The Voice 23: Alex Whalen Explains Sudden Exit Before his Battle

Alex Whalen - The Voice 23 Blind Audition
Pictured: Alex Whalen — (Photo by: Casey Durkin/NBC)

Alex Whalen uploaded a youtube video explaining why he left The Voice ahead of his battle with Team Blake Shelton partner, Neil Sasich. Neil performed their song “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” solo and advanced to the Knockouts by default.

Alex tested positive for COVID

The Florida singer, by way of London England, recorded the clip the day before the Battle was set to film. Unfortunately that morning, he tested positive for COVID. He said that “unfortunately” the positive test “is going to end my participation in The Voice season 23.”

Why did Alex Whalen Drop Out of The Voice 23 Battles?

“I feel fine. I’m asymptomatic, at least for right now. It’s unfortunate, but it is life.” It’s an unlucky break. “I do plan to do everything I can to come back as soon as possible. I’m very excited to do that.” For what it’s worth, an artist who turned a chair has never come back to the show, other than Jej Vinson this season, who returned as part of a singing group, Sheer Element. So far, if a singer leaves the competition in the middle, they don’t come back. It’s unclear if producers are making an exception for him, or he’s just hoping to make a return work.

Alex is disappointed, but he remains upbeat and grateful for his The Voice experience, thanking a slew of people both in front of and behind the camera.

“It’s really unfortunate that I couldn’t continue”

“I’d like to say thank you to Blake,” said Alex. “Obviously for giving me a shot at this. It’s really unfortunate that I couldn’t continue. And it was cool that I got to be on Blake’s last team. It’s just a shame that I didn’t get to go as far as I’d like to have.”

He also thanked his fellow Team Blake members. “It’s been really fun hanging out with you guys. I know a lot of things get lost in translation because of the varying times we grew up but it has been really fun. I wish you all the best.”

He only sends good thoughts to his battle partner. “And Neil mate, knock ’em dead man. It’s been really fun hanging out and working with ya. I’m so sorry that we couldn’t get through this together. But I know you’re going to do great, mate.”

“I really wish you guys all the best”

He hopes that every contestant on the show “get what you came here for. I hope you get what you needed for your careers and I really wish you guys all the best.”

He thanks the production team, saying he was “not a TV guy” and “quite cynical about this whole process, but everyone here’s been wonderful and it’s difficult to believe that you guys can move people around do do such great logistic work with smiles on your face all the time.”

He thanks Lisa, presumably a production person. “I know you’re trying to fight in my corner. I really appreciate it,” he says. Maybe she’s helping him arrange an unprecedented return, or fought to find a way to allow him to stay in the competition. American Idol rounds are a different beast compared to The Voice, but the production allows singers out with COVID to perform remotely from their hotel rooms. Considering The Voice’s highly and meticulously produced performances, remote performances could be hard to pull off.

Neil is going to move on to the Knockouts

The thing is, Alex would have likely lost the battle in any case against Neil, who turned 4 chairs in his audition.

“Alex had personal reasons to bow out of the competition,” said Blake during Neil’s montaged performance. “So obviously Neil’s going to move on to the Knockouts.” He added, “It’s never easy to see artists going home, but Neil has a ton of charisma. He did a great job today.”

Alex’s performance of “Help Me Make it Through the Night” in the Blind Auditions, turned two chairs.

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!