Did Atlanta’s Corey Ward’s Kelly Clarkson cover impress Kelly Clarkson in ‘The Voice’ Knockouts?

Corey Ward during "The Voice" knockout rounds aired on "The Voice" on April 19, 2021. -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)
Corey Ward during "The Voice" knockout rounds aired on "The Voice" on April 19, 2021. -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

Ward has shown an impressive ability to date to authentically emote

McDonough resident Corey Ward cruised into the live “Voice” rounds Monday after winning over Kelly Clarkson by singing her her own song.

He picked Kelly’s 2009 top 15 hit “Already Gone,” a super sad ballad she wrote many years ago about letting go of a relationship that wasn’t meant to be, one that, as the song goes “started with a perfect kiss/ then we could feel the poison set in.”

During the rehearsals with Kelly and mentor Snoop Dogg, Corey explained why this song touched him so: “I think in life things don’t go as well as planned. No matter how good things are, they’re not meant to be.”

Snoop: “You’re going to take us on an emotional roller coaster.”

Corey used the song’s breakup vibe and connected it with his band he started at age 17. They toured for two years and almost got signed but ultimately broke up, “a bittersweet moment,” he said, “when you realize it’s over.”

“To have Kelly believe in me with this song, you can’t get any better,” Corey said.

After singing the song in rehearsal, Kelly ― in mock rage ― said, “How dare you come in and kill my song!” She had originally sung it in an ethereal way. His, she said, “was from the gut!”

She didn’t have any recommendation to improve it. As Snoop added, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Kelly, who is going through a bruising divorce, teared up and said, “Are you smacking me in the face with my own message?”

Corey was up against another great singer, Ryleigh Modig.

During his actual pre-taped performance, Corey properly channeled the pain in “Already Gone,” and in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Tuesday, he said he felt he did a good job.

ExploreINTERVIEW: Atlanta’s Corey Ward passes ‘The Voice’ Battle Rounds

“I knew that day it was the best I could have done with that song,” Corey said. “I was OK no matter what happened. Even I had been sent home, I would have been proud.”

He said he was heartened when her original version returned to the iTunes top 30 charts after he sang it.

His Team Kelly opponent Ryleigh was equally up to the task on King of Leon’s classic “Use Somebody.” Her vocals were impeccably pretty.

Coach Blake Shelton preferred Corey for losing himself in the moment. Nick Jonas said Corey needed a hug and loved how he was willing to be vulnerable. John Legend said he preferred Corey but liked them both.

Kelly said Ryleigh has such a cool vibe while she repeated that Corey improved upon her own song. She ultimately chose to keep Corey.

“I can’t wait to see him in the lives,” Kelly said.

“I’m dreaming,” Corey said right after the good news.

Good news for Ryleigh: the other three coaches all tried to “steal” her. She ultimately chose John, who said he pressed his button first.

“You have a lane to yourself on my team,” John said.

Corey, who is single but dating, said he is emotionally and mentally ready for the live shows in a couple of weeks. “The main thing is for me to stay humble but be ready and put in the hard work,” he said.

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