Blake Shelton cuddled with a puppy during the season premiere of The Voice as a way to sway one singer toward his team. This power move led Kelly Clarkson to leap out of her seat and for Nick Jonas to voice his displeasure in a new clip shared on the show’s Instagram page.
During the first episode of Season 18, Blake attempted to persuade musician Tate Brusa to join his team by asking for help from a furry friend. This was after Tate performed a rendition of Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect,” leading both Blake and Nick to turn their seats around during the last minutes of his performance.
In the clip, where the coaches listened to singers during the blind auditions, Blake was heard telling Tate that he felt like he was at a disadvantage after Nick’s pitch to get the singer to join his team.
This was when a stagehand produced an adorable golden retriever puppy and placed him in the country star’s lap.
Kelly immediately lept out of her seat and ran toward both Blake and the dog to say hello.
“Is this your dog? Whose dog is this?” Blake’s fellow coach John Legend inquired.
Kelly smiled brightly and asked the sweet little fur baby if they wanted to come to her, extending her arms to cuddle the puppy.
All this confusion led Nick to remark that these types of stunts should not be allowed on The Voice.
Blake asked the animal if he liked “Tater,” playfully giving the auditionee a nickname and talking directly to the dog, who looked straight at the country superstar, appearing calm and happy in his lap.
He followed that up by joking that if Tate did not choose him as a coach, the puppy would go straight back to the animal shelter. This dark humor — one of his trademarks on the show — led the other coaches to laugh and shake their heads.
The puppy had tags and a collar on, and it was clear that it belonged to someone who worked directly with the series.
In the end, Tate would eventually pick Nick to be his coach.
Fans chimed in with their reactions to Blake’s attempt to use any means necessary to get a singer to be on his team.
“Laughed out loud watching this tonight! Blake, you are so funny,” said one fan of the series.
“I would straight up collapse in tears over having to pick whether I want a dog or coaching from Nick,” remarked a second fan of the show.
“Let the fun begin!” said a third viewer of the stunt, airing their eager anticipation for what is to come this season as the competition progresses.