Nick Jonas begs his 'ex' to come back to his team on 'The Voice'

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When The Voice Season 18 Knockout Rounds commenced Monday, coach Nick Jonas was in a reunion state of mind, downright pleading for Joanna Serenko to take him back. “It would be great for us to get back together,” he said. But don’t worry – Nick and his bride Priyanka Chopra are doing just fine. Nick was just trying to use his Steal to reclaim his former contestant, whom he’d foolishly let go during the Battle Rounds. But Joanna was having none of it – especially since Nick’s contradictory words amusingly came back to haunt him. First, let's back up a bit. Earlier in the night, two of Kelly Clarkson’s contestants, raspy teen country singer Megan Danielle and soul crooner Cammwess, got in the ring. Cammwess had actually originally been on Team Legend, but John had let him go during the Battles. And this Monday, after watching Cammwess doing an absolutely exquisite, faith-based, churchy version of A Great Big World’s “Say Something” – a real breakout moment -- John realized he’d made a huge mistake by letting this promising singer slip away to Team Kelly. “I have mountains of regret that you’re not on my team,” he admitted, calling Cammwess’s performance “one of the best things we will see on this show, in any round.” As fantastic as Cammwess was, Kelly just couldn’t eliminate Danielle, with whom she shared a special bond: Megan, whose father abandoned her as a child, had just achingly covered Kelly’s own deadbeat-dad heartbreak ballad “Piece by Piece,” and had even personalized the song by changing the age-specific lyric to “seven years old.” So, with Cammwess now available to steal, both John and Nick swooped in. That’s when Nick warned Cammwess not return to the coach who’d dumped him: “I’m going to jump in right away and say the same thing I’ve ever said to any friend who’d getting back with an ex: ‘Why? Why would you do that?’” John countered by pointing that sometimes exes get back together and “live happily ever after,” so Cammwess decided to “go back home” to the man who’d done him wrong -- John. And now, back to Team Legend’s above-mentioned Knockout between Zan Fiskum and former Team Nick hopeful Joanna Serenko -- a very even match. Joanna, doing the more-timely-than-ever “Angel From Montgomery” (obviously this episode was taped months ago, before the song’s composer, John Prine, died due to coronavirus complications), delivered a tasteful performance, with a lovely head voice and a tone that John described as “fluttery.” But Zan’s passionate, powerful cover of Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” was more challenging vocally and a true tour de force. These singers are similar, so I suppose I understand why John didn’t feel a need to have both on his team – but after his terrible mistake of pitting his two best contestants against each other in last week’s Battles, I still couldn’t really wrap my head around his strategy when it came to this pairing. But thankfully, both Blake Shelton and Nick wanted Joanna. And now, suddenly, Nick thought “exes” reuniting was a brilliant idea. “I made an argument before about getting back with an ex and how bad that is. I’ve had a sudden change of heart about this issue,” Nick explained to Joanna. “I would love to complete the circle here. It would be great for us to get back together.” “I don’t play games with you like Nick does,” argued Blake. “I don’t beg you to be on my team, just to turn around and dump you.” And thus, it seemed Joanna was ready for a new man – or, um, a new coach – in her life. “Nick, we had a great run, but I think I just need to move on, you know?” she quipped, opting to join Team Blake instead. “I love that as a 43-year-old man, I can say a girl left Nick Jonas for me!” Blake later gloated. But the real man of the hour this Monday had to be, as Kelly accurately put it, “one of the best singer-songwriters in all of the universe”: James Taylor, who signed on to advise the Knockouts’ contestants after producers had apparently been pursuing him for years. “We dropped the hammer this season when it comes to Mega-Mentors,” declared Blake. The contestants (even the younger ones that I feared would have no idea who this legened was) and coaches alike were fan-boy/-girling out -- especially when James would pick up an acoustic guitar to demonstrate one of his astute points or even play a little bit of one of Blake’s favorite tunes, “Mexico.” Amazingly, James actually said it was an “honor” for him to appear on The Voice, saying it’s “hands-down, the most positive and effective” singing show on TV. How sweet it was, indeed.