The United States of America will be loved -- by Adam Levine! The Maroon 5 frontman sparked a huge controversy after his angry aside on Tuesday's results episode of The Voice -- in which the tattooed mentor, 34, was overheard muttering "I hate this country" after his contestants Judith Hill and Sarah Simmons were shown the door thanks to a lack of viewer votes.
"I obviously love my country very much and my comments last night were made purely out of frustration," Levine explained to Us Weekly on Wednesday in response to the public outcry. Some Twitter followers called out Levine's slam as unpatriotic, insensitive and uncalled for; the singer initially responded via Twitter by defining the terms "joke," "humorless," "lighthearted" and "misunderstand." Others agreed with Levine's outrage over the elimination results.
"Being a part of The Voice, I am passionately invested in my team and want to see my artists succeed. Last night's elimination of Judith and Sarah was confusing and downright emotional for me and my comments were made based on my personal dissatisfaction with the results," continued Levine, whose team member Amber Carrington still has a shot at winning this season on the NBC singing competition.
"I am very connected to my artists and know they have long careers ahead, regardless of their outcome on the show," he continued.
Indeed, a crestfallen Levine also spoke with Us on the red carpet immediately after Tuesday's surprising results. "I'm sad . . . and a little pissed off, to be honest," he said. "I was shocked, actually. I think they all gave us really strong performances . . . I'm really passionate about these singers and their talent and believe that maybe their talent was overshadowed by some other things."
His strategy for the next three weeks? "To make Amber win."