During the Knockout Rounds, which began on Monday, April 17, Clarkson, 40, and Reba, 68, were both moved by Kala Banham‘s performance of Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris.”
“Kala surprised me the most,” the Texas native said about her newest team member. “She can make you cry after the first three notes — that’s rare!”
In response, Reba praised the way Banham affected Clarkson, adding, “The emotions that she showed, I got chills, Kelly cried. That’s what you want from a performer.”
“You really touched my heart,” the Oklahoma native told the contestant after getting emotional at the rehearsal. “That’s the biggest thing, is to capture somebody in the audience, to where they’re sobbing, or laughing. Get some emotion out of them — and you did it for me.”
Reba’s addition to The Voice comes after she previously mentored Team Blake in 2011. The country singer joins coaches Shelton, 46, Clarkson, Niall Horan and Chance the Rapper to help aspiring performers make their way to the finale.
Before appearing on the NBC competition series, Reba and Clarkson became friends after they performed together during the season 1 finale of American Idol in 2002. Years later, the “Since U Been Gone” singer started dating Brandon Blackstock — the son of the Reba alum’s ex-husband Narvel Blackstock.
Clarkson and Brandon, 46, tied the knot in 2013 before expanding their family with kids River Rose, 8, and Remington Alexander, 7. The talk show host ultimately filed for divorce in 2020 after nearly seven years of marriage.
At the time, Reba noted that she didn’t plan to take sides in the split. “You know, I love them both. Brandon’s my stepson, Kelly’s my good friend,” the Lifetime actress, who called it quits with Narvel, 66, in 2015 before moving on with Rex Linn, told Extra in October 2021. “I am pulling for both of them. I hope they’re happy and healthy and pull through this.”
She added: “I pray everyone gives them the encouragement that they can because they need it right now, both of them do. I love them both with all my heart.”
The American Idol winner, for her part, continued to make headlines for her lengthy legal battle over the former couple’s Montana property. Clarkson filed a separate motion requesting to be declared legally single amid the divorce proceedings. She was granted the request in September 2021.
Clarkson was later ordered to pay Blackstock nearly $200,000 per month, including temporary payments of $150,000 each month in spousal support. In addition to paying an extra $45,601 per month for their children, the songwriter was granted primary custody.
Since the breakup, Clarkson has discussed how her kids were adjusting to the major life change. “I think I am my mother’s child, and I’m raising very independent children,” the singer shared on the “Angie Martinez IRL” podcast in March. “They will be out the door as soon as they’re able and capable. They’re very independent.”
The performer noted that she continues to check in with her children, saying, “I literally ask my kids every night when we’re snuggling, ‘Are you happy? And if you’re not, what could make you happier?’. Sometimes they’ll say — especially the past two years — a lot of it — and it kills me — and I want them to be honest, so I don’t ever say, ‘Oh God, don’t tell me that.’ But a lot of times it would be like, ‘You know, I’m just really sad. I wish Mommy and Daddy were in the same house.’ And they’re really honest about it. And I’m raising that kind of individual.”
“I don’t need somebody to hold me / Don’t need somebody to love me / Don’t need somebody to pick these pieces up / I put together my broken / Let go of the pain I’ve been holdin’ / Don’t need to need somebody / When I got me,” she sang on the “Me” track.