On May 20, 2014, NBC's sixth season of their Emmy-winning reality TV competition The Voice concluded with the first victory by a performer competing on the team of a rotating coach: Josh Kaufman of Team Usher.
The victories of the previous five seasons had all been divided amongst The Voice's two recurring coaches: Adam Levine won in season 1 and 5 with Javier Colon and Tessanne Chin, while Blake Shelton won seasons 2 through 4 with Jermaine Paul, Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery.
And it certainly wasn't from lack of trying by the rotating coaches. Of the four, only Shakira has never once coached a season's runner-up. Previously, Juliet Simms represented Team Cee Lo as runner-up of Season 2, Michelle Chamuel came in second place for Team Usher during Season 4, and Jacquele Lee almost gave the win to Team Christina in Season 5.
But somehow, some way, whether by effectively organizing and rallying their supporters, or through masterful coaching and marketing, Adam Levine or Blake Shelton always managed to come out on top in the end.
It's debatable what went wrong for them this season, but it's definitely worth noting that their sudden loss coincides with something this column has already called attention to: The shift in focus away from the search for quality talent and onto the childish feuding between Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.
It's been noted that this is a point of contention among at least a few viewers, but right up until this point, Adam and Blake had been poised to repeat their success. Before Blake tweeted Adam's cell phone number, Teams Shakira and Usher had been whittled down to one each.
More than that, Team Usher suffered what many considered to be a crushing blow with the early loss of Bria Kelly, the contestant whom Adam referred to as "the one that got away" while Blake reserved every single one of his steals for only to use on her opponents.
Then the tweet went out, and the next week, Blake lost two thirds of his team. Team Adam completed the other half of the bottom four, and the very next week, Two of Adam's contestants were forced to compete for the instant save again.
This may or may not be the reason their collective undefeated streak was broken, but were I to give advice to Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, it would be to consider it as a possible reason and to address it when The Voice returns for Season 7.
This was genuinely their only shortcoming. Team Adam and Team Blake were in no way lacking during this season. After so easily besting Team Usher and Team Shakira during the first two rounds, this should not have been the first season where they both failed to deliver.
If America wants to watch talent judges bickering and badmouthing each other, they have American Idol.
If they want to watch a judge do something childish and stupid like dump manure onto another judge's car, they can watch America's Got Talent.
The Voice was supposed to be above all this -- was supposed to be all about the music. With Usher vacating his seat once again and no titles to be defended, it is the hope of this column that the focus onto that which once made The Voice so great will be returned.