A Team Blake Contestant Drops Out of ‘The Voice’ Before the Battle Rounds [Watch]
The Battle Rounds raged on in a new episode of The Voice on Tuesday night (April 4), but one Team Blake contestant wasn't there to duke it out with his duet partner. Ahead of the episode, Alex Whalen — a country rocker who hails from London, England, and impressed coaches with his audition performance of Sammi Smith's "Help Me Make It Through the Night" — dropped out of the show for unspecified "personal reasons."
That left his Battle Rounds duo partner — Neil Salsich, also hailing from Team Blake — to perform solo. Before he took the stage, show host Carson Daly explained the situation to viewers.
"Team Blake's Alex Whalen could not be with us tonight, so in this case, his Battle partner will be singing solo," he said as he introduced the performance.
"Alex had personal reasons that he had to bow out of the competition," Blake Shelton further explained after Salsich's performance. "It's never easy to see artists going home, but Neil has a ton of charisma. He did a great job today."
Salsich, a 34-year-old classic country singer from St. Louis, Mo., turned all four of the coaches' chairs back in the Blind Auditions with an impressive performance of Hank Williams' "Honky Tonk Blues." In fact, Shelton was so dead-set on adding Salsich to his roster that he used his sole Block Button to prevent Kelly Clarkson from scooping him up. In the Battle Rounds, Salsich could have repeated a winning formula with another beloved country hit, but instead, he chose to mix things up with a pitch-perfect performance of Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine."
Obviously, with no competitor on stage, Salsich advanced to the Knockout Rounds. Before sending him through, Shelton made a crack at his former Voice nemesis, Adam Levine.
"I told him backstage, if you lose this Battle, it will be the worst fail in history. I mean, like, Adam Levine levels of failure," Shelton joked.
The Voice airs Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC.