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Why Kelly Clarkson Feels ‘Threatened’ By What Chance The Rapper Brings To The Voice As A First-Time Coach

By Heidi Venable,

2023-03-14

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With The Voice ’s 23rd season being the final go-round for OG coach Blake Shelton, it’s no surprise that the show is leaning into his rivalry with Kelly Clarkson and the father-son bond he’s formed with rookie Niall Horan. But there’s another cool dynamic simmering on the surface of The Voice coaching panel , and it’s Clarkson’s admiration for what first-timer Chance the Rapper is contributing to the show. At times during the Blind Auditions, Clarkson has seemed in awe of the rapper’s feedback, and when she interviewed him on her talk show, she admitted that she felt “threatened” by his talent.

Chance the Rapper is already setting himself apart from his fellow coaches, even just a few episodes into his debut season. The rapper brings a different perspective to the panel, whose expertise otherwise is usually strong on country and pop. It’s his work as a record producer, though, that is impressing Kelly Clarkson, and she told him as much when he appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show , saying:

You’re a rapper, you’re a singer and a producer, and it was interesting to do the Blinds with you, because I was threatened. Because I was like, ‘Oh wait, what? I can’t do that, like what he just did.’ Like, it was cool, you were, like, producing during the Blinds. That was part of your pitch. Which I didn’t like. I liked it for you. I didn’t like it for me.

In the Season 23 premiere , Chance the Rapper had a vision for sister trio Sorelle, leading them in a simple harmony and ultimately beating out outgoing coach Blake Shelton to get them on his team. In that same episode, Chance issued what Kelly Clarkson called “literally my favorite pitch that anyone has ever done,” when trying to sway a country singer away from the cowboy by asking what was cooler than a rapper and a country artist working together?

The new coach’s tactics — and Kelly Clarkson’s reactions to them — continued in the third night of Blind Auditions, when he said rocker (and eventual Team Kelly member) Allie Keck’s voice sounded “literally like an electric guitar,” which Clarkson thought was such a “cool compliment.”

Chance the Rapper impressed the American Idol alum again when fighting Blake Shelton for EJ Michels, commenting that he knew the artist was playing piano even before he saw, because instrumentalists attack vocal runs differently. He threw out names like Maxwell and D’Angelo as singers he’d like to hear Michels cover, which Kelly Clarkson and Niall Horan were both excited about.

In the end Chance the Rapper didn’t have a whole lot of luck going up against Blake Shelton, but he’s certainly making his style known to the contestants, viewers and his fellow coaches. Kelly Clarkson might have good reason to feel threatened by the level of competition he’s bringing, because I’m just as excited (if not more) to see what he does next as I am to see whatever antics the country star gets into.

New episodes of The Voice air at 8 p.m. ET Mondays and 9 p.m. ET Tuesdays on NBC, and be sure to check out our 2023 TV schedule to see what other premieres are coming soon.

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