One thing that has become abundantly clear on this season of (Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV TWO) is that male country singers don’t choose Team Kelly Clarkson. The two-time back-to-back Voice champ has been vocal about her frustration with male country singers during Season 16, with fellow coaches John Legend, Blake Shelton, and Adam Levine for the most part sitting idly by as Clarkson is continually passed over. With Monday as the final night of the Blind Auditions, the running gag of Clarkson’s ‘country-man-repellent’ came to an end, but not before we were forced to ask the question, ‘why don’t male country artists choose Team Kelly?’
Season 16 has been full of the usual high dose of country that comes with each new crop of singers on The Voice, and as usual, most country artists pick Team Blake when presented with options. But not all of them. When deciding between Team Blake and Team Kelly, women tend to be split between the two, but out of the three times Clarkson and Shelton battled for a male country singer, they picked Shelton every time. With Blake’s team full, it seemed like Kelly would finally earn her first male country singer with hipster-turned-Garth Brooks Andrew Jannakos on Monday night.
He picked Adam.
The Voice coach is only three seasons into her tenure on the show, but Clarkson already has a proven track record for supporting artists on her team. Currently on her Meaning of Life Tour, Clarkson enlisted her first winning artist Brynn Cartelli as a tour opener, giving the Season 14 winner a huge amount of exposure.
Clarkson has also been supporting artists from last season and not just winner Chevel Shephard. Joining Clarkson during one of her tour stops was Lynnea Moorer, who was part of last season’s Comeback Stage, entering Team Kelly late in the game, but obviously still receiving a huge amount of love from Clarkson on The Voice and beyond.
Clarkson did finally get her male country singer on Monday night, but she was also the only coach who still had a spot on her team. Teen country singer Jackson Marlow told Clarkson that she was his first choice, but we don’t really know, do we?
Blake Shelton is the King of Country. We’re not denying that. But now in her third season, Clarkson has continually been forced on a weekly basis to pull out her discography and family tree (Reba McEntire is her mother-in-law, y’all!) and prove her country cred with each country artist. Women often pick her, but men? No.
This wouldn’t be so troubling if it didn’t feel like déjà vu to Season 13 host Miley Cyrus and her constant reminder that she has achy breaky country roots as well (Dolly Parton is her godmother, y’all!).
Sure, it could be that both Cyrus and Clarkson are much better known for their work in the pop world. We get that. But it is interesting that men seem to have a hard time choosing two coaches who are known for supporting their team members when picking a team (just this week Cyrus attended the funeral of former contestant ). We love Blake Shelton, but maybe it’s time to get a full-time female country singer in the first chair on the right.
Ironically, Clarkson’s husband Brandon Blackstock is Shelton’s manager, so if you really want to be close to someone who can make a career in country happen, that person is Kelly.
FINAL TEAMS AFTER THE BLIND AUDITIONS
Carter Lloyd Horne