Last night, we saw Team Blake contestant Erin Willett tear up while talking to Blake Shelton about her father. At the time the show was taped, Erin’s father, Chuck Willett, was in the final stages of his life.

An emotional Erin came to Blake the day before the battle round after finding out her father only had 24 hours left to live. She knew her father wanted her to stay in the competition, but it would be a very hard task.

In a recent conference call, we learned that Erin’s father sadly passed away before she took the battle round stage.

“My dad ended up passing away right before the battle rounds,” Erin said. “I’m so grateful that he was able to be there for blind auditions.”

What a tough challenge for her to overcome! She praised the support of her family, Blake Shelton, other Voice contestants, and even battle round rival, Gwen Sebastian.

Erin talked about first approaching her coach with the news.

“At first I’ll honestly say that it was kind of awkward,” Erin admitted. “I didn’t know what to talk about ... But to feel someone genuinely reach out to you, when they didn’t really need to. Having him step away from being a mentor and step closer to just being a friend was great.”

When she needed emotional support, Erin called on an unlikely friend.

“[Gwen] was always one call away,” Erin said. “She would check on me before I went to bed. It’s really hard, but when you have such mutual respect for each other, you’re just happy for the other person. And I know Gwen was genuinely happy for me.”

But it wasn’t just her teammates that gave her support on The Voice.

Pip and Nathan actually sent me flowers and my mom called me crying. It was the sweetest thing,” she said.

Erin said her family did not resent her sticking with the show. In fact, it was mostly their idea.

“All the decisions I made were not just my decisions. They were my family’s decisions,” she said.

Our thoughts are with Erin and her entire family.


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