As far as low moves go after a break-up, it can’t get much lower than having your publicist (your publicist!) release a statement that you’re dating someone new … about 20 minutes before you appear at the same major award show as your ex.
Yet that’s exactly what Blake Shelton did on Wednesday night. Just before he arrived at the CMAs in Nashville — the most prestigious country music award show — where his newly ex-wife Miranda Lambert would also be in attendance, Shelton’s rep released a statement that he’s dating Gwen Stefani, his co-star on NBC’s “The Voice.”
“Blake and Gwen work together and are both single and have recently started dating,” the rep said in the most straightforward statement we’ve ever heard.
Interesting timing, considering the rumors about them have been around for weeks. Yet the rumors heated up this weekend after photos “leaked” (via E! Online, which shares a parent company with NBC) with the two getting cozy at a Halloween party, just in time for Wednesday’s confirmation. Hmmm. Seems just a tiny bit calculated, right?
On one hand, it makes sense that Shelton wanted to pre-empt any jokes coming his way at the CMAs by flaunting that he has a new girlfriend. Though actually, co-hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood went pretty easy on him during the opening monologue. They made a joke about “a break-up that really rocked our world” that turned out to be a plug for ABC’s “The Muppets” with exes Kermit and Miss Piggy. Paisley then cracked, “On a completely unrelated topic: Howdy, Blake,” as the camera panned to Shelton. Paisley also got in a dig about Shelton singing a duet with Ashley Madison instead of his actual recent duet partner, Ashley Monroe. No one mentioned Lambert at all.
On the other hand, while everyone understands the desire to “win” a break-up, that whole Stefani relationship confirmation didn’t seem like the nicest move. Especially compared to Lambert, who has stayed mostly silent in the press since their divorce this summer, and kept her speech short and sweet as she won female vocalist of the year for the sixth time in a row. “I needed a bright spot this year, so thank you,” she told the audience.
For the first time in six years, Shelton lost out on the male vocalist of the year trophy, which went to Chris Stapleton.