Church criticized both the judges and contestants on American Idol and The Voice–not to mention the whole concept of artist discovery that shows like these exemplify.
“Honestly, if Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green turn around in a red chair, you got a deal? That’s crazy,” says Church. “I don’t know what would make an artist do that. You’re not an artist.”
Church believes participating on these shows taints an artist’s music. “Once your career becomes about something other than the music, then that’s what it is. I’ll never make that mistake. I don’t care if I starve.”
These statements from Church quickly made their way to Twitter, where Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton both voiced their opinions. Blake, always quick to the draw on the social network, seemed taken back with the article.
Miranda was a bit more forward. “Thanks Eric Church for saying I’m not a real artist,”, she wrote (Lambert gained attention for her role on reality show Nashville Star). She also called attention to Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, and Keith Urban. Carrie and Kelly both got their break on American Idol, and Keith currently is on The Voice in Australia. The kicker, though, was her icy “[you’re] welcome” for taking him on tour two years ago.
Eric issued a statement today to Rolling Stone to clarify his comments, saying they were “part of a larger commentary on these types of reality television shows and the perception they create, not the artists involved with the shows themselves.”
He added that the shows make it appear that artists can shortcut their way to success.
“There are a lot of artists due to their own perseverance that have gone on to be successful after appearing on these shows, but the real obstacles come after the cameras stop rolling. Every artist has to follow up television appearances with dedication towards their craft, but these shows tend to gloss over that part and make it seem like you can be ordained into stardom.”
Rounding out the statement, Eric said he has “a lot of respect for what artists like Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, and my friend Miranda Lambert have gone on to accomplish” and that he “certainly did not mean for my comments to undermine their talent and achievements.”
Eric Church is currently a 2012 CMT Music Award nominee for best Male Video of the Year for “Drink in my Hand.”
– Steve Wiseman / 99.5 WYCD