Join 3,554 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Tyler Robinson vs. The World
May 11, 2011 12:07 AM   Subscribe

When Tyler Robinson auditioned for NBC's new reality singing contest show The Voice, he sang a great rendition of Train's "Hey, Soul Sister". He also came out as gay (and Mormon) on national television. And he was chosen by Blake Shelton to be on his coaching team for the show. The problem? Blake has a bit of a problem with teh gayz.

The Voice has four out gay contestants this year. And the day after Tyler ended up on Blake's team, Blake sent out this tweet implying physical violence toward any gay man who might make advances on him. GLAAD immediately called for an apology. Blake's series of tweets which follow basically use the "I have gay friends" defense.

This might pass muster if he hadn't already mocked Jake Gyllenhaal for his role in Brokeback Mountain at the Country Music Awards just a few weeks ago. Queerty examined this last week.

In tonight's "Battle Round" of The Voice, Tyler was paired with another member of Blake's team to sing "Hunka Hunka Burnin' Love". A short recap of all four coaches responses to the performance can be found scrolling down on this page: Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, and Christina Aguilera all picked Tyler. Blake chose the other guy, eliminating Tyler from the competition. And people are wondering whether he deserved it. (Comments not horrible, worth reading.)

Bonus Tyler Robinson videos: "Price Tag" by Jesse J. "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. "Honey Bee" by Blake Shelton. "Bluebird" by Sara Bareilles. Highlight reel from RENT.
posted by hippybear (59 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Apologies if any of these videos are blocked outside the US. Unless companies post in plaintext that the videos are blocked, I don't have any simple way to test for that.
posted by hippybear at 12:12 AM on May 11, 2011


The story lyrically, I’ve heard Pat talk about this in interviews. He’s always heard of Burning Man. Somewhere in the Californian desert, they do it every year. It’s this whole city in the desert that gets built for a festival that happens every year. They build a huge man out of wood and at the end of the festival they burn it. Pat had never been to Burning Man, but he had an image in his head of what it must be like. All these beautiful women dancing around the fire. That was the imagery he conjured up when he was writing the lyrics to, “Hey, Soul Sister.” It’s a pretty big deal. Thousands and thousands of people go to it every year. People run around naked and I guess it’s a total crazy deal.
posted by benzenedream at 12:26 AM on May 11, 2011


I don't have any simple way to test for that.

I thought some of your best friends were Gabonese?

(Testing the links from unAmerica, the embedded twirlit video gives me a "connection failure" message but the others seem to work as intended.)
posted by pracowity at 12:26 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know Blake Shelton, but I hope he likes country music, because he's pretty much just banned himself from making any sort of meaningful imprint or album sales in any other kind of genre.

(checks his Wikipedia page)

:( Carry on then.
posted by mreleganza at 12:28 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whatever that guy tweets, I'm proud of America for openly accepting gay people on mainstream reality television shows. Although my gaydar "ding ding dings" pretty hard for that Blake fellow, anyway, and those suppressing their true sexuality tend to be the meanest about other peoples'.

That said, can any rendition of a Train song be "great"?
posted by Mooseli at 12:31 AM on May 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


wish you would've been considerate and warned about spoilers from tonight's episode of The Voice. I haven't watched it yet.
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:33 AM on May 11, 2011


wish you would've been considerate and warned about spoilers from tonight's episode of The Voice. I haven't watched it yet.

MetaFilter has already hashed out their policy on spoilers. If you don't want to encounter them, stay away from threads involving things you don't want spoiled.

Sorry about that. It's only one of the four battle rounds, and you haven't actually seen much of what happened, so you'll be fine when you watch the hour.
posted by hippybear at 12:36 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


wish you would've been considerate and explained the context of all this.

Is Tyler a contestant, and Blake a judge? Or is Blake a contestant?

Oh, wait, is this all manufactured "drama" designed to get people to follow another low-budget reality show/contest?

Meanwhile, as I understand it, Frank Kameny, who suffered a lot more for being gay than Tyler has, and whose pioneering sacrifices made the world a lot safer for Tyler, is aging, broke, and unable to pay his real estate taxes. How about you Buy Frank a Drink?
posted by orthogonality at 12:51 AM on May 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


wish you would've been considerate and explained the context of all this.

wish someone would come and push back the clock for me

-Bob Dylan
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:55 AM on May 11, 2011


I think the problem began when he started singing "Hey Soul Sister".
posted by hal_c_on at 12:56 AM on May 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


he sang a great rendition of Train's "Hey, Soul Sister"

I was about to snark about how, by definition, there can't be any "great renditions" of any Train song, but that was actually a really good vocal performance in spite of the song's diamond-hard core of vapid trustafarianism.

As for Shelton and his views, etc., I've strongly suspected for a while that country music is at least as tightly closeted as hip-hop (with k.d. lang being the exception that proves the rule), if not more. It's only a matter of time before the "first" gay male country star finally comes forward or (more likely) is caught on the "down low."
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:58 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a vapid love song in this:
wish you would've
been considerate and
warned about spoilers
from tonight's episode
posted by pracowity at 1:23 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, wait, is this all manufactured "drama" designed to get people to follow another low-budget reality show/contest?

Only indirectly. It's actually designed to make you buy albums when the show's over.
posted by londonmark at 2:06 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


No backlash yet about his coming out as Mormon?
posted by ShutterBun at 2:45 AM on May 11, 2011


On behalf of all Blakes, I'm sorry.
posted by Blake at 4:07 AM on May 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


I don't know what The Voice is, or who Blake is, but like many people I don't know, he's a dick.
posted by clvrmnky at 4:09 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does this have more to do with civil rights or more to do with a dying media company trying to attract attention to itself in order to sell advertising?
posted by chanology at 4:37 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


1. Blake's initial tweet was weirdly pre-defensive, and his follow-ups were awful.

2. Blake reading a lame joke that he probably didn't even write as the presenter at an awards show? I'm not going to use that as evidence that he hates gays. It's not like he went in and said "Can you make sure my joke involves how I hate gays? Because I hate gays."

3. I don't watch The Voice. But in the battle clip posted, I saw one guy singing all country (and doing it well) and I saw another guy singing all soul (and doing it well, too). I think the simplest explanation for why Blake chose the country guy is that he's a country singer too and prefers that way of singing.
posted by 23skidoo at 4:49 AM on May 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


One of the reasons I stopped watching So You Think You Can Dance was the homophobia from the judging panel, especially Nigel Lithgow, who loved to criticise any male dancer who didn't appear "masculine" enough for him (i.e. straight enough). In the five seasons I watched the show, I can't recall a single male dancer being allowed to mention anything to do with being gay or having a boyfriend back home, though the straight ones often talked about their girlfriends or wives.

I've never seen American Idol, but it's my understanding that it's fairly similar there. Lithgow is one of their producers.

So good on The Voice for taking a step forwards and acknowledging that everybody isn't straight. And how sad it is that in 2011, that's a step forwards.

Shelton's tweets are ridiculous but I'm not sure it's clear from watching the linked clips that he ditched Tyler because he's gay. (I thought both of them were pretty bland, honestly.) I agree that's how it's going to come across, though, in light of Shelton's recent tweets, and it's probably a good argument for him keeping his opinions to himself for a while. Sometimes I think the only function of Twitter is to show us that celebrities can be tools, too.

Also, hey, that's what happened to Carson Daly.
posted by Georgina at 5:26 AM on May 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I hadn't realized this before, but it turns out I've got an internal filter that automatically dismisses anything said by a person named "Blake Shelton". Unless, of course, he's a 19th century British Egyptologist.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:09 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not convinced Tyler's dismissal as an unjust result of any Blake Shelton homophobia. I found Tyler adorable, and I'm sad that he was sent home, but I agree that his performance was kind of bland. Of the two gay male contestants, I think Nakia has the stronger voice than Tyler. Will be interesting to see BS's reaction to Nakia in the battle round, esp. since Nakia chose Cee Lo over Blake.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:19 AM on May 11, 2011


If you don't want to encounter them, stay away from threads involving things you don't want spoiled.

I'm sorry, but how was I supposed to know what was under the cut? It seemed to be a post about the story this past week regarding Blake Shelton's comments (which I have read about and was fully aware of), but then I found a whole host of spoilers underneath the cut that I couldn't know were there just a few hours after the show aired.

Don't patronize me and tell me I haven't missed much. I know how many rounds there are but between being as sick as a dog this week and working two jobs, I haven't had the chance to sit down and watch the tape yet.
posted by cmgonzalez at 6:51 AM on May 11, 2011


I'm sorry, but how was I supposed to know what was under the cut?

That's exactly the point.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:54 AM on May 11, 2011


No, the point was the post looked about something other than was advertised before the cut. It seemed to be about something I was already aware of, so I had no reason to reasonably expect spoilers by clicking or at least I expected a spoiler warning somewhere in there. Please tell me where before the cut I could've 100% known that hippybear was about to spoil the episode and not simply be discussing the Blake Shelton TWitter incident?
posted by cmgonzalez at 7:00 AM on May 11, 2011


Like hippybear pointed out, this has been done before. Please either read the thread you were directed to, or take it to meta, but don't shit in the thread anymore.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 7:09 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Georgina: So good on The Voice for taking a step forwards and acknowledging that everybody isn't straight. And how sad it is that in 2011, that's a step forwards.

Agreed. The Voice is shockingly open about its gay contestants, treating gay partners exactly like straight ones and including coming out in the biographies when the contestant shares that as an important part of their history. It's sad that it's such a shock in 2011, but it really does strike you if you're used to watching Idol or SYTYCD. Idol is so silent, censorious even, about the contestants' sexuality and the uncomfortable homophobic jokes between Seacrest and Simon in past years were cringeworthy. Lithgow's blatant heteronormativity makes SYTYCD feel pretty conflicted about homosexuality, even as some of the judges are openly gay. (Even then, an openly gay judge can get huge belly laughs by saying something that proves he's gay because such a statement is such a violation of the general tone of the show.)

The Voice should get a lot of credit for that, even if Shelton himself has said some pretty homophobic things. I think The Voice is a bigger story.
posted by callmejay at 7:27 AM on May 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


Okay, so there is definitely a bit of editorializing in this post. Not saying I disagree with it*, but I think it's pretty obvious what the OP's opinion is.

My take, FWIW:

That first tweet by Blake Shelton is disgusting, and he should be apologizing for it. The other tweets are just not enough to counter that--I personally feel he has a problem with gays now, and I'd need a lot of convincing to change my mind.

As far as "mocking Jake Gylenhall" goes though--really? The complete joke consists of Rebe McEntire asking why Gylenhall would break up with Taylor Swift, and Blake Shelton saying, *in entirety*, "Wait,wasn't he in Brokeback Mountain...?" Not particularly funny, but as far as mockery goes I'd call that incredibly lame. I think queerty is reaching on that one. Not to mention, it was weeks before the Tyler incident and almost certainly a joke (if you can call it that) written for him, not by him.

Also, just as a data point, you say Christina Aguilera picked Tyler, but she didn't favor one over the other from the comments I read on your link and others I checked out myself.

Watching the singing contest? I'd pick Tyler, hands down. He was more energetic, he nailed the background vocals when Patrick was singing, he just gave a better show. No contest, in my opinion. The most charitable reading I could give for him not winning is that Patrick does have the more typically "country" voice, but I'd still go for Tyler.

*I also think Blake Shelton, who I'd never heard of before this, is homophobic and an ass, if it matters.
posted by misha at 7:44 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ugh. I had a friend come out to me as 'confused' recently. He is terribly conflicted and entirely closeted, but taking tiny, tiny baby steps. Recently, for instance, we discussed the Modern Family Mother's Day episode which included a progressive and interesting storyline for Cam and Mitch, the gay couple. I was entirely pleased that he was brought it up. He is a total television guy, so I know positive portrayals of gay men in the media are going to be a huge part of him leaving the closet one day.

Then I heard about this Blake Shelton thing, and I just couldn't believe it. My friend watched the first episode of The Voice, and I don't know if he has been keeping up on it past that initial viewing, but it just breaks my heart that they are justifying staying in the closet because gays are scary and rawr, they will sexually assault country music singers.

Television matters. What these people on the idiot box say matters. America is listening...
posted by jenlovesponies at 7:54 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it's pretty obvious what the OP's opinion is.

Well, yeah. I was trying to be as neutral as possible in writing it up, but even the basic act of creating such a post is kind of a dead giveaway about my opinion. If I didn't view the world the way I do, I never would have been moved to create the FPP.

The NBC website has the official online clip of the battle performance and the judge reactions, if people are interested. (Probably blocked outside the US, it being NBC and all.)
posted by hippybear at 7:57 AM on May 11, 2011


Then I heard about this Blake Shelton thing, and I just couldn't believe it. My friend watched the first episode of The Voice, and I don't know if he has been keeping up on it past that initial viewing, but it just breaks my heart that they are justifying staying in the closet because gays are scary and rawr, they will sexually assault country music singers.

Unless I'm missing something, you're saying that Shelton said, on national TV, "I have to eliminate you cuz you have teh gheyz, and I don't want you crawlin' inside mah tighty whities..."

That didn't happen. In the past, he recited a scripted line on an awards show and then later he made some ill-considered Tweeterings of the type "men like him" will make... and then everything after that is just assumption.

Maybe this guy IS mind-blowingly homophobic, but so far, the evidence of that looks thin, and at best, circumstantial.

(Tangent: Do any of you have any idea how these "reality shows" are constructed and executed? Do you think the "Black Shelton" character simply made up his own mind about who to choose? Has it occured to none of you that the best possible outcome for the show's ratings is for the now-tarred-as-homophobic-by-the-TMZ-style-media judge to eliminate the wholesome, Mormon look-ma-I'm-GAY! guy? How many people will hear about this nontroversy now, and tune in "to see what's going on"?)
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 8:13 AM on May 11, 2011


This is just to say

I have spoiled
The show
That was on
The tv

And which
You were probably
Saving
For later

Forgive me
It was surprising
So current
And so fresh
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:17 AM on May 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Has it occured to none of you that the best possible outcome for the show's ratings is for the now-tarred-as-homophobic-by-the-TMZ-style-media judge to eliminate the wholesome, Mormon look-ma-I'm-GAY! guy?

What had actually occurred to me was that it would be the best possible outcome for him to do really really well up to the last few episodes, building a supportive audience base through his success but not actually allowing him to win. And also that after Shelton's tweets, having Tyler remain in the game would have given country music a great way to have a tiny bit of ambassadorship toward a community it still thinks it's okay to make hurf-durf jokes about actors who play gay in award-winning movies but who obviously aren't gay themselves. You know, a bit of bridge-building, as it were. I'm pretty sure the amount of ill-will that's been fostered among the queers who make media consumption a political choice won't be overcome by the number of looky-loos who tune in after the supposed scandal is already over.
posted by hippybear at 8:30 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, and Christina Aguilera all picked Tyler. Blake chose the other guy, eliminating Tyler from the competition.

Could someone who understands the format of this show explain this to me. If 3 out of 4 judges picked Tyler why was he eliminated?
posted by Bonzai at 8:58 AM on May 11, 2011


I ended up watching part The Voice for the first time last night while I was at the gym. We don't have TV at home and I'd only briefly heard about the show from some coworkers. I had no idea there was any controversy, but I do remember being a little puzzled that Tyler was not picked. He really did have the better performance, I thought. It was perplexing but I figured it had more to do with the other guy being more "marketable" (i.e. not a ginger, not wearing glasses, and not gay).

Overall it's kind of a silly show and I think the only reason to watch it is for Cee Lo, which won't be a big enough reason for me to forget my iPod next time I work out.
posted by jnrussell at 9:03 AM on May 11, 2011


Bonzai, they're not really in the judging phase yet. This show's a little different/weird in that each judge has a team of folks that he/she coaches and whittles down to a select group that will be formally judged as well as voted on by the public. So Patrick and Tyler were both on judge Blake's team and he eliminated Tyler because he has to narrow his team down, and the mechanism for doing that was by competitive battle-duet. I think they start formal judging/voting next week?

Kind of like advanced extended auditions. At least that's what I gathered from the 20 minutes I saw.
posted by jnrussell at 9:06 AM on May 11, 2011


Could someone who understands the format of this show explain this to me.

The first two episodes were audition rounds, where the judges/coaches sat with their backs to the singers and listened to them sing. If any one judge hits their "I want you" button, they're spun around so they can see the person singing, and that person ends up on their team. If more than one judge hits the button, then the singer chooses which person s/he wants to work with for the contest. The "Hey, Soul Sister" link in the FPP shows one of these rounds, where Blake is the only coach to push a button, so Tyler ends up on his team.

Each judge/coach has 8 people on a team, and puts those people through training and head-to-head competitions as they whittle the teams down to 4 people per coach. These are the battle rounds, and the first round of these is what this incident is from. In these rounds, the coaches/judges are all able to offer opinions, but only the coach for the team the singers are on gets to actually decide who stays or goes.

The final rounds will pit all 16 of the remaining singers against each other, still working with their coaches, and eventually the now-stereotypical audience voting will determine who stays and goes.
posted by hippybear at 9:10 AM on May 11, 2011


Oops... The "Hunka Hunka Burning Love" link from the FPP (or the link in this comment here) show what a battle round looks like.

This was only the first of the battle rounds. We have 3 more weeks of those while each coach's team is pared town to 4 people, and THEN we start the other kind of elimination.
posted by hippybear at 9:12 AM on May 11, 2011


Blake Shelton comes across as kind of an all-purpose dickwad in interviews. I don't know whether he's a homophobe or not but he's in the Nashville macho-country scene so who knows? He's rammed down my throat about as much here as Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. I'd prefer never having to see his face again, but it doesn't have anything to do with what I think is an overblown reaction to a stupid shitty tweet and a lame joke on the CMA Awards -- there are far bigger and worse acts of real homophobia every day committed by powerful folks that never see the light of day that I'd prefer to get more shaming and attention than the moronic views of some half-rate Okie country singer who wears his underwear too tight.
posted by blucevalo at 9:14 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


(The reason it's called "The Voice" is because the coaches pick who is on their team without seeing the contestant. Supposedly this is a better indicator of who can actually sing, as opposed to Idol where showmanship plays into things a lot.)
posted by hippybear at 9:14 AM on May 11, 2011


Shelton has been homophobic for a long time, which is actually kind of unusual, because mostly country these days ignores queer discourse, or hints at it, but is not usually negative. Country is also moving into rock and hip-hop, and so Shelton as one of the charting neo-traditonalist, has been against.

You can see in his picks on the Voice, his refusal to engage in rock, which is ironic, because chart country has been engaged in Rock and roll for a long time. Cee-lo, for example was really excited to have a country singer, he wanted to hear their voice, wanted to figure out what was happening and what he could do. He had no interest in perserving boundries. Xtina mostly went for voices that sound like her, and she has quite a number of modes she can work with--so there was no need for traditional genres. Adam Levine's view of rock, also, while more traditional then Cee Lo or Xtina, had a much more liquid boundries

Opposition to queer discourse in country music, is attached to a fear of contamination--of making country more urban, less rock (you see it in a recent movement of songs about the South). Contamination is a huge issue here, they have already lost the genre wars (see people like Colt Ford and Justin Moore rising in the charts--and Shelton is part of this contamination, this refusal of purity, in his works like Hillbilly Bone. The fear of contamination is also connects to the psycho-geographic history of the region. We can see it in how there has not been a major Latino star in Nashville since Fender, or a Black one since Pride, or never a Native one. You can also see it in the fear of sexual orientation. This comes from the conservative Christian and how it takes serious a biblical exegesis that is water tight, self contained, and refuses to be broken apart.

Here is where it gets really interesting. Listeners in the south and midwest who are young, where country is listened to the most, listen to hip hop a lot, as much or more than country. Listeners in the south and midwest who are middle aged, listen to rock and roll a lot, as much or more than country. Middle aged people are not going to listen to the voice. Young folks are more likely to listen to hybrid work, and more willing to break those taboos of contamination. Blake is hired on the voice to find a country voice--because country is the only place where Idol really breaks through, and Idol ignores country all together. Idol also preserves significant boundaries in genre, which doesn't exist at all anymore. Shelton, in the coaching rhetoric that is used on the Voice, is hired to both be a spokesperson for country music, and for being a bit of an asshole. The genre of the show, and country music, both by their forms require a bulwark against contamination. Shelton's authenticity, and his assholish nature, gives him the skills to do this. (He isn't Simon--because Simon is more behind the scenes, and frankly, more successful)

So we have an audience who is willing to listen to both, and Nashville suits who are willing to listen to both (and of course their are more than two), but we have a self-perpetuating market that refuses to acknowledge the world is being contaminated--or at least some of the world is being contaminated. Shelton might be being played here--and frankly, no matter how good of a musician he is (and he is a v. good musician, with solid technical skills, and a beautiful voice) He is being played, and is not playing. Cee Lo is so fucking smart, and is using the medium of television to seriously fuck with the market and the category, but Shelton is being railroaded a bit here.

That said, i mean his homophobia (and Nashville ignoring queer voices in public--but not in people behind the scenes, is the worst kind of hypocrisy) is intensenly problematic, but we need to put it in proper context.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:20 AM on May 11, 2011 [12 favorites]


If you care to look through the sheer volume of Blake Shelton's tweets, you'll see he's equally "biased" against fortyleven other kinds and groups of people, never misses a shot at PETA, regularly accuses Martina McBride of being a drunk, gets told to shut up by his "financy" Miranda Lambert, and engages in all sorts of other tomfoolery, wisecracks, and stupidity on Twitter. He also regularly tells everybody he loves them, tweets while drinking, uses profane language and encourages everyone who says they have a crush on him. In real life, he's a nice guy who says right up front on Twitter "you're getting the real BS from Blake himself."

Blake teared up last night when he had to choose. Move on, people. Forserious.
posted by FunkyStar at 9:22 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Some of those tweets tend towards the homophobic though.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:31 AM on May 11, 2011


Also...copied this from his Twitter feed...

@blakeshelton Blake Shelton
And.. For those of you upset about me not picking Tyler put your money where your mouth is.. Go buy the boys song on iTunes!! It's bad ass!!
1 hour ago
posted by FunkyStar at 9:31 AM on May 11, 2011


Well, that's part of why I linked a few other Tyler videos here. He's got a lot of talent. I just hope his two television appearances are enough to get him noticed. I think the boy could actually go somewhere if he gets the chance.
posted by hippybear at 9:35 AM on May 11, 2011


I thought he was cool looking and sounded good, but Patrick has a look and voice more appropriate for country (despite being kind of a stick of wood).

It's possible Blake picked the person he thought he could help the most...but...why are we focusing on this duo so much? Most judges seemed to struggle over which person to pick, and nobody seems to mind that the guy with the hat got kicked off for the cute blond because he was kind of an ugly bald dude, or that the hispanic girl was picked over the black girl. *Everybody* at this stage is talented, and *somebody* has to go home. It doesn't mean they don't have talent or their coach hates them. They just have to pick.

I am just saying is all.
posted by FunkyStar at 9:40 AM on May 11, 2011


Wait, why can't there be a good version of Train Song?
posted by Theta States at 10:00 AM on May 11, 2011


Re-writing my fav Shania Twain song.. Any man that tries Touching my behind He's gonna be a beaten, bleedin', heaving kind of guy...
7 days ago from Twitter for iPhone


As someone whose friend's brother was nearly killed in anti-gay violence last weekend, I say Blake Shelton can go to hell.
posted by 4ster at 11:26 AM on May 11, 2011


PinkMoose: We can see it in how there has not been a major Latino star in Nashville since Fender, or a Black one since Pride

Not entirely true. Darius Rucker is black. Still, your general point is very accurate, although the "contamination" idea could just as easily apply to hip-hop.

Listeners in the south and midwest who are young, where country is listened to the most, listen to hip hop a lot, as much or more than country. Listeners in the south and midwest who are middle aged, listen to rock and roll a lot, as much or more than country.

This is true. Here in "Music City" mainline country is mainly for tourists and mainly to bring in tourist dollars. When you hear anything coming out of a car speaker it's either hip-hop, rock (Black Keys), or country-rock (Brantley Gilbert, just one example). I've never heard any Blake Shelton songs here anywhere but on the PA systems of tourist traps on Broadway.

That said, i mean his homophobia (and Nashville ignoring queer voices in public--but not in people behind the scenes, is the worst kind of hypocrisy) is intensenly problematic, but we need to put it in proper context.

I agree. But that's kind of true (though not to the rigid extent of Nashville that you describe) in most of the entertainment industry. It's okay to be gay behind the scenes but forget about it in front of the camera or on the mic.

FunkyStar: In real life, he's a nice guy who says right up front on Twitter "you're getting the real BS from Blake himself."

How would you know he's a nice guy in real life? Seems like a prick to me. But I don't know the dude from Adam, so whatever.
posted by blucevalo at 11:59 AM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bruce:

I thought about Rucker...he has had two big singles, and is getting a solid push. He is really close, but am not quite sure he is there yet, and does not have the career of Pride.

Is there a class thing, going on with the audience of Nashville or various degrees of hipness--how do you view people like Colt Ford?

Oh, for sure. I call it the Ryan Seacrest rule.
posted by PinkMoose at 12:24 PM on May 11, 2011


Moose:

No, you're right. Rucker is not at Pride's level yet.

There's all kinds of layers of class and hipsterism in Nashville. I've not heard any Colt Ford but from what I'm reading about him it seems like he's everything the mainline Nashville industry would hate and everything that regular people in bars and at all kinds of public events here would love.
posted by blucevalo at 12:35 PM on May 11, 2011


OneMonkeysUncle, Does it really matter why Shelton decided to send out homophobic tweets? Sure, maybe this is all staged. I bet Blake has some gay friends. I bet the producers put a bee in his bonnet. I am sure everyone involved with the show values profits over making the world a better place.

None of that matters. It doesn't matter if they are seeking attention or actual creeps. What matters is that a high-profile network and show are promoting a guy promoting violence against a minority class, and that makes things more difficult for the minority group.
posted by jenlovesponies at 12:47 PM on May 11, 2011


I cannot believe I am posting a defense of a Carson Daily show, but these are the times we live in.

I caught the first episode of The Voice by accident, and I have to say it stood out to me and I'm sorry to see it get some flack here. Unlike most American "person with a skill" competition shows, I liked how The Voice didn't bring on people who would never make it through just so they could be mocked. I really, really liked the whole swivel chair gimmick. Instead of American Idol where they go on ad nauseum about finding the "whole package" (ie. young! blonde!), The Voice had fat people and people over 50 and gays and lesbians who did not look like they walked off the set of Glee... and many of them had a-maz-ing voices.

I love watching "person with a skill" competition shows, but I mostly watch Australian ones because they for the most part seem less like a giant set up to make people cry on camera. I thought The Voice was a step in the right direction.

(That being said, Blake Shelton's comments are not cool.)
posted by jess at 1:07 PM on May 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, jess, the main reason I made this post was because I thought The Voice stood out, too, and was a bit surprised to see this odd subplot take place, three shows into the season even!

Still, nothing that this show does will come close to the amazingness that was The Choir. Why the US has to have all their reality shows based on last-dog-standing competition and can't do something that amazing and community-minded, I have no idea.
posted by hippybear at 1:22 PM on May 11, 2011


there is an essay in the cultural baggage of Colt Ford. But I think that yr right, in the sense of the dichtomy b/w the radio & the bars is the biggest its been since the 70s...is shelton played in the barS?
posted by PinkMoose at 1:34 PM on May 11, 2011


The tourist bars.
posted by blucevalo at 2:43 PM on May 11, 2011


I am completely accepting of homosexuality and have supported gay rights my entire life.

I don't support 'Hey Soul Sister', though. What a horrible song.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:42 PM on May 11, 2011


Wait, why can't there be a good version of Train Song?
posted by Theta States at 1:00 PM on May 11 [+] [!]


Oh geez, when I first read the comments I was replying to I was thinking of Train Song!
(not... "a Train song"...)
posted by Theta States at 6:13 PM on May 11, 2011


FWIW, a rebuttal/clarification from an unnamed person:
A source close to the star tells Us Weekly,"Blake is so not a homophobe. He really meant that from the perspective of Shania – it was just meant to be a gibe about someone grabbing her a--. He feels awful." Shelton Tweeted the controversial statement after watching Twain's appearance on "The Oprah Show," where she opened up about her then-husband cheating on her with her best friend at the time.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:21 PM on May 12, 2011


It truly is a perfect storm for Shelton. He could have chosen any two people from his team to go into the battle round this week. He quite deliberately picked Tyler as one of those two, and then quite deliberately assigned the duo a song which he knew Tyler wasn't even familiar with. He then had his three colleagues on the coaching panel all recommend that he choose Tyler over Patrick. And then he chose Patrick.

All this is made more problematic by his involvement with country music, which (as has been outlined above) is still making faggot jokes on national television during their awards show and still has a real problem with teh gay.

Now, perhaps he did it because he feels Patrick has the better voice for him to work with. I'm willing to give him that. But sometimes the appearance of impropriety truly is evidence of impropriety. And Shelton could have avoided the appearances at any point during the week where all this blew up, and didn't take any steps to mitigate other than a few tweets.

The full quote from the cowardly, unnamed source for this "explanation" goes on:
"He's the nicest, sweetest and most down-to-earth guy. He's extremely gay-friendly. The man loves 'The Golden Girls'!"
Yes, I'm now convinced. Using a stereotype about homosexual men and their television viewing habits truly is the best way to indicate that you're not homophobic.
posted by hippybear at 7:08 AM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


« Older Fractals may have become a cliche in modern comput...  |  In the 1940s, he fought Nazis.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments