we follow the Voice team builds, with a focus on country music offerings!

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