Kelsea Ballerini Makes Kenzie Wheeler Pinky Promise He’ll Never Shave His Mullet on ‘The Voice’

The Voice returned to NBC on Monday evening (April 12) with the final Battle Round and one of the most…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

April 12, 2021

Share on:

Kenzie Wheeler, Kelsea Ballerini

The Voice returned to NBC on Monday evening (April 12) with the final Battle Round and one of the most buzzed about pairings of the night was Team Kelly’s JD Casper and Kenzie Wheeler.

The pair went head to head with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s 1987 hit, “Fishin’ in the Dark” with hopes to advance to the next round. 

Kelsea Ballerini, who is filling in for Kelly Clarkson during the Battle Rounds, offered Casper and Wheeler advice alongside Luis Fonsi prior to their performance. 

While Casper and Wheeler both delivered impressive performances, Wheeler seemed to have the edge, however. 

YouTube video

“Nice job y’all,” Ballerini said following their performance, adding, “You jealous Blake, you jealous?”

Blake Shelton may have been just a little jealous. 

“I listened to that song driving into work today and I was literally thinking that song just stands the test of time and it’s such a fun song to sing,” he shared. “Kenzie, you were blocked from being on my team and ended up with a coach who fakes illnesses. She didn’t even show up to work today, okay? JD, those suitcase drums, that’s cool. I don’t know how much it helped you in this situation, I don’t know if it’s something that you have to think extra hard about when you’re playing but it just felt like Kenzie absolutely dumped himself into that vocal performance so I would go with Kenzie here.”

Nick Jonas complimented both contestants and the song choice. 

“Kenzie, I feel like you may have hopped out of a time machine and arrived at the blind auditions for this show and I’m talking about the hairdo and the overall vibe,” Jonas said. “There’s just an authenticity to your whole thing that is so fun to be a part of. But JD, you’ve done an amazing job of showing us who you are, I think the song choice was actually really cool for you and gave you the ability to shine with your upper register, you are a really wonderful artist.”

As for their fill-in coach, Kelsea Ballerini, she had a tough choice to make. 

“I really, really enjoyed that. You’re both so talented and I know Kelly is sitting at home sick and making me do this, which is not fun allegedly,” she told them. “JD, the song choice might’ve favored Kenzie a little bit more but you’re still standing there doing eighteen million things at once so that’s amazing. And Kenzie I just don’t think you know how good you are and I think that’s a really wonderful, compelling thing about you as an artist. I hope you never know how good you are and I also hope that you never shave the mullet, can we just pinky promise?”

“Never, ever, pinky promise,” Wheeler replied.

Ultimately, Ballerini declared, “The winner of this battle is Kenzie.” 

Fans can tune in to The Voice on Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC.  

Share on:

Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.