Many fans of NBC’s The Voice were left shocked after one of its most beloved contestants, Ryan Gallagher, was mysteriously cut during Monday night’s episode. Rumors quickly went into overdrive when the opera singer posted a cryptic message to his social media accounts in which he claimed that he did not leave by choice and that “details are still to come.”
However, according to Entertainment Tonight, the reason for Gallagher’s dismissal was purely a legal one: he violated the terms of the show’s contract regarding COVID-19 protocols. No further details were given about how or when the infraction took place.
In a video posted to both Instagram and Twitter, Gallagher thanked his fans for their support while claiming that more information about his dismissal was coming and that it was not his choice to leave the competition. He also reassured fans that his family was well, as many had wondered if a personal emergency had been the cause of his exit.
— Ryan Gallagher (@RyanDGallagher) December 1, 2020
In the meantime, social media has developed its own theories about Gallagher’s exit. One user even claimed on Twitter that Gallagher was kicked off the show because he and Kelly Clarkson had started dating — despite the fact that there is no evidence to suggest such a romance.
The decision to boot one of the show’s top contestants demonstrates how the competition series is committed to maintaining the health and safety of both its cast and crew throughout the pandemic. For example, the coaches are both socially distant and often have safety glass around their personal spaces. In addition, the singers have separate stages for the Battle and Knockout Rounds.
Though The Voice had originally received criticism for continuing to film amid the COVID-19 crisis, Gwen Stefani said that she hoped the series would help bring joy in a time when people are struggling, often with feelings of isolation and depression.
“I think that being able to sit down and watch a show that’s so inspiring and will bring inspiration to people, it will definitely bring joy,” she noted. “Music is the heartbeat of human beings, so I feel really blessed to be here and to be a part of that and to be able to connect around America on the TV.”
Stefani also added that the pandemic might result in different types of people trying out, creating a unique group of singers for this year.
“I think there’s kind of a different kind of group of people this time because of the opportunity that we are all paused in the world right now,” she said.
That aside, Stefani had jokingly threatened to quit the series last month following a difficult competition round, per The Inquisitr.