Fans have been waiting a long time for season 22 of “The Voice” to finally start. They got their wish on Monday, September 19, when coaches John Legend, Camila Cabello, Blake Shelton and his wife, Gwen Stefani, settled into their big red chairs.
The arrangement of the seats had changed a bit. Instead of husband and wife sitting next to each other, newcomer, Cabello sat between them. Legend sat on the other side of Shelton, where Kelly Clarkson and Adam Levine both lived.
Fans have long debated whether Gwen Stefani is really a country artist. Many fans were upset recently when Stefani was allowed to perform on the sacred stage of The Grand Ole Opry with her husband Blake Shelton, claiming she didn’t deserve it. One poster asked, “Does she even care…? What would that even mean to her.” Another commented: “She is NOT a country singer.”
Fans have also commented on how Stefani has started to dress more like a country star since she married Shelton. On July 29, she angered fans on Instagram after she posted a video showing her stuff in her white fringed cowboy boots. One viewer’s comment read, “Man, you’re so desperate and annoying. Country music hates you. Stop stealin style that’s not yours. It’s boring.” Someone else wrote, “Western clothing has a deep and important American personality and it’s not you!!” Another commented: “Starts dating a country man and thinks she should wear bangs.”
Stefani may have stoked that same pot at the Monday night premiere of “The Voice” when she tried to use her connection with Shelton to get country artists on her team. The first time it happened was when she tried to win four seats from contestant Orlando Mendez, aka the Cuban Cowboy.
In her bid to lure the country singer to Team Gwen, she stated, “I’m actually country now too. Like, I went to the country.” Mendez ultimately chose coach Camila Cabello because of their hometown roots.
The second time Stefani played the map was when contestant Jay Allen sang Cody Johnson’s “‘Til You Can’t”. He also sang an original song he wrote for his mother, who died of early Alzheimer’s disease.
Stefani’s pitch to Allen was, “Blake, he taught me so much about country music and I got to be on two number one country hits with Blake Shelton. It made me so happy to recognize that song” (referring to “‘Til You Can'” t”).
Stefani went on to say, “It’s a bit of two for one because I can just ask him if I have any questions.” She referred to Shelton, who replied with a cocky, “you would.” This time the field succeeded and Allen chose Stefani as his coach.
Some fans weren’t thrilled with the way Stefani used her relationship with Shelton to win over country artists. One fan posted on Instagram: “Come on Gwen, follow your own people, and what kind of commentary makes people want to watch the show when you say I can just ask Blake for help.”
Another Instagram user commented: “I don’t understand people. I mean if you want to sing country go with the king of the country WOW”
Another viewer complained, “Gwen took him from her own husband.”
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