Adam Levine lost two of his team members Tuesday night on "The Voice," but it was his comment before the results were announced that nearly overshadowed their elimination.
As host Carson Daly stretched out the moment before announcing that contestants Judith Hill - who had been a coach and fan favorite - and Sarah Simmons had received the lowest number of audience votes, Levine could be heard declaring, "I hate this country."
A few seconds later, the camera showed him nervously awaiting the results, with fingers on both of his hands crossed.
The comment, picked up on a microphone and broadcast around the country, drew quick reaction from the Twitterverse, with some calling for him to explain or apologize, and others defending the comment as clearly a joke.
For his part, Levine quickly made it clear that the latter explanation was the right one. On his official Twitter feed, he posted definitions for the words joke, humorless, lighthearted and misunderstand.
Later today, he released a statement through his rep saying, "I obviously love my country very much and my comments last night were made purely out of frustration."
"Being a part of 'The Voice,' I am passionately invested in my team and want to see my artists succeed," Levine said. "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. I am very connected to my artists and know they have long careers ahead, regardless of their outcome on the show."
The Maroon 5 frontman may be getting some support from model Nina Adgal. The 21-year-old Sports Illustrated model was spotted backstage at a taping of "The Voice" in Los Angeles Monday.
According to reports in People and Us Weekly, the two have been dating casually since spring. The 34-year-old singer has a thing for leggy blondes: he previously dated runway model Behati Prinsloo and Victoria's Secret model Anne Vyalitsyna.
A rep for Levine did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
You can hear Levine's comment at 1:14 in the video.