'The Voice' artist Ryan Gallagher denies show's claims he violated COVID-19 protocols: "Nothing could be further from the truth"
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/07/2020
Former The Voice artist Ryan Gallagher has denied violating coronavirus rules in light of reports that's why he was kicked off The Voice's nineteenth season, and NBC has issued a response.
Last week, the Michigan news website MLive reported that Gallagher, a 32-year-old singer and former backup choir vocalist for Josh Groban from Ada, MI, was forced off the NBC reality singing competition due to breaking COVID-19 rules, which were put in place to keep the entire The Voice cast and crew safe.
"The Voice has strict Covid protocols in place to secure a safe set. Ryan broke those protocols and out of an abundance of caution, we cannot have him continue in the competition and potentially put others at risk," NBC Universal representative Tori Walsh told MLive in a statement at the time.
But Gallagher has taken issue with NBC's explanation for his removal from The Voice.
"Last Sunday 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," Ryan's personal manager Michael Catalano told People in a statement.
"In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth."
Catalano added that Gallagher "understands all too well how serious the Covid 19 pandemic is in this country and around the world."
"In fact," Catalano continued, "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."
NBC and MGM, however, continue to stand their ground on the subject in support of Walsh's original claim.
"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," NBC and MGM told People in response to Catalano's statement.
"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."
Catalano insisted that The Voice fans are missing parts of the story.
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"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 will respond to these damaging allegations," Catalano told the magazine.
"Ryan, whose performing career began at age fifteen as a backup singer for Josh Groban in Michigan, has been devastated by the show's dismissal. A career as a singer/performer has been his life-long dream."
Catalano finally thanked Gallagher's fans and supporters for standing by him.
"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," Catalano concluded.
"He remains very, very appreciative. Thank you for your continued support of Ryan Gallagher during this difficult time."
Gallagher's absence from last Monday night's episode was initially shocking and sudden.
Gallagher first addressed his unexpected departure after he was a no-show on the November 30 broadcast of The Voice, telling fans on Twitter he did not leave The Voice due to illness or a family emergency.
"Thank you everybody for your concern for my family. However everybody's fine. That's not the cause of what happened tonight on The Voice," Gallagher said in a video posted to his Twitter account and Instagram Stories at the time.
Gallagher therefore hinted his exit was not in relation to his mother's recent hospitalization with COVID-19.
"I didn't drop out of the show," Gallagher also confirmed. "Details are still to come. I'll keep you posted."
Gallagher followed up his post on Instagram Stories with, "2020, you are an interesting one."
The Voice fans received no explanation on the November 30 show as to why Gallagher will no longer compete on the show this season.
The "Team Kelly" member was supposed to join three other artists onstage -- Blake Shelton's team member Taryn Papa, John Legend's artist Julia Cooper, and Gwen Stefani's team member Larriah Jackson -- to learn the results of their Four-Way Knockout that had aired on NBC the previous week.
"Last week, one artist from each team competed in a heated Four-Way Knockout," The Voice host Carson Daly said at the top of the November 30 broadcast.
"Team Blake's Taryn Papa, Team Legend's Julia Cooper and Team Gwen's Larriah Jackson all join me now. As a side note, Team Kelly's Ryan Gallagher had to exit the competition, so the Four-Way winner was decided based on the votes received for these three remaining artists."
Although it's unclear whether Gallagher had received the most votes from his Four-Way Knockout, Daly ultimately announced Taryn would advance based on the votes that were tallied for the other three contestants.
Cooper and Jackson were therefore eliminated from the competition and Papa performed as a member of the Top 17 in the Live Playoffs for home-viewer votes.
The Top 9 artists were then determined on Tuesday, December 1 on NBC, and Papa didn't make the cut.
Gallagher performed Andrea Bocelli's "Time To Say Goodbye" for his Four-Way Knockout and definitely impressed the coaches.
"Ryan, you stand out above everyone because no one sings like you," Clarkson told her team member after his performance.
"Even if I don't even know what you're saying, it didn't even matter. It was so moving and that's the kind of voice I love. It's time for a fresh new thing!"
When Gallagher first stepped on The Voice stage in the Blind Auditions that aired last month, he blew everyone away with his rendition of Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion's "The Prayer."