Blake Shelton was worried about doing “The Tonight Show.”
At a recent press lunch with reporters for the upcoming season of “The Voice,” which returns for its seventh season on NBC on Monday, Shelton was wondering how he ended up agreeing to do a lip-sync battle with Jimmy Fallon and Gwen Stefani.
When I asked him what songs he was doing, he said he was doing Taco’s version of “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”
When the reaction around the table at the Manhattan steakhouse was less than enthusiastic, Shelton turned to “The Voice” host and executive producer Carson Daly and said, “This is gonna suck, isn’t it?”
Daly immediately pulled out his smartphone and started looking for video of Emma Stone’s lip sync performance on the show, telling Shelton, “She’s the gold standard.”
Shelton says he remembers seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt do a good job in his battle and that worried him again, saying, “This is gonna suck.”
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However, Shelton is too good a performer to, you know, not to do well. And when the bit aired Wednesday night on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Shelton slayed with his performance of “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” especially when he tap danced (foot-synced?). He fared well against Fallon, who did Ellie Goulding’s “Burn” and Stefani who did Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”
Shelton was sandbagging, though. He and Stefani took the contest when they took on Diana Ross and Lionel Richie’s “Endless Love,” with Stefani taking Richie’s vocals and Shelton miming Ross’ parts.
Now Shelton knows he has nothing to worry about next time.