‘The Voice’: Blake Shelton’s tough love makes singer cry after ‘scaring stage presence’ into her – USA TODAY

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Gwen Stefani and season 14 winner Brynn Cartelli both “returned” to NBC’s “The Voice” Monday night in very different fashions.

USA TODAY

Blake Shelton may have a heart after all.

But the country star’s methods of showing his love are questionable, to say the least. On Monday’s episode of “The Voice,” Shelton made singer Emma Caroline cry during the second night of the Battles.

Caroline, 25, and Cam Anthony, 19, entered the ring for the first head-to-head of the night. Shelton selected “10,000 Hours” by Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber for the pair, a perfect blend of “pop and country artists coming together, which is what we have here.”

Did we mention Dan + Shay are Shelton’s musical advisors? “Singing a song in front of the guys that wrote it is quite intimidating,” Anthony said during rehearsals. Caroline agreed: “No pressure.”

Last week on ‘The Voice’:Kelsea Ballerini fills in for sick Kelly Clarkson, who tested negative for COVID-19

But the pressure was definitely on for Caroline, who found herself fading in the background while struggling with self-confidence: “I’ve been insecure in my life caring what people think.”

“It’s frustrating to know that you are that good of a singer, but I don’t know that you believe you are that great of a singer because of your body language,” Shelton said after Caroline failed to come out of her shell during her performance.

Shelton named Anthony the winner of the Battle, simply because it “looked like you were born to do that.”

That’s when Shelton’s tough love comes in. Each coach is given a save and a steal during the Battle Round, but Shelton waited until the last possible second to save Caroline from elimination.

“Why did you have to do that to me?” Caroline said while wiping away tears. Kelsea Ballerini, who is filling in for a sick Kelly Clarkson, added, “Yeah, way to make her sweat.”

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Shelton said there’s a method to his madness. He wanted Caroline to believe she was eliminated from the show to “scare some stage presence into you.”

“Emma, you have a gift, you really do,” Shelton said. “You are so much more than someone’s backup singer. You deserve to be in the front of the stage, but you got to give us something to see.”

Caroline promised to bring it her next performance, adding that she “will dance around now.”

“You do have a heart after all,” Nick Jonas teased Shelton. But John Legend is still a skeptic: “Does he, though?”

“The Voice” continues Monday at 8 EDT/PDT on NBC.

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