'The Voice' reacts to Oklahoma tornado tragedy
Monday night was a particularly difficult performance show on "The Voice," and that had nothing to do with the typical top-ten stress. A much more important thing occupied the minds of the coaches and performers -- the devastation in Oklahoma following one the deadliest tornadoes in the nation's history.
Coach Blake Shelton, an Oklahoma native, described his feelings about going on with the show in the wake of the tragedy.
"They're going through hell there right now," he said of the folks back home during Monday's show. "When we went live here, I finally set my phone down. The bad news just keeps coming in -- a lot of fatalities, a lot of children. It makes it hard to actually sit here and do this tonight. But I've got a job to do, the team's counting on me, so here I am."
As for his family in particular, Shelton assured that, luckily, they're all safe.
When Team Blake act The Swon Brothers prepared for this week’s “Voice” performance, they had no idea what their next song would mean to them. Yet after the tornado ravaged their home state, the country duo found themselves taking the stage with heavy hearts too.
“We just want to let everybody know at home (that) we're praying for you,” Colton Swon told the national audience after the pair performed Randy Houser’s “How Country Feels.”
“Our hearts are definitely going out to you,” agreed Zach Swon.
Speaking after the show, a somber Colton told TODAY.com that the performance was “just one of those things you've gotta (do). That's how we cope with things, is music. That's what we do. So that felt natural -- and then when you get in front of the crowd and just get that energy going, it's a great feeling. It was hard to enjoy, but at the same time we felt good about it.”
Backstage, Zach Swon reflected on what he loved about his home state. “The music scene,” he said, naming several major country artists who are also from Oklahoma. “(There’s) Garth (Brooks), Reba (McEntire), Blake, Vince Gill, Carrie Underwood, (and) Brooks and Dunn.”
Colton Swon was optimistic about the situation. “Oklahoma's going to pull through this,” he said. “They've been in these situations before, unfortunately, and it's a very strong state.”
"Voice" fans can see more from the Shelton and the Swons on Tuesday night's live episode at 9 p.m. on NBC. A recap episode, originally scheduled for 8 p.m. , will be preempted to make way for a one-hour special focused on the latest from Oklahoma.