Monday, March 19, 2012

Culture, Pop + Otherwise: 5 Reasons I Like Blake Shelton

When my husband became a mild to moderate fanatic of “The Voice” I audibly groaned in his general direction. “Et tu?” I thought, believing he had becoming engrossed in something akin to “American Idol II”. One day, out of boredom and curiosity, and after a previous season of my husband’s deeply intent conversations about the show’s weekly going on with one of his guy friends, I sat down to watch it with him. Surprise, surprise, I liked it. It lacked all the cruelty and weird catch phrases of “American Idol” and retained a quality of respect for the fledgling voices putting themselves on vulnerable display for the world to view. The thing that finally sold me was the authenticity of one of the hosts, Blake Shelton.

I am an unlikely closet country fan, hailing from the not-so-capital of twang, New Jersey. I was saddened, after three years of living in Colorado, to return to my home state to find the one country music channel had been zapped off the airwaves. My brother and I joked it was because we their two dedicated fans and one of them had left the ratings area. So, given my country fan-hood I know Blake Shelton and his songs. But to see his personality, a clear departure from Hollywood savvy and sheen (in a good way), I was a bit smitten. Not in a romantic way–like my obsession with Anderson Cooper (we’ll save that for another time)–but in a “I could hang out with this guy” way.  I thought I would touch the surface of this intrigue with a few Cliff’s Notes on why I like this guy:

  1. The way he can say, with all honesty, things like :”I feel so stupid, I don’t know that song,” (about “Heart-Shaped Box” by Nirvana–a personal historical favorite).
  2. How he can follow the former statement with an effortlessly genuine, “Gosh dang it.”
  3. The way he can tell contestants he wants to see them succeed even if it’s not with him (that’s sportsmanship).
  4. How almost everything he says makes me laugh or smile–and makes this surprising show interesting in ever-revealing down home country ways.
  5. That his song, “God Gave Me You,” was found in the hacked itunes purchases of Syrian dictator Assad. I mean, how many people can tout that fact.
Thank you to Blake and “The Voice” for an unexpectedly entertaining hour of my life. Also, kudos to Cee Lo for pulling of the white cat petting monologues–ala Austin Powers “Dr Evil”.

CHECK OUT the “Heart-Shaped Box” Video Below, care of Youtube. I loved it–ah, for the days of Nirvana and the timely paired painful experience of high school existence.

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