Blake Shelton has reigned as a coach for the TV singing competition The Voice for years. But now, the country music superstar is facing accusations that he is exploiting his love for Gwen Stefani by using her as “bait” to hook contestants and get them on his team, reported Us Weekly.
The blind auditions on The Voice can play a key role in determining whether a coach has a chance to get one or more contestants all the way to the finals. Consequently, Shelton is taking advantage of his new girlfriend by using her fame to lure the best singers to his Voice team, a source told Us.
“To get people on his team, Blake will say, ‘I don’t want to brag, but my girlfriend is the queen of ska.'”
The next season of The Voice premieres September 19, and for long-time fans of the show, it could seem like a flashback when it comes to Shelton using his romantic relationship to build his team.
“Blake used to say, ‘My wife, Miranda Lambert, is the best female country star,'” recalled the source.
The country music crooner and Miranda divorced last summer. They were married for four years, and Lambert even took on a role on The Voice as a mentor for his team at one point. In another example of deja vu when it comes to how Shelton uses his romantic relationships for the show, he subsequently gave a role as a mentor to Gwen during a season of The Voice.
When season 11 of The Voice debuts in a few months, viewers may see Blake using his current girlfriend’s name to bribe singers to his team. However, Us Weekly notes that it’s not just a fake romance to boost publicity for The Voice.
“He talks about Gwen a lot,” added the insider. “He’s always gushing about her and is so happy!”
Both Shelton and Stefani were coaches for The Voice during season 9, with rumors that the two were more than platonic pals quickly getting confirmed as they started to date publicly.
As for the accusations that Blake is exploiting his relationship with his girlfriend to lure contestants to his team on The Voice, it could just reflect the country music crooner’s fondness for “goofing around,” pointed out She Knows.
Moreover, because Shelton and Stefani specialize in different musical genres, contestants who swallow his bait about his girlfriend can help him build a team that has more variety, giving Blake a chance to experiment himself.
Fans of both Shelton and The Voice can look forward to more than seeing if they can spot signs of his new romance during the upcoming season. In addition to gushing about Stefani, Blake has been sharing his excitement over Miley Cyrus, who will be joining him on The Voice, reported ET.
While some fans might be disappointed that they won’t get to see the blossoming romance between Shelton and Stefani on The Voice during the next season, in its place they can anticipate observing the relationship between the country crooner and the “Wrecking Ball” singer.
Shelton recently appeared on Chelsea Handler’s Netflix show, where he shared just how much he admires the young singer as Cyrus slinks into a coach chair for season 11 of The Voice.
“I like Miley,” emphasized the singer.
However, Shelton expressed concern that Cyrus has become known more for her antics and sometimes wild outfits rather than for her skill as a musician.
“I feel like her antics sometimes keep people from realizing what an incredible singer she is,” pointed out Blake. “I know that’s what she wants.”
Consequently, the country crooner is looking forward to working with Miley during the next season of The Voice despite their different lifestyles.
“We completely understand each other, and just because she lives her life one way and I live my life one way doesn’t mean we’re not friends. Because, God, if that was the case, I wouldn’t have — especially in this town, Los Angeles — everyone would hate me,” he admitted.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]