Episode 3 of season 22 of “The Voice” aired September 26, and as expected, it was full of competition. Not only were the contestants competing against each other, but the coaches were in full-on battle mode as well. Coaches Blake Shelton and his wife, Gwen Stefani, are often interested in the same artists, which creates an unusual dynamic.
When the first duo of the season, the country husband and wife team, The Dryes, took the stage, Stefani and Shelton were the only two coaches to turn their chairs. Their rendition of the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton hit, “Islands in the Stream,” excited both coaches.
Shelton and Stefani were even more intrigued when they found out they were looking at a married couple, which of course, sparked an obvious comparison between the contestants and the two coaches vying for them.
WATCH the Performance & Dialogue
As can be seen in the video, after The Dryes were finished performing, Shelton gave an odd pitch with a few dad jokes before saying, “I would be honored to be your COUNTRY coach” (emphasis on the word, country). Stefani then asked the couple, “I don’t know exactly what kind of music you’re thinking to do – all country music?”
The Dryes confidently nodded. Coach, Camila Cabello, then chimed in with: “That’s not a good sign” and Stefani laughed. This prompted Katelyn Dryes to respond, “No, I think you’re amazing Gwen, I really do.”
Her husband, Derek, then made the controversial statement to Stefani, “You’re the Dolly Parton of your genre.”
Stefani promptly covered her face with both hands and said “Oh my God. That is so crazy. Thank you so much!”
Here’s Where the Confusion Comes In
Most people would consider a comparison to Dolly Parton to be a great honor. After all, she is one of the most revered country singers of all time. However, as of late, Stefani has been trying to convince people that country music IS her genre.
During premiere week of “The Voice,” when Stefani was trying to land the so-called Cuban Cowboy on her team, she told him “I’m basically country now as well. Like, I’ve gone country.” The former No Doubt frontwoman made similar comments when trying to convince another country artist, Jay Allen, to join Team Gwen.
Many fans were not happy about Stefani’s claim that she is a country artist. For example, a Facebook user commented, “Just because Blake had her whine on a couple of his songs does not make her a country singer.”
So, if Stefani is the Dolly Parton of her genre, what genre exactly was Dryes referring to? If he is saying it is a genre other than country, that would mean he does not view Stefani as the country artist she claims to be. The statement would make no sense if he is saying she is the Dolly Parton of country, because Dolly Parton is the Dolly Parton of country. That is where the compliment loses some of its clarity.
Shelton Had an Interesting Take on the Comment
After “The Voice” aired, Shelton tweeted, “@GwenStefani may be the Dolly Parton of her genre but I’m THE BLAKE SHELTON of mine! Honored to be your Country Coach @thedryesmusic #TeamBlake #TheVoice.”
Another viewer tweeted, “Stop trying to joyride the talent of Dolly Parton for yourself or your wife. Trust the audience, we wouldn’t make accusations like that.”
The Dryes ultimately chose Team Blake.