Last night on NBC, Adam Levine—the tattooed, six-packed bro of Maroon 5 turned "coach" on The Voice—faced off with either all of the nation or at least the vast swath of it that loves country music. Either way you read it, Levine lost a war with a hot mic when, disappointed with the results of The Voice's top six voting, he muttered "I hate this country" live on national television.
In case you haven't exactly been following The Voice this season—we haven't, though we've been fans of Sarah Simmons since we heard this rendition of "Angel"—country singer Amber Carrington was the last of Team Adam to advance. She was "saved by America," as host Carson Daly put it—as in, presumably, the country-loving American public—while Levine's other protegées, Judith Hill and Simmons, were sent home.
Levine, trying to fend off immediate vitriol and probably save his NBC contract, attempted to defend himself by posting the definitions to "joke," "humorless," "lighthearted," and "misunderstand" on his Twitter account. But, naturally, the comment brought out the outrage. For example, one "Chuck Justice" remarked on Twitter: "Is anyone really surprised that @adamlevine said "I hate this country" on TV? He does. He's a communist. Do us a favor & leave." (Mashable has more outraged tweets.)
Some did come to Levine's defense, including those speculating that he really meant to say that he hates "country music"—not the entire country. As Lydnsey Parker of Yahoo! writes, the show is now heavily stacked with country musicians.
In defense of Levine—yes, we know—his comment was a dumb way to show his frustration with which of his competitors survived. (Note that comments on the YouTube page for the video kind of say the exact same thing Levine did: "Judith and Sarah are waaaaay better than Holly. WHAT THE FUCK AMERICA??!!!") Actually, the real loser in this scenario is Carrington, who now knows how her coach truly feels about her. But dumb is the operative word in this scenario. Levine should be wary about the nature of the hot mic on the reality-TV results-show stage—or any stage, what with being a pop star and all—and he should know that any time you put "hate" and "country" in the same sentence, well, things don't turn out so hot. The timing is particularly bad considering his Voice co-coach (and buddy) Blake Shelton is organizing a relief concert for victims of the Oklahoma tornado, which will appear on NBC tonight.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.