Fans of Blake Shelton and NBC’s The Voice are well aware of this entertainer’s hilarious wit and endearing charm. Shelton brought his brand of slightly off-color Christmas spirit to primetime television with NBC’s Blake Shelton’s Not-So-Family Christmas special Monday night (12/3). The singer-songwriter blended comedy, guest star appearances and performances of tunes from his album Cheers, It’s Christmas.
After an opening skit featuring Shelton performing “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire” while wearing an elf costume, he performed a solo rendition of “Let It Snow” (trading the costume for a sleek suit jacket and jeans). He welcomed Kelly Clarkson for a comedic skit, where the former American Idol winner seemed to think Shelton’s holiday special was a singing competition. “It’s 2012, people are singing, it’s a competition,” quipped Clarkson. After Clarkson showed off some of her powerhouse vocal riffs, she and Shelton performed their holiday duet, “There’s A New Kid in Town.”
Shelton’s fellow The Voice coach Christina Aguilera made a brief appearance to play a fake The Voice commercial in which Shelton tries to sell a “Just-Like-The-Voice” chair–a duct-taped chair adorned with a bell, a knockoff version of his coach’s chair from the hit reality singing competition.
Shelton welcomed his mother Dorothy Shackleford and they sang “Time For Me To Come Home,” an appropriate tune about going to see your mother at Christmas.
In perhaps the most hilarious skit of the program, Shelton and Larry The Cable Guy were in the claymation style of classic Christmas shows including Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer and Frosty The Snowman. What started as a hunting trip goes sour when the pair ultimately killed nearly every beloved Christmas character. Even Shelton later admitted the scene was a little dark.
Reba, who looked regal in a stunning red gown, appeared to present Shelton with an early Christmas present–the original hand-written lyrics to “Heartbreak Hotel,” penned by Mae Boren Axton and Tommy Durden, and recorded by Elvis Presley. Shelton’s gift to Reba? One of his “Just-Like-The-Voice” chairs. Quick-witted Reba tried to decline the gift by explaining that she didn’t have room for the present in her car. The pair then performed “Let’s Have An Oklahoma Christmas.”
Shelton’s final special guest of the evening was wife Miranda Lambert, who joined him on a Christmas version of “Home,” the Michael Buble classic which Shelton remade into a No. 1 song. “I thought there needed to be one serious moment. I’m the wife that’s what I’m here for,” Lambert said jokingly before sharing how special the song is for the couple. “We don’t get to spend that much time at home as a family.”
All of the evening’s performers then joined each other onstage to thank the live audience for its support. All in all, the special hit the right blend of humor, musicality and heartfelt emotion.
Following a two-hour semifinals broadcast of The Voice, the 10 p.m. ET holiday special pulled in an average of 8.96 million viewers, according to hitfix.com.
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