On Monday night, Kelly Clarkson returned to The Voice just days after undergoing surgery to have her appendix removed

By Brianne Tracy
May 07, 2019 10:44 AM

Kelly Clarkson’s Voice team has seen firsthand how the singer perfectly embodies the lyrics of her 2011 hit, “Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You).”

On Monday night, Clarkson returned to the NBC competition series just days after undergoing surgery to have her appendix removed. Clarkson, 37, revealed last Thursday that immediately following the Billboard Music Awards — which she hosted in fantastic fashion — she was rushed to the hospital for the surgery due to acute appendicitis.

“She never showed any signs of hurting or anything,” Clarkson’s contestant, Rod Stokes, told reporters after Monday’s live show. “She took care of business.”

Clarkson’s other contestant, Jej Vinson, shared the same sentiment: “She didn’t even make it known to us that she had that condition. I just have so much respect for her for being able to work just as hard.”

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Despite having a hard recovery (“Quick recap … recovering after surgery super duper sucks,” she tweeted on Sunday night), Clarkson went on with business as usual during the show. Because of that, both Stokes and Vinson agreed that there’s something to be learned from her work ethic.

“She had an appendectomy,” Stokes, 34, said. “I probably would still have been in the bed right now hollering and screaming like a little baby.”

Vinson, 22, added: “I didn’t know she was going through that medically, so the fact that she was able to put some time and effort into working with us and being on the show is incredible. It just shows her professionalism.”

Kelly Clarkson
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Behind the scenes, Stokes explained that Clarkson is exactly who she appears to be on TV.

“I was in rehearsal with her and I was getting ready for my song and I hear a crunch,” Stokes explained. “I look over and she’s killing some Nachos BellGrande from Taco Bell. I look over at her like, ‘Extra cheese and sour cream?’ She’s like, ‘It must be a Southern thing.’ She’s incredible. She’s the most down to earth artist I’ve ever met.”

Since Clarkson has won the last two seasons of The Voice — first with Brynn Cartelli, and then with Chevel Shepherd — Stokes and Vinson addressed whether they feel an added pressure to bring their coach home another win.

“I don’t think that’s the added pressure,” Stokes said. “I believe the added pressure would have to be the first few episodes she was like, ‘No guy wants me.’ Now she has two guys. There’s the added pressure. We have to step up our game because we’re her men.'”

“It’s funny to think that she started out with barely any guys,” Vinson continued. “And now the two people left on her team are us.”

The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.