In the Rolling Stone story, Church criticizes both the judges and contestants on shows like American Idol and The Voice, on which Shelton is a judge. “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.” He went on to say that he believes getting involved in these shows taints an artist’s legacy. “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.”
After the issue came out, Lambert and Shelton took to Twitter to air their grievances. Shelton linked to a post reporting on Church’s comments, adding “I wish I misunderstood this . . .,” and Lambert, who rose to fame on the country singing competition Nashville Star, tweeted, “Thanks Eric Church for saying I’m not a real artist.” Lambert noted that fellow stars Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Kelly Clarkson also broke through on similar shows, and she sarcastically wrote, “You’re welcome for the tour in 2010,” referring to his stint opening up for her shows that year.
“The comment I made to Rolling Stone was 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,” Church said in a statement released earlier today. “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.”
“I have a lot of respect for what artists like Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, and my friend Miranda Lambert have gone on to accomplish,” Church further clarified. “This piece was never intended to tear down any individual and I apologize to anybody I offended in trying to shed light on this issue. I am grateful for all of the artists and fans that have supported me along my journey and certainly did not mean for my comments to undermine their talent and achievements.”