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'The Voice' contestant Ryan Gallagher denies claim he left show over COVID-19 rules

Carson Daly announced on last week's episode that Gallagher had departed the show.
/ Source: TODAY

Ryan Gallagher, a former contestant on the current season of NBC's “The Voice,” is denying that he violated COVID-19 protocols, which the network alleges is the reason he stopped competing in the reality show last week.

“Last Sunday Nov. 29 my client Ryan Gallagher, who was a leading contender as part of Kelly Clarkson’s team on the current season of NBC-TV’s ‘The Voice,' was dismissed by NBC and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios for an alleged violation of the show’s Covid 19 protocol,” Michael Catalano, Gallagher’s manager, told TODAY in a statement Sunday.

Catalano added, "In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth."

"Ryan understands all too well how serious the Covid 19 pandemic is in this country and around the world,” he continued. “In fact, recently Ryan's mother in Michigan was hospitalized with Covid 19 and was in ICU for three weeks. It was a scary time for Ryan and his family and he certainly would not knowingly put anyone at risk by not adhering to the show’s Covid 19 policy."

Ryan GallagherTyler Golden / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

"As you can imagine there is more to the story here than the show has announced and at an appropriate time and place of our choosing Ryan and I will be able to share the balance of the details, as well as Ryan’s side of the story," his manager said. "Ryan, whose performing career began at age 15 as a back up singer for Josh Groban in Michigan, is devastated by the show’s dismissal. Being a singer/performer has been his life-long dream."

On last Monday's episode of "The Voice," host Carson Daly announced that Gallagher "had to exit the competition." A source close to the show told TODAY that Gallagher broke the show's strict COVID-19 protocols and was dismissed "out of an abundance of caution."

"We cannot have him continue in the competition and potentially put others at risk," the source said at the time.

In response to Catalano's most recent claims, NBC and MGM told TODAY in a statement on Sunday: "Ryan is a talented artist, however ‘The Voice’ has strict Covid protocols in place to secure a safe set for our crew, coaches and contestants. We were made aware of a breach in those protocols, and after examining the situation, and out of abundance of caution, we determined that Ryan could not participate in our Monday night show without potentially putting others at risk. Therefore, we made the difficult decision to remove Ryan from the competition."

After last Monday's episode aired, 31-year-old singer, who was on Kelly Clarkson's team, dismissed rumors among his fans that his departure was due to family problems. Gallagher had previously revealed that his mother had been hospitalized with the coronavirus.

"Thank you everybody for your concern for my family," Gallagher said on his Instagram stories last week. "However, everybody's fine, that's not the cause of what happened tonight on ‘The Voice.’ I didn't drop out of the show. Details are still to come, I'll keep you posted.”

Gallagher’s manager said in his statement that the singer “remains very, very appreciative” during this difficult time.

“Ryan is so touched by the massive outpouring of support he has received from thousands of viewers who were hugely disappointed by the show’s actions and are vowing to support him in his future endeavors,” he said.