Rose Short's performance of Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is" on The Voice brought her coach, Gwen Stefani, to tears

By Brianne Tracy
December 10, 2019 10:50 AM
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Rose Short’s rendition of Foreigner’s 1984 ballad “I Want to Know What Love Is” on Monday night’s episode of The Voice was so powerful that she brought her coach, Gwen Stefani, to tears.

When host Carson Daly asked the No Doubt singer for her feedback following Short’s performance, she was so overwhelmed with emotion that she asked to “cut the cameras.”

“I’m not ready. Oh my God, I’m crying,” Stefani, 50, said through tears. “That was unbelievable. I’m so in awe of you. I’m so honored to work with you.”

While listening to Stefani’s words, Short herself started tearing up on stage. After the show cut to commercial break, Stefani was comforted by longtime boyfriend and fellow coach Blake Shelton as she sat on his lap and wiped away her tears with a tissue.

After the live show, Short told reporters that she didn’t think she was “going to make it through” the performance, adding that she feels “really connected” with Stefani.

“She checks on me,” she said. “I didn’t think [the coaches] did that. She genuinely is like, ‘Hey, you aight?’ I’m like, ‘I’m okay.’ She knows. So she’s very hands on. She’s very sweet. It’s real. I think that’s why I was so emotional.”

Gwen Stefani and Rose Short
| Credit: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The fact that Stefani checks in has meant a lot to the 34-year-old Killeen, Texas, native, who lost a good friend at the beginning of the live shows.

“This week was a real emotional week for me because at the start of the lives, I lost a really good friend,” she explained. “I couldn’t go down to the funeral. I think I could’ve asked if they would’ve let me go just for one day, but then I talked to her mama and she was like, ‘Just stay there and do what you have to do.’ It was just a lot, so I was real emotional. I think it all just started coming down tonight.”

With her performance, Short felt she was “finally able to release some things.”

“I just feel like I finally was able to let some things out,” she said. “You know when you’re just working and you’re just going. I grieved for my friend for two weeks but it was, like, okay, you got to keep on going. I didn’t think I would connect with this song that much … I’m just full of emotions. I thought I was going to break down in the middle of it. I had to hold it together.”

Rose Short
| Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

If Short is voted through to the final four on Tuesday night, she’ll have the opportunity to sing a duet with an artist of her choice during the finale. At the top of her list is none other than Mary J. Blige.

“I’ve been listening to her since I was 6 years old,” she said. “I absolutely adore her. She is one who didn’t try to outdo herself. She literally remained consistent. She was stylish, she would come through with her boots, she would come through with her different hair, but you always felt her music. I always felt her through her music. That, to me, is what’s most important when you’re doing this. Like, what’s the message that you’re trying to convey?”

“If you’ve got a microphone that can reach the whole world and you’re not saying anything, then you’re wrong,” she continued. “You should be doing this to reach and touch somebody. If I could work with Mary J. Blige, Listen … I envisioned it, and I got emotional. I envisioned it and got so choked up. I just have genuine respect for her and I know if I was to ever meet her, she would be as real as I know she is.”

Rose Short
| Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

While she usually likes to spread a message through her music, Short admitted sometimes “you’re not going to connect with everything.”

“I listen to trap music, a little rap,” she said. “Sometimes you want to praise the lord and sometimes you just feel like you want to sell drugs. You don’t really want to sell drugs, but you know, living that life in your mind. It’s a mood, it’s a vibe. You don’t really want to do it, it’s just in your mind. You know how you’re corporate but you’re selling drugs on the way to work? That’s how it is. You can have a good time because that’s life. But at the same time, it has to be somewhere down the line where you’re saying, ‘I want this to touch somebody.’ I want to make a difference.”

Rose Short and Gwen Stefani
| Credit: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Through it all, Short said Stefani has been her biggest supporter — and isn’t afraid to call her out when she’s being too critical of herself.

“Gwen checked me on stage,” she said. “I don’t know which round it was, but I think it was the top 13. I was singing, and she was like, ‘You look beautiful.’ I’m like, ‘Girl, my stomach … ‘ She was like, ‘Stop it.’ She said, ‘Stop.’ I’m like, ‘Well, damn.’ It was like, ‘Okay, stop doing that to yourself. You’re enough. Don’t do that.’ That’s what my mom does — she’ll snap you up. That’s how she is. Like I said, I was having a rough week. Just by her checking on me and making sure I was straight … that, to me, means everything.”

The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.