‘The Voice’: Kelly Clarkson Tears Up Over Corey Ward’s Emotional Performance of Her Own Song

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Kelly Clarkson is back for The Voice season 20 Knockout Rounds, and her team’s first showdown packs an emotional punch!

The performer and talk show host — who had pal Kelsea Ballerini sitting in with her team over the last few weeks while she was out sick during the Battle Rounds — returned just in time to pair up team members Ryleigh Modig and Corey Ward, the latter of whom made a daring song selection, choosing Kelly’s own track, “Already Gone.”

Corey’s gritty, soaring performance¬†of the single — from Kelly’s 2009 album, All I Ever Wanted — gave season 20 Mega Mentor Snoop Dogg “chills” during the rehearsal, and brought Kelly to tears as she considered the new rendition of the song, and the additional significance she feels in the lyrics more than a decade later.

“When I wrote ‘Already Gone,’ I was going through something that I thought, ‘It’s OK. It doesn’t always have to work out,” the coach recalled. “Hearing him sing that to me, in my life now, it’s like, are you smacking me in the face with my own message?”

Kelly filed for divorce from husband Brandon Blackstock last June after seven years of marriage.¬†The exes share two children together, daughter River Rose, 6, and son Remington Alexander, 5. Kelly told ET earlier this year that songwriting has been therapeutic for her during the¬†split, sharing that she’s penned around 60 new songs as she used music as an outlet for her emotions.

“It’s interesting when you write something, and you don’t feel it ’til years later,” Kelly remarked of hearing Corey’s performance of¬†“Already Gone,” brushing away tears during the rehearsal.¬†

“When you can get the songwriter to lose emotional control, that’s when you¬†doin’ your job,” Snoop Dogg agreed.

The Knockout performance¬†was just as impressive, with Kelly marveling at how Corey made the song his own:¬†“I was like, ‘Maybe that’s how that was supposed to sound!'” she raved.

However, all of the coaches were also wowed by Ryleigh’s unique performance of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody,” leaving Kelly with the first tough call of the Knockout Rounds.¬†“I’m dying, I wish we had a save!'” she exclaimed

Ultimately, Kelly went with her “gut decision,”¬†choosing Corey as the winner of the Knockout, but her earnest hope that neither team member was going home came true when all three of her fellow coaches — Blake Shelton, John Legend and Nick Jonas¬†— hit their buttons to try and steal Ryleigh to their team, with Ryleigh choosing Team Legend as her final destination for the upcoming live shows.

“I had to steal Ryleigh, she’s young but she’s got such maturity in her voice, and flavor,” John raved of his newest team member. “She had to come to Team Legend.”

ET spoke with Snoop Dogg ahead of his epic reveal as this season’s¬†Mega Mentor, and the legendary rapper shared how excited he¬†was to help coach the season 20 performers and impart his own experiences on the hopeful stars. But, while he had thoughts on each of the coaches, Snoop¬†wasn’t playing favorites!

“It’s hard to say which team that I like working with the best, because there’s so much talent inside of each team,” he marveled.¬†“Each team has some unique singers and some unique artists that could possibly make it past the show. I know only one person’s gonna win, but it seems like¬†there’s about six¬†or seven¬†record deals up in here.”

See more in the video below. The Voice airs Mondays at 8 p.m. PT/ET on NBC.


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