Perennial cool chick Gwen Stefani and backwards skirt-chasing doofus Blake Shelton confirmed their romantic relationship yesterday, a move that’s inspired a mini-identity crisis as I reevaluate the standards of a music-industry hero I’ve held dear since childhood.
Stefani and ex-husband Gavin Rossdale announced their divorce in August. To my eye, Rossdale made a perfect subdued, bottom-y counterpart to Stefani’s brash glamour and fabulously loud personality. Still, no one knows what the behind-the-scenes of that 13-year marriage was like, and some sources say he cheated, so, whatever—good riddance, if Stefani wants him gone.
But why would this extraordinarily talented, unapologetically sexy woman, who’s used her platform to make feminist noise and give outlandish weirdos a role model, choose her loutish, insecure Voice co-star as her next mate?
My guess is that Stefani never read the People interview Shelton gave just a month after he filed for divorce from fellow country musician Miranda Lambert, in which he makes two boring quips about hot women being hot. When asked which of the other Voice judges he’d want to trade places with, he picked Maroon 5’s Adam Levine: “He’s married to a super model. Need I say more?” When pressed on whether Levine would be surprised by the choice, Shelton doubled down. “I don’t give a fuck,” he said. “That’s who I’m picking and it’s because of his wife. Period.” He also said he’d swap lives with Stefani “just so I could stand in front of a mirror naked.” What a charmer!
Stefani probably also doesn’t remember when Shelton tweeted in 2011 that he’d gay-bash any guy that came on to him. “Re-writing my fav Shania Twain song.. Any man that tries Touching my behind He’s gonna be a beaten, bleedin’, heaving kind of a guy,” he wrote. Earlier that year, in an equally transparent attempt to preserve his fragile manhood, Shelton made a tired Brokeback Mountain joke about Jake Gyllenhaal at the Acadamy of Country Music Awards.
I’ll forgive Stefani for overlooking Shelton’s possible past as an unrepentant turtle-killer in her background research. Bragging about hitting a turtle with his car was bizarre enough, but when people expressed concern on Twitter, Shelton couldn’t take the heat: He told them to “shut up” and called them “turtle freaks” who eat their own boogers. Bullying random, non-famous Twitter critics seems to be the M.O. of this multi-millionaire, actually. He has a history of retweeting negative comments, egging on his fanbase to come to the defense of his paper-thin ego.
And I’m sure Stefani didn’t watch Shelton co-host last year’s ACM Awards, where he made a cheap dig at Britney Spears for lip syncing at her live shows, then watched approvingly as Rascal Flatts lip-synced their own way through a performance.
But however and whyever Stefani ended up with Shelton, my love for her is getting harder to preserve. Rumor has it the two have written a country song together, although I guess it could be worse—the world doesn’t need one more homophobic poser trying out ska.