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A singer unexpectedly dropped out of ‘The Voice’ — leading to a rare kind of performance

In an extremely rare situation for ‘The Voice,’ a contestant had to sing his duet during the Battle round alone

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Neil Salsich on “The Voice” 2023.

Neil Salsich on “The Voice” 2023.

Tyler Golden, NBC

In an extremely rare situation for “The Voice,” a contestant had to sing his duet during the Battle round alone.


What happened to Alex Whalen on ‘The Voice’ 2023?

Moments before Neil Salsich, a 34-year-old singer from St. Louis, Missouri, took the stage, “Voice” host Carson Daly announced that Salsich’s partner, London-born rocker Alex Whalen, “could not be with us tonight.”

Longtime “Voice” coach Blake Shelton later revealed that Whalen “had personal reasons that he had to bow out of the competition,” Entertainment Tonight reported.

“It’s never easy to see artists going home,” the country star said.

In a post on Twitter Tuesday night, Salsich noted that Whalen dropped out “very last minute.”

The unusual situation took the pressure off for Salsich, who performed Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” knowing that he had automatically advanced to the next round.

“I told Neil before he came out here, ‘Man, if you lose this battle, it will be the worst fail in history,’” Shelton joked during the episode.

As Salsich performed with energy, “Voice” coach Kelly Clarkson stood up and began dancing. All of the coaches praised Salsich’s performance.

“The fact that we’ve had Hank Williams and Marvin Gaye come out of you makes me very excited,” Niall Horan said, referencing Salsich’s blind audition earlier in the season.

“You absolutely nailed it,” Shelton added.


Who is Alex Whalen on ‘The Voice’ 2023?

Like most country singers on “The Voice,” Whalen ended up selecting Shelton to be his coach. But Shelton noted something different about Whalen that separated him from all the other country singers in the competition — he’s the first to hail from London.

Whalen, who currently lives in Florida, performed Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night” for his blind audition, and received a chair turn from Shelton and Chance the Rapper.

Although she didn’t turn for Whalen, Clarkson praised the singer’s storytelling quality and called the lower register of his voice his “superpower.”


Who is Neil Salsich on ‘The Voice’ 2023?

Salsich initially had all the coaches fighting for him with his rendition of Hank Williams’ “Honky Tonk Blues” for his blind audition. Shelton, in particular, wanted Salsich for his team, and used his one and only block of the round to prevent Clarkson from snagging the singer.

Clarkson praised Salsich’s versatility, complimenting his raspiness, use of falsetto and “old-school country” sound. Chance the Rapper, meanwhile, told Salsich he should make the surprising choice and join his team.

“It’s TV. Anything can happen,” Chance said. “Why not a rapper and a country singer together?”

But Salsich, a full-time musician, ultimately ended up becoming the first singer to join Shelton’s team for the season.


Who are the Team Blake Shelton singers on ‘The Voice’ 2023?

According to the Deseret News, the remaining singers on Shelton’s team are:

  • Salsich.
  • Mary Kate Connor.
  • Kylee Dane.
  • Walker Wilson.
  • Grace West.
  • Tasha Jessen.