The Voice's Kelly Clarkson and John Legend Receive Backlash for Being 'Too Political'

Gyth Rigdon's "God Bless the USA" performance sparked a LOT of drama. 😬

  • The Voice contestant Gyth Rigdon performed "God Bless the USA" during this week's semi-finals.
  • John Legend and Kelly Clarkson gave the vocalist their well-intended critiques of the song, but some fans have accused the coaches of being "too political."

    As seen on The Voice, the road to singing stardom demands open, constructive feedback—and lots of it. Plus, in the wise words of Kelly Clarkson, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? Well, many viewers are actually shading the American Idol alum and fellow coach John Legend for their honest comments about contestant Gyth Rigdon's rendition of "God Bless the USA."

    During the show's Top 8 Semi-Final Performances, Gyth initially belted out the celebratory ballad solo from a microphone covered in red, white, and blue scarves. As the song progressed, a team of backup dancers in all-white ensembles accompanied him on stage for the grand finale.


    It's a tough call to analyze such a patriotic cover, but Kelly initially took a stab at it after the performance. "I feel like you can't critique this song or you're going to hell or something," she joked. Backtracking a bit, though, the "Broken & Beautiful" songstress got candid about Gythe's pipes.

    "I will say, this is not my favorite vocal of you this season because I think you are a ridiculously talented vocalist," Kelly said. "This song is a lot of sustained notes, you know, because it's all heart. It's all of us singing together, usually in a big crowd. So, this wasn't my favorite, but I loved that you picked it, and I love that it means something to you, and I think that it's beautiful that it's never been done on the show before."

    John chimed in next and shared a similar sentiment. "I agree with Kelly that this wasn't your greatest vocal performance, but it was very strong and I felt the energy and the emotion," he explained. "It was a powerful rendition. Great job."

    Despite their intentions, fans were outraged over Kelly and John's reactions. Some even went so far as to accuse the coaching pair of being unpatriotic.

    Gyth you were awesome tonight!!! Kelly and John have no clue what they're talking about. #TheVoice

    — Jaynee Lonardo (@JayneeLonardo) May 14, 2019

    @kelly_clarkson #VoiceTop8 can u please not come back next season. Clearly u cant hear a great song. God Bless the USA!!!!

    — Rita Lockridge (@rita_lockridge) May 14, 2019

    Well Gyth Rigdon is actually a great singer. I actually sing this song I know how hard this song is to sing. The notes that are held and the breathing. I disagree with @[email protected] Someone who does something they feel #thevoice

    — Greg Stouffer (@orsuperman7) May 14, 2019

    Watching the voice and god bless the USA was a wonderful change to the songs Gyth did a job regardless of what Kelly or John said!!! Go team Blake !!! 💕❤️♥️

    — Brenda Beaver (@BrendaBeaver13) May 14, 2019

    @GythRigdon had a great performance of one of the most beautiful, patriot, love for country songs there is. Shame on you @kelly_clarkson & @johnlegend for making fun of this Patriot song. Kelly is so damn jealous she will only compliment her contestants. Blake will compliment all

    — Heather Gasol (@HGasol) May 14, 2019

    Kelly and John have BOTH critiqued Gyth! What the hell is happening here??? #TheVoice #VoiceTop8

    — Richard (@alltvallshade) May 14, 2019

    On the other hand, a number of viewers sided with John and Kelly, agreeing that the song didn't work well for the aspiring vocalist, and that their critique wasn't "disrespectful to the USA."

    Singing God bless America is fantastic but being critical and saying it wasn't his best performance is no way disrespectful to the USA! #TheVoice

    — Terri Geis (@TGeis73) May 14, 2019

    He’ll probably make it into the finale, but that wasn’t a good song choice for Gyth. He strained his voice a lot on it. I agree with Kelly. #TheVoice

    — Joy Kolodziej Guill (@JoyJoyfuljag) May 14, 2019

    Kelly & John are right. Song too easy. Like singing the Happy Birthday song. But Gyth catered to his base. #TheVoice

    — Ken Gonzalez (@kengonzalez22) May 14, 2019

    So ridiculous! You and your ilk are the only ones making this political. They barely critiqued him. Get over yourself and just enjoy the show!

    — Michelle✌️ (@Taltos44) May 14, 2019

    What does politics have to do with this? They didn’t say he was bad just not his best vocal. It was hardly a critique!

    — Michelle✌️ (@Taltos44) May 14, 2019

    Either way, Blake Shelton quickly redeemed the contestant's rep during the episode, coming to his rescue with complimentary commentary. "I'm going to say that was far and away your best vocal performance," he said, contradicting his competitors. "The song clearly means something to you, as it does to a lot of people. I loved that performance, I loved that you chose that song. Welcome to the finale, brother."

    We'll see tonight whether Blake's confident premonition comes true. Stay tuned!

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