Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson battle over country singers


Janice Freeman competed on Season 13 of ‘The Voice’ and touched the hearts of Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson and many others.

There’s a new sheriff in town.

Blind auditions continued Tuesday on “The Voice,” as coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton look to fill their teams with diverse singers. 

But Shelton, the “Mayor of Country Town” as Clarkson dubbed him, seems to hold a monopoly over rustic artists who audition for the singing competition. So much so that the other coaches are afraid to turn around and compete with the country icon.

Related: ‘The Voice’ contestant Janice Freeman dies at 33; Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson pay tribute

Dalton Dover, 20, a father of two, belted out Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes.” Despite his stellar vocals, Shelton was the only coach to push his button. 

“You were great. I bowed out but you have the coach you were going to pick anyway,” Levine said, while Clarkson added, “We all knew you were going to pick Blake, so it’s fine.”

Last night: ‘The Voice’ recap: Coaches predict this four-chair-turn singer will win the entire season

Shelton called Dover “one of the better country singers we heard audition this year.”

“I’m starting to like this ‘everybody’s too afraid to turn around when a country artist auditions’ thing, because they are going straight to my team,” he added.

Clarkson vowed to put an end to Shelton’s reign: “I hope this (next audition) is country and I hope they pick me. I’m going to rub it in your face.”

Rebecca Howell, 18, a recent high school graduate, sang Vicki Lawrence’s “The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia,” prompting Clarkson, Shelton and Legend to push their buttons. Levine, on the other hand, called it a “fool’s errand” to go against the “Darth Vader of country.”

Last week: ‘The Voice’ recap: John Legend settles score with the ‘most amazing block’ on blind auditions

“Everyone assumes you’re going to pick the obvious choice, Blake, but I think you sound fantastic and R&B and country are very close to each other,” Legend said, while  Clarkson added, “I hit my button first.”

Shelton complimented Howell’s “whiny, nasally sound,” which may have done him more harm than good when recruiting. In the end, Howell picked Clarkson as her coach. 

“That’s right, Blake, there’s a new sheriff in town. Her name is Kelly Clarkson,” she proclaimed. “I deserve, like, a drink or a cake, I’m so happy.”

More: ‘The Voice’ recap: John Legend lands a pair of four-chair-turns in coaching debut


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