'The Voice': Gwen Stefani Jokes About Quitting After Amazing Battle Round Performance By Her Youngest Singers
By Meredith B. Kile
Gwen Stefani had one of the toughest decisions of The Voice season 19 so far on Monday, when her youngest team members delivered an amazing Battle Round duet!
The No Doubt frontwoman paired up 14-year-old Carter Rubin and 15-year-old Larriah Jackson for "Like I'm Gonna Lose You," by Meghan Trainor and fellow Voice coach John Legend -- and their show-stopping performance brought the coaches to their feet and nearly to tears over the tough decision.
"You are so screwed!" Kelly Clarkson teased as Gwen pretended to walk off the set, joking, "I'm gonna quit now!"
Gwen's beau Blake Shelton pressured Kelly to help Gwen by picking a side, teasing that it she was "contractually obligated" to offer her opinion: "It's a $25,000 fine by NBC."
"It is worth it," Kelly replied, "I'm not picking!"
"You both were just wonderful," John told the young singers, praising Carter for being "so impressive and interesting, musically," and noting that Larriah sounded "so comfortable" in her tone, which was "rich and beautiful and mature."
"Usually, I'm very judgey when it comes to songs that I've recorded, but I was thoroughly impressed with your take on the song," he added.
Ultimately, the decision came down to Gwen, who teased host Carson Daly for being "rude" when he asked who she was sending home. "This might take a minute. Every second that goes by I keep changing my mind... My dream on the show is to work with young artists and I have two of them here who are so magical."
The pop star praised the the growth she's seen in Carter and the emotion that Larriah showed in "singing from your heart." When push came to shove, she chose Carter to stay on her team.
"They were both equally so deserving to move forward. Ultimately Carter has a little bit more of a unique sound to his voice... he has such a beautiful tone," Gwen explained.
The young Team Gwen singer was brought to tears backstage, saying, "The validation from Gwen just means a lot to me," while his counterpart, Larriah, made some of the coaches emotional with her parting message to Gwen.
"I thank you so much for instilling in me information that I didn't even know about myself," she said.
"If I could come up there and give you the biggest, most loving hug, I would," Gwen told her. Due to COVID restrictions, she couldn't, but she did offer the next best thing: a save!
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‘The Voice’ Coaches Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani on Competing Against Each Other in New Season
"Since rehearsals, I have not stopped thinking about you," Gwen told Larriah, who will now go on to compete with one saved singer from each of the other coaches' teams. "You have so much to give to the world, I just feel it. I'm so happy I got to save you."
The Voice looks a little different this season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with safety glass distancing the coaches and team members and separate performances spaces on stage for the Battle Rounds. But Stefani noted ahead of the season how excited the coaches were to be back in any capacity, bringing some music and joy into people's lives.
"I think that being able to sit down and watch a show that's so inspiring and will bring inspiration to people, it will definitely bring joy," she noted. "Music is the heartbeat of human beings, so I feel really blessed to be here and to be a part of that and to be able to connect around America on the TV."
"Maybe the reason there's so much talent is that a lot of people are kind of paused and they get to kind of, you know, follow the dream in a way they didn't get to because maybe they're working or they were in school," she added. "I think there's kind of a different kind of group of people this time because of the opportunity that we are all paused in the world right now."
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. PT/ET on NBC. See more on this season in the video below.