DAN STEINBERG, AP
"I actually came in to the battle thinking that if they both do really good, I'd probably go with RaeLynn just because she was a country artist," he explained after the April 17 show (quote via the Country Vibe). "I feel like I can affect change there. I just don't think she did a very good performance tonight and that wouldn't be fair to Erin. I couldn't feel good about doing my job if I would have made my decision just because RaeLynn is a country artist."
The 35-year-old knew that his choice would be criticized by millions of fans, but he was only worried about the reaction of one person: his wife Miranda Lambert, who mentored RaeLynn earlier in the season, and was one of her more vocal supporters.
"She's probably a little bit [disappointed]," he conceded. "But, I have to do what I think is right as a coach, and based off what I saw that was my kneejerk reaction. RaeLynn will be fine. Oh my God, my wife is in love with her. She'll probably make a record on her and everything else."
In fact, the 16-year-old wasted no time in assuring everyone that she harbored no ill-will towards her former coach. "I just want to say thank y'all for everything!," she tweeted following her elimination. "I love this show and @blakeshelton! He's done nothing but good for me and taught me so much!"
Blake admits his role on "The Voice" isn't for the faint of heart, which is why he offered to help fellow country star Keith Urban, when he signed on to be a judge on Australia's version of the same show.
"[Keith] said, 'Man, I need to talk to you,'" Blake shared with CMT. "And I was like, 'Why?' And he goes, 'Man, this show's about to start airing, and we've already done the blinds and the battle rounds.' And I said, 'We do need to talk because you've never experienced that kind of polarizing reaction from people. You know what I mean? Because people do get invested in a person, and it's one thing if America votes somebody off the show, but it's another thing if they can point to the one person that did that.'"
"The Voice" airs Monday nights on NBC at 8:00 ET, and Tuesday nights at 9:00 ET.