'The Voice': Blake Shelton 'heartbroken' after eliminating his own 'God's Country' singer

·3 min read

Ed Sheeran is helping contestants on "The Voice" fix any "Bad Habits."

The English singer-songwriter joined the NBC singing competition Monday as a mega-mentor for this season's Knockouts, "possibly my favorite who has ever come on this show," Kelly Clarkson declared. (The first round of Knockouts was pre-taped before Sheeran contracted COVID-19 and canceled all in-person commitments in October.)

"I’m really happy to be here," Sheeran said. "Being a mega-mentor is perfect because you get to give constructive criticism."

Here's how knockouts works: Each coach pairs two singers on their team to go head-to head with their song of choice. Only one will advance to the live playoffs. Each coach has a steal, but there are no saves in play this round. So choose wisely, coaches.

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"We don’t get to save anybody this round. Only steals from now on," John Legend said. Ariana Grande voiced her concern: "I’m super worried about the no saves."

Sheeran received a warm welcome from Team Legend's Sabrina Dias, who elected to sing Sheeran's own "Photograph" before knowing he was the mega-mentor.

"This is the first time I’ve ever been in this situation on ‘The Voice,' where someone is singing your songs," Sheeran said, adding that he hadn't heard the song in "two years."

"This is intense. I’m signing his song… No pressure," Dias said. She went up against Joshua Vacanti, who opted to perform "Falling" by Harry Styles, another English singer.

Singing a mentor or coach's song in front of them hasn't gone over too well in past, but singers have fared better this season, like when Gymani's rendition of Grande's 'pov' in the Blinds earned her four-chair-turns. But Dias didn't have the same luck.

Although Legend applauded her for not "shrinking from any challenge," he dubbed Vacanti the winner because his powerful voice "makes the audience feel every single lyric." Dias was not stolen and was eliminated from the competition.

Last week on 'The Voice': Blake Shelton avoids inflicting 'emotional pain' on this steal-worthy singer

Team Shelton's Hailey Green met the same fate following a battle with Libianca. Green selected Shelton's Grammy-nominated hit "God's Country," while Libianca opted for Billie Eilish's "everything i wanted."

"Hailey, that was brave of you to sing the one and only Blake Shelton’s song right in front of him," Grande said. Shelton also gave her kudos, saying it was "impressive" for the 15-year-old to select "one of the most important songs I’ve ever recorded."

Libianca also blew the judges away with her emotional rendition, which she could barely complete without crying. "To see you pull together and do it is incredible," Shelton said.

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The country crooner called the decision between the singers "soul crushing." He dubbed Libianca the winner, adding that he's "heartbroken right now." Green was not stolen and was eliminated.

Knockouts continue on "The Voice" Tuesday 8 EDT/PDT on NBC.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'The Voice': Blake Shelton axes 'God's Country' singer, 'heartbroken'

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