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Blake Shelton tarnishes NBC broadcast, The Voice's reputation

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On April 26, 2014, this column wrote about the fallacies of America's Got Talent, now entering its 9th season, particularly in relation to its judges and how they compare to the otherwise responsible and invested coaches on The Voice.

During the April 29, 2014 broadcast of The Voice, however, those preconceptions about The Voice were shattered.

This week's broadcast should have been known as one of the strongest competitions ever; a live performance round marked by solid performances across the board and a results show which not only saw one of their top contenders, Bria Kelly, eliminated early, but ultimately eliminated in favor of Kat Perkins, whom Kelly had been declared the winner over when they competed head to head during the knockout rounds.

Instead, all of the buzz is over coach Blake Shelton, who did something so spiteful and so childish that even the combined hostility of American Idol's Nicki Minaj and the immaturity of America's Got Talent's Howie Mandel does not compare.

Midway through the broadcast, Shelton announced via his Twitter account that he had rival coach Adam Levine's personal cell phone number, which he joked about releasing.

Which was not all that funny to begin with, and even less so when he actually went ahead and did it:

HEY EVERYONE!!! Here it is: (XXX) XXX-XXXX <-- @adamlevine's CELL NUMBER! Think I'm kidding? Try calling it!! B****!!!

Shortly thereafter, Levine's cell phone was described as ringing off the hook. Shelton's tweet was also reportedly retweeted over thirty thousand times.

Shelton apologized and claimed to be so sorry that he began taking Levine's calls for him. That said, he was not sorry enough to delete the tweet from his account.

This is the very sort of childish feuding by American Idol judges which this column credited with its eventual fall from grace. It is a disservice to NBC, and even more to the singers, many of whom have their entire careers in entertainment hanging in the balance.

Levine promised revenge, but were he to ask for advice, this column's recommendation would be to avoid stooping to Shelton's level. The better course of action would be to put as much distance between Shelton and himself as possible; to refuse to coach any more seasons in which Shelton is also present and to refuse to take part in any further collaborations with him in the future.

With this action, Shelton has indicated that a childish feud is now more important to him than the integrity of The Voice, and by extension, the future of the artists he is supposed to be coaching. That kind of behavior does not belong anywhere, and the best way Levine could demonstrate such immediately is by refusing to have anything to do with it.

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