Kelsea Ballerini Joins ‘The Voice’ Judges After Kelly Clarkson Takes a Break Due to Illness

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Kelsea Ballerini Joins 'The Voice' Judges After Kelly Clarkson Takes a Break Due to Illness

The country music crooner makes a surprise appearance as the fourth judge on the singing competition after the ‘American Idol’ alum is forced to sit out the Battle Rounds.

Country star Kelsea Ballerini has replaced sick Kelly Clarkson on U.S. talent show “The Voice“.

The “Since U Been Gone” singer has pulled out of the Battle Rounds of the hit show, and Ballerini was announced as her fill-in on Monday night’s (22Mar21) episode.

She made her debut on the panel alongside Blake Shelton, John Legend, and Nick Jonas for a new teaser, telling her shocked fellow judges, “Just pretend I’m Kelly!”

“Who do we blame when you make a mistake?” Legend responds, prompting the newcomer to quip, “Her!”

Kelsea was also quick to carry on Kelly’s tradition of poking fun at the other coaches, telling Shelton, “Hey Blake, have I ever told you that you look like my dad?”

Ballerini has taken to social media to thank Clarkson for the chance to sit in for her, stating, “When she (Clarkson) calls and asks you to keep her seat warm, you put all those years of being her superfan to work… forever #teamkelly.”

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It’s not known if Clarkson’s illness will impact her billed performance at Michelle Obama‘s virtual “Girl Talk” livestream on Thursday (25Mar21).

The “American Idol” alum is tapped for the event along with fellow singer Alicia Keys and actresses Auli’i Cravalho and Meryl Streep.

The former U.S. First Lady has teamed up with the Girls Opportunity Alliance to host the event on 25 March (21) at 9pm ET, and she’ll front the keynote conversation with two students, moderated by talk show host Lilly Singh.

The night will also feature interactive question-and-answer sessions, a musical performance by Clarkson, and special guests, also including “black-ish” star Marsai Martin, Orlando Bloom, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Demi Lovato.

Martin will talk about empowerment as she hosts Stepping Into Your Power 101! and Cravalho will front a 3 Ways to Dream Big panel.

Andra Day, Becky G, Dove Cameron, Julia Roberts, Kristen Bell, and Lana Condor will also be part of the Girls Opportunity Alliance event.

More details about the virtual empowerment evening can be found here:

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