“The Voice” is just winding up its 12th season, and some fans are saying they won’t be back for the 13th.
The controversy started way back in 2015, but it has recently reached a fever pitch. In order to understand the whole ugly scenario, let’s go back to that stunning moment in 2015 when Blake Shelton told his Voice co-hosts that he was divorcing his then-wife, Miranda Lambert.
Co-host Gwen Stefani described the moment in a shocking tell-all interview on the Howard Stern Show in 2016.
“We were all mic-ed up and everything, and Blake’s like, ‘I gotta talk to you guys,'” Stefani told Stern. And he basically made his announcement. I think I might have went white and like shook. I was in shock, because it felt like he was exposing me.”
You see, Stefani was going through her own divorce then. She ended her 13-year marriage to Gavin Rossdale right around the same time. Shelton and Stefani began supporting each other through the pain and sorrow of a divorce. The next thing fans knew, the pair was dating. Their romance continues today.
Fans weren’t thrilled about the romance. Some called it a publicity stunt.
Others thought they moved on from their previous romances too quickly. But it isn’t so much the fact that Shelton and Stefani are an item that’s bothering fans of The Voice today. It’s that during the show’s 12th season, some fans felt that the show began to revolve around the Shelton–Stefani relationship at the expense of the talent on stage.
A fan named Brandi Castle posted her lament on social media. We quote it here with minor edits for grammar:
“I love The Voice, and don’t get me wrong, I have zero problem with Blake and Gwen being together,” Castle wrote. “I do, however, hate the fact they make the show all about their relationship and not the talent!!! It is called The Voice, not the Blake and Gwen Show!”
You don’t have to look very far for evidence of this new focus.
In a May episode of the show, a long moment was devoted to Shelton playfully acting out a jealous scene with Stefani. It started when Stefani paid a compliment to Chris Blue, an 18-year-old singer.
“Chris, you let yourself completely get absorbed into the music, almost as an out-of-body experience,” she told the singer. “I don’t even know if I was listening to your voice because I was so mesmerized by your body!”
Shelton reacted with mock rage, eventually asking Blue, “What’s your problem, man?” This is just one example of the way this high-profile relationship has become an ongoing plot line on a show that purports to be about discovering unknown talent.
If producers don’t step in and change the focus back to what’s happening on stage, fans might not show up for season 13.
Many feel the same as a fan named Lisa Mayo-Smith, who complained on social media that she doesn’t “like how they kept reminding everyone that Blake and Gwen were dating.”
“Don’t think I’ll watch the rest of the season,” Mayo-Smith wrote.
Although many Voice viewers are happy for Stefani and Shelton, we have to agree that it might be time to tone it down a little, get back to the show’s roots, and keep their private lives private.