“The Voice” has been the object of criticism in its four-season run for both not launching a superstar on par with “American Idol” and for allowing singers with professional experience to compete. No one is more aware of this than three-time winning coach Blake Shelton.
After Danielle Bradbery scored a three-peat for Team Blake on Tuesday (June 18), Shelton spoke with reporters backstage about the 16-year-old singer’s win and what it means to boost the show’s credibility in the face of its detractors.
“‘The Voice’ gets some criticism in the past for bringing in artists that have had record deals and have been on tours and are professionals,” Shelton admits. “They can kiss our a** now because Danielle Bradbery is a kid who — the biggest audience she ever had was at her Thanksgiving dinner before this competition. We found somebody on this show and luckily she gave us the opportunity.
“And we saw her grow, and we saw her become a star before our very eyes. We found somebody on ‘The Voice,’ you know what I mean? We found somebody on ‘The Voice,'” he adds. “There have been artists on ‘The Voice’ before that go on to be stars, but I think Danielle Bradbery gave us the opportunity to actually discover a true superstar right here on this show.”
Though it was his third win as coach, it was Shelton’s first with a genuine country artist — something he’d been hoping for all along. “I said from the beginning — I mean the beginning, like when I signed on for this show — I’d like to take a country act from the beginning to the end and now that’s happened,” he says. “It’s so funny that along the way, I read all these things, the critics…the naysayers out there and now it’s happened and they can kiss my a** because we worked hard for this.”
And his involvement in Bradbery’s life doesn’t stop with the show. Shelton says that as long as she, or anyone else on his team, wants him around, he’ll be there. “I try to be as involved with these acts as they want me to be. I don’t ever want to be somebody that forces myself on them and I don’t try to be the smartest guy, business-wise, that they’ve ever met,” he admits. “I give them my opinion and I try to sit them down, each of them, and steer them in the right direction that I think they should go and they can take it or leave it. I’m as involved with the artists on my team as they want me to be and that’s not just — that’s until the day I die, no question.”