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'The Voice': Kelly Clarkson hits back after Blake Shelton says she doesn’t 'have time' for show

Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY
·3 min read

Although Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Blake Shelton welcomed Nick Jonas back to "The Voice" with open arms, that doesn't mean they took it easy on him.

Jonas learned just "how ugly it gets here," in the words of Shelton, after the country crooner hit him with a block on the second night of Blind Auditions Tuesday.

"I’m having a tough time here," said returning coach Jonas, who replaced champion Gwen Stefani this season after coaching on Season 18 in 2020. "I thought they were going to play nice. But it turns out, Blake’s a bully."

Shelton blocked Jonas from 19-year-old Gean Garcia, who earned three chair turns from Shelton, Jonas and Clarkson with his rendition of Kodaline's "All I Want."

"I’m saving my block just for (Jonas)," Shelton said. "He’s screwed."

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And in typical Shelton fashion, he lied about his sabotage.

"If I was the guy who blocked Nick, it’s only because I’m that passionate about your voice," Shelton pleaded to Garcia. Clarkson joked, "Do you want to be on a liar's team?"

With Jonas out of his crosshairs, Shelton moved on to undermining Clarkson's chance of landing the Texas artist.

Shelton suggested that Clarkson "doesn’t really have time for this" while juggling her Emmy-award winning daytime talk show, "The Kelly Clarkson Show." He added that the "American Idol" alum has "completely gone Hollywood now" and "forgot her roots."

"I have time to do it all and nail it while doing it," Clarkson hit back. She also said it's "ironic" that Shelton is "trying to serve us up on a Hollywood platter" because "he’s always the one on covers of magazines and he’s dating Gwen Stefani."

Garcia ultimately picked Clarkson as his coach. Take that, Shelton.

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Jonas also got his revenge.

Zae Romeo earned four chair turns for his emotional performance of "Falling" by Harry Styles. Shelton called the 21-year-old "unique," Legend said he has a "beautiful gift," and Clarkson appealed to the contestant's Texas roots.

Jonas took a different approach and focused on his own shortcomings on "The Voice."

"I haven’t won this show," he said. "I’ve got an enormous chip on my shoulder, and I feel like I could get there with you to that finale."

Romeo was sold and selected Jonas, who triumphantly declared, "After a couple of heartbreaks, it was nice to get this four-chair turn."

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The power play landed Jonas on everyone's radar.

"He’s showing up this season. I’m keeping my eye on Nick. That Jonas, I don’t trust him," Clarkson said. Legend strategized, "I still have my block left, so I’m thinking … I’m going to have to block him."

Blind Auditions resume on "The Voice" Monday on NBC.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'The Voice': Kelly Clarkson hits back at Shelton's workaholic comments