‘The Voice’: Blake Shelton Shades Himself By Saying the Show Has Finally Found its ‘First Superstar’

by Katie Maloney

Blake Shelton kinda put his foot in his mouth with this one.

“The Voice” has been around for 20 seasons now. Undoubtedly, lots of talent has passed through the show. But none of the winners from the show have reached the caliber that stars like Kelly Clarkson or Jennifer Hudson reached after competing in the rival show “American Idol.” It’s not a secret. Everyone has noticed it. Even so, it was still pretty bold of coach Blake Shelton to subtly call out the show during the actual show!

During last night’s episode of “The Voice” Team Blake contestant, Cam Anthony belted his rendition of Hozier’s “Take Me to Church.” And the crowd went wild. Shelton praised the contestant saying, “I’ve never had more people asking me about an artist on my team in 20 seasons of doing this show, man. You could be the first superstar that we launch off the show.”

Cam Howard’s performance on “The Voice”

Blake Shelton Isn’t Wrong For Throwing Shade During Last Night’s Episode of ‘The Voice’

Whoops! Those comments can definitely be interpreted as (inadvertent) shade thrown at “The Voice.” But Blake Shelton said what Blake Shelton said. And, honestly, it’s the truth. In 10 years, the show hasn’t produced one superstar performer. Yes, Morgan Wallen (2014), Melanie Martinez (2012), and Chris Mann (2012) have all reached high levels of success. However, none of them really did it with the help of “The Voice.” They only reached their level of fame after contracting with other record labels or platforms. So, what’s the problem? Why isn’t “The Voice” cranking out superstars?

The answer is Universal Records. Universal Records is the record label that “The Voice” winners are supposed to work with after the show. However, the label has failed multiple times to ever even release a record with many of the winners. Blake Shelton and his fellow “The Voice” coach Adam Levine have both been vocal about their disappointment with Universal Records when it comes to backing the winners from the show.

During a press conference after the Season 11 finale of “The Voice,” Shelton said to winner Sundance Head, “I want to personally issue a challenge to Universal Records. This is the guy that I think can break the mold and become a star out of this show. And I give my word that I’ll put my work in, and I know he will. This guy deserves to be a star, and there are no excuses anymore. We need to make the record and put the work in that he deserves, to have this success that he deserves. And that has to start with Universal Records getting involved and behind him.” 

Adam Levine also criticized the label during an interview in 2018.

“Once we pass the torch, it is the record label that completely destroys that,” said Levine. “My last two winners never even had an album released.”