Gwen Stefani's shady reaction to 'Voice' contestant: 'Some of those '90s songs are like a trigger for me'

On Tuesday’s night two of The Voice Season 19’s Blind Auditions, when 36-year-old rocker dad Aaron Scott belted out a faithful cover of Fuel’s monster hit “Hemorrhage (In My Hands),” Blake Shelton and John Legend were impressed with his professional pipes. The two coaches even amusingly engaged in a bit of a grunting “Hemorrhage”-off, as they competed to recruit Aaron.

But surprisingly, the two pop-rockers on the panel, Gwen Stefani and Kelly Clarkson, didn’t turn around — and Gwen claimed to not even recognize the song, even though it had gone all the way to No. 1 on Billboard’s Alternative Airplay chart and to No. 2 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

Gwen Stefani reacts to Aaron Scott's performance on 'The Voice.' (Photo: NBC)
Gwen Stefani reacts to Aaron Scott's performance on 'The Voice.' (Photo: NBC)

“I’ve got to be honest, some of those ’90s songs are like a trigger for me. I probably have to go see my therapist after that, so thank you,” Gwen quipped, before declining to comment on Aaron’s retro-rawk performance at all. “I will just have a drink,” she joked, as she let Kelly speak instead, while Aaron sheepishly replied, “Sorry about that!”

“Hemorrhage” technically came out in 2000, but Gwen’s point was well taken: This seemed like a subtle dig at her ’90s-rock-star ex, Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale, with whom she acrimoniously split in 2015.

While Gwen hasn’t totally distanced herself from her ’90s past — on Monday, after The Voice premiere, she went on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and cheerfully discussed the 25th anniversary of No Doubt’s landmark 1995 album, Tragic Kingdom — she recently Photoshopped her current boyfriend and Voice co-star Blake into a ’90s-throwback photo of her and Gavin. And Gwen’s sound has certainly evolved from anything remotely resembling ’90s rock: Her latest hit is a country duet with Blake, “Nobody But You,” which is nominated for Collaborative Video of the Year at this week’s CMT Music Awards.

Gwen’s remark didn’t go unnoticed by some diehard fans, who took to Twitter to comment on her perceived shade (or lack of Fuel knowledge) and express their sympathy.

As it turned out, Aaron ended up on Blake’s team (of course Blake won the “Hemorrhage”-off against John), while Gwen ended up warming to another contestant with an apparently less triggering ’90s sound. These were the other successful auditions of Tuesday night:

Taryn Papa, 30: “Anyway”

This Nashville power-singer performs at Blake’s Broadway bar, Ole Red, and has been working the Music City club circuit for the past seven years. She chose this Martina McBride classic because she related to its message of against-all-odds perseverance, and it was clear that she was really feeling it. She had a pretty tone and a fine sense of control; she chose her moments wisely; and she built the momentum masterfully. Blake called her a “swing for the fences” type of vocalist.

Who turned? Blake, Gwen… and a blocked Kelly. On Monday’s premiere, John used his one Block of the season on Kelly, and tonight Blake did the same thing, so clearly the other coaches see Kelly as a threat.

Result: Team Blake, unsurprisingly.

Liam St. John, 29: “Sex and Candy”

I give Liam some points for picking a song that doesn’t get covered on singing competitions too often, but he somehow made Marcy Playground’s 1997 one-hit wonder sound even more dated. He seemed like an actor playing dress-up as a wannabe rock star; his performance simply lacked authenticity. Maybe it was that headband? But in all seriousness, it was his vocal quirks — all those yelps, yowls, and growls — that seemed hokey and forced.

Who turned? Gwen — who was clearly not triggered by this ’90s song — and Blake.

Result: Team Gwen. Hopefully Liam will, in his words, “vibe” with the ’90s queen.

Madeline Consoer, 24: “Girl”

This bubbly Nashville transplant displayed a lot of fire and charisma on Maren Morris’s empowerment anthem; her voice had grit and gravel and sass, but there was still a sweetness and lightness to it. Much like The Voice Season 13 winner Chloe Kohanski, I feel Madeline could do classic rock, folk/Americana, country, or even pop on this show, and she’d give it a certain special twist.

Who turned? Only Kelly, but she’s the perfect coach for a little bit country/little bit rock ‘n’ roll artist like Madeline. “You probably would have picked Kelly anyway,” Gwen noted, which Madeline readily admitted was true.

Result: Team Kelly, as it should be.

Cami Clune, 20: “Skinny Love”

A former theater kid who had to leave dance behind when she was diagnosed with the incurable connective tissue disease Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (a condition that Sia, Jameela Jamil, and RuPaul’s Drag Race star Yvie Oddly also have), Cami turned to music, which “saved” her. Cami poured all that pain into her delicate-but-passionate cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love,” and the result was magical. This girl is special. John called her “mesmerizing.” Kelly called her “ethereal and angelic.” And Gwen called her “really believable and emotional” and promised she could help Cami tap into her innate storytelling abilities.

Who turned? All four coaches — but Blake was blocked. Kelly got her sweet revenge… for now.

Result: Team Legend! I thought for sure that Cami would be swayed by Kelly’s lightning-quick early turn and Block usage, or by Gwen’s rather compelling sales pitch. But instead, she went with her fellow pianist. “I should have blocked John,” grumbled Kelly.

Ryan Gallagher, 31: “The Prayer”

The instant that Kelly heard this classically trained vocalist (who got his start in the business singing backup for Josh Groban, an obvious role model), Kelly was freaking out. I am not exactly sure why it took her so long to push her button — or why Blake pushed his. Blake didn’t even know the song, although I did appreciate his Taco “Puttin’ on the Ritz” reference when Kelly called him out on his lack of opera knowledge. That was super-duper!

Who turned? Kelly and Blake.

Result: Team Kelly. Oddly, Ryan confessed that Blake had been his first choice going into this competition, but even Blake admitted that Ryan made the right choice in the end. With a diva like Kelly on his side, Ryan could be the Chris Mann of Season 19. And let’s face it, a Ryan/Blake duet on the finale would not have worked. Meanwhile, a Ryan/Kelly duet will sound like a “conversation with the gods.”

Chloe Hogan, 20: “What the World Needs Now Is Love”

During her interview package, Chloe killed an innocent spider. Not nice! But thankfully onstage, she was gentle and sweet. Modernizing this Bacharach/David classic for these dark times, she showcased a certain earnestness and a lilting, sparkling tone. It was not a perfect performance, but it felt connected, raw, and real. Gwen, a huge Anita Baker fan, spun around and looked genuinely moved, almost teary-eyed.

Who turned? Only Gwen, surprisingly. I would have thought Kelly or John would have gone gaga for this girl. (Kelly didn’t turn because she heard some “pitch things.”)

Result: Team Gwen, of course. Expect Chloe to croon some Anita Baker songs in the near future.

Sid Kingsley, 37: “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”

This bluesman’s skronky, slowed-down Dylan cover had an immediate wow factor; as he sat at his organ keyboard, he delivered what felt like an awards show performance. John loved Sid’s “power, soul, and clarity.” Gwen told Sid, “It was shocking. Your voice is so confident. It sounds like a guy that’s been making records forever.” And Blake raved, “You’re not just singing the notes, you’re attacking them.”

Who turned? Blake, Gwen, and John. Kelly later admitted she was probably an “idiot” to refrain.

Result: Team Legend! Proving that he’s a grown man, Sid went against his mama’s wishes and didn’t choose her favorite, Blake.

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