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The Voice

The Voice 2013: How Blake Shelton’s Country Bias Could Hurt Him in Season 4

For the past two seasons of The Voice, Team Blake Shelton has been the place to be. The country crooner has nurtured his artists, launched several careers, and two of his contestants have gone on to win the entire show.

But this season, artists probably should have gone for one of the other three coaches if they weren’t sporting a southern accent. Though he’s always been a country boy at heart, Blake’s bias toward the country contestants is especially apparent this season.

His newest tagline, “I’ve just gotta stick with what I know,” has become the swan song for all contestants who were raised above the Mason-Dixon line. Thus far pop singers Michelle Raitzin and Trevor Davis, bar singer Christian Porter, and coffee shop songbird Caroline Glaser have all been axed from his team, in favorite of country artists Holly Tucker, Grace Askew, The Swon Brothers, and Danielle Bradbery.

In some situations (Holly vs. Michelle, for example), the country win was deserved. But Blake consistently calling the battle a “tie” and then siding with the twang-happy artists isn’t the best pattern.

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There’s been talk in The Voice community about the lack of country winners in previous seasons. So maybe Blake’s taken it upon himself as the coach who’s “made country cool” to produce a country winner from his team.

If that’s the case, rocker Jacqui Sandell, R&B blonde bombshells The Morgan Twins, and newly stolen gymnast Taylor Beckham should be counting their days.

Obviously, Blake’s background in country music makes him the best to coach a country artist, but we miss the objectivity he once had when working with artists like Cassadee Pope (who incorporated country into her pop rock sound and went on to win Season 3).

We respect Blake’s decision to keep teen Danielle Bradbery. Her powerful voice is unexpected and filled with youthful innocence. But pairing her with the ethereal Caroline Glaser was a big mistake on his part. Clearly, he favored Danielle from the start, but that’s because he hadn’t given his non-country singing contestant a true chance. Now Team Adam Levine has stolen Caroline and taken what could have been a game-changing member of Blake’s team.

Credit: Trae Patton/NBC © NBC Universal, Inc.    

One elimination that’s really inexcusable is the loss of quirky musician Christian Porter. The former bar singer auditioned with a creative rendition of LMFAO’s “Sexy And I Know It” and went on to prove that he was more than his gimmick during the battle rounds. Christian was pitted against The Swon Brothers from Oklahoma singing Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” Not only did the singer work hard to hit some of his more challenging notes, but the country duo merely sounded like his harmonious backup singers. Even Usher urged the crowd to “give it up for Christian Porter!” right after the battle ended. Christian clearly stole the show and Blake bias only cost him another valuable member of his team.

Christina Aguilera had a similar issue in Season 3 when she attempted to round up a powerhouse team of pop singers. In the process she eliminated fan favorite singer De’Borah and her contestant pool was the first to dry up in the live shows.

Do you think Blake’s tactic of favoring country artists will prove successful or should he change things up a bit? Tell us below!

04.18.2013 / 11:12 PM EDT by Rachel McRady
Related: The Voice, Blake Shelton, Gossip, Music, News, The Voice 2013

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