‘The Voice’: Country Singer Ross Clayton Earns Rare Four-Chair Turn With Keith Urban Cover [Watch]
Blake Shelton is the resident country coach on The Voice, but former One Direction member Niall Horan is giving him a run for his money.
Horan is having the time of his life coaching his first-ever season of the reality TV competition series. On Monday night's (March 6) season premiere, he went up against Shelton for Ross Clayton, a senior product manager for a software development company and budding country singer from McLoud, Okla.
Clayton, 33, who is also a proud husband and father of three, took the stage with a tender-hearted version of Keith Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” For his rendition of the ballad, Clayton dressed in orange-colored aviator sunglasses and flaunted his country twang while throwing emotion into his performance. His delivery of the tune not only earned him a rare four-chair turn, but it also had Shelton and Horan clamoring for him to join their respective teams.
Even though Horan is new to The Voice, he wasted no time pulling out all of the stops and a never-before-seen trick in his plea to swoop Clayton for his team. In fact, he shut down all three of his castmates' buzzers, which turned their chairs away from the stage.
“How are you doing that?” a seemingly confused Kelly Clarkson asked before her chair went dark. “I never knew you could do that.”
“I need to pitch you properly," Horan told Clayton. "I need a bit of privacy.”
Without interruption from the other judges, Horan then began his plea telling Clayton, “Your voice is absolutely incredible. You have that country tone to your voice. But to me, I was hearing so much soul.”
“I came up on a show like this when I was 16 years old,” he added, referencing his time on The X Factor. “If I was to point out fans of mine in this room, there are fans of mine that would really love to take you under their wing, but I’m telling you, please!”
Horan then got down on his knees to beg Clayton to agree to his wishes.
“Forget about whatever any of them said,” he added, pointing to the rest of the coaches. “That’s why I spun them around. I don’t wanna hear any more crap. Blake Shelton was just about to tell you, ‘Oh. This is my last season on the show. It would be an honor and a privilege. Please join me.'”
Once Shelton’s chair lit back up, and he could get in some words, it was already difficult to argue his standpoint since Horan did a stellar job at putting up a fight. But he did share a few words of his own.
“If I’m gonna have to pitch you now, I’m gonna have to talk about our kinship as Oklahomans,” Shelton said. “Ross would probably like to get out and do some gigs, and I just happen to have venues that he could do that in Oklahoma. Wouldn’t that be cool to have Ross ride off into the sunset with me on my last team that I’m ever going to have on this show? Me and him and his polarized sunglasses kicking everybody’s ass!”
Despite Shelton’s plea, Clayton decided to join up with Horan, which gave the “Slow Hands” singer his first artist and his first country singer in the competition.
“Niall needed that one. I’m actually happy for Niall,” Shelton later said of his co-star. “I feel like Niall is going to take my seat on this show. Playing those kinds of dirty tricks gives me confidence that he can be the liar he needs to be to cover for Team Blake and I.”
Fans can keep up with Clayton’s journey on The Voice Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC.