Niall Horan isn’t at The Voice to make friends, he’s there to win. This was made fairly clear during the second night of the season 23 premiere when he used his one and only block to snag a songstress from Kelly Clarkson.
When young singer Kala Banham hit the stage toward the end of Tuesday’s big show, it was immediately clear that her voice was unique and beautiful. Delicate, cool and soulful, she had exactly the kind of sound Niall has repeatedly said he’s looking for this season.
Kala delivered a gorgeous rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” and as Kelly marveled at her tonal quality, Niall waited for the right moment and used his one and only block right as Kelly slammed her button to turn her chair.
Niall turned his chair at the same moment, as the realization — due to the word “BLOCKED” spelled out in bold letters on the ground in front of her — swept over Kelly’s face.
Niall, however, didn’t get to claim Kala for his team without a fight. Chance the Rapper turned his chair around as well — although, notably, Blake Shelton didn’t, much to Kelly’s confusion.
A sad Kelly praised Kala’s talent and lamented, “We would have been beautiful together.”
“I’m gonna steal you, mark my words,” Kelly added, with determination in her voice. “You will be wearing this [Team Kelly] jacket at some point in this contest, I promise you.”
As Niall complimented her, and tried to convince her to join his team instead of Chance’s, Kelly couldn’t keep her frustration from boiling over.
“I can’t stand you, Ireland,” Kelly exclaimed. “Oh my god!”
“Kala, you get one block, and I chose to use it with you,” Niall told the young hopeful, pushing through Kelly’s heckling. “You are unbelievable. You’ve got such a storytelling voice, so sweet and so beautiful… I just want to go grab a guitar and write a song with you… I would love for you to be on the first-ever Team Niall.”
Kelly only got more heated as Kala explained her musical background, and when the songstress explained that she did a cappella at a performing arts school, Kelly leaped from her seat and stormed over to Niall, slapping him repeatedly with her maroon Team Kelly jacket.
“Where’s my lawyer?!” Niall jokingly exclaimed as he blocked his face with his arms.
Meanwhile, Blake admitted — much to the jeers of his fellow judges — that the reason he didn’t turn his chair is he’d never heard that song before. But seeing how engaged the other judges were, he knew they would probably be better fits for Kala than himself. He ultimately encouraged her, however, to choose Team Chance — likely just to get under Niall’s skin.
However, Niall’s efforts paid off, and Kala would up choosing to join Team Niall.
“Team Niall is shaping up so well,” the judge said to The Voice cameras. “Kala is the best addition I could hope for.”
Niall added with glee, “I blocked Kelly because I knew she wanted Kala. And I let her hand get about this far about her red button. It was a perfectly timed block!”
Looks like the vicious competitiveness is ramping up early this season!
The Voice airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT and Tuesdays at 9 PM/ET on NBC.
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