May 7, 2013 at 1:45 AM ET
The coaches loved all eight singers who took the stage for “The Voice” on Monday, but there’s no question what the star of the night was: Blake Shelton’s coffee cup.
With nothing much to do, since the show was all about the singers on Adam Levine and Usher’s teams doing the singing, Blake could do pretty much whatever he wanted. And what he wanted to do, apparently, was draw attention to both himself and his choice of beverage, rather than let host Carson Daly explain again that we’re now on yet another “Voice” round in which the audience votes and the top two for each team get to move on with a third advancing as a coach’s choice.
It all started following the first singer of the night, Team Adam’s Amber Carrington, who covered Rihanna’s “Stay.”
“Normally, it would suck to be the very first to sing on the live shows, but I have to say it would suck even worse to have to follow that,” Blake said. “That’s setting the bar very high.”
He then raised his cup. “It makes me want to thank Starbucks for this very special latte they made me tonight.”
Much like “American Idol” and “X Factor” have sometimes led to questions about what the judges there are actually drinking from their plastic branded soda cups, Coach Blake now gets to fuel speculation as to whether the specialness came from an extra pump of vanilla syrup, a dash of nutmeg, a couple of shots of liquor, and/or a big check from Starbucks.
Whatever it was, it impressed Al Roker, who appeared briefly with Savannah Guthrie as a lead-in to a TODAY feature set to air on Tuesday. “Blake actually let me have a sip of his special latte. That was fantastic,” Al said.
Finally, after Caroline Glaser’s performance, Blake noted that he liked how she let him envision her singing in a coffee shop, which is what she was doing before auditioning for “The Voice.”
“I was having a ‘special latte’ back in that coffee shop,” Blake said.
“Did they pay you or something?” Adam asked, speaking for the entire viewing audience.
Blake didn’t answer, but the IRS might want to check that out.
Beyond that it was another night for the wit, wisdom, and unconventional coaching strategies from Usher. He had his team warm up at a kickboxing class, then picked songs that took them far out of their comfort zones.
For example: "When I first heard I was doing 'Against All Odds,' I said 'WHAT?'" Vedo said. So did most of the audience, and probably Phil Collins.
Similarly, Shakira was not impressed that Usher made Cathia, who he stole from her squad, sing “I Have Nothing.”
"I wouldn't have picked that song if I were your coach, but I'm not your coach anymore," she said, in what passed for criticism on a night where praise was the only noise to be heard.