Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC

Blake Shelton on SNL: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

We Should Probably Talk About “The Wishing Boot”

Why, Saturday Night Live, why?

Why did you have to immediately put a bale of hay on your stage from the get-go? That’s a rookie mistake. Just because you have Blake Shelton as your host doesn’t mean you have to go there.

And then why did you have to write a bad country song titled “The Wishing Boot” and have Shelton perform it as some kind of cross between Alan Jackson and Ronnie Dunn alongside two women who were either supposed to be the Judds or two-thirds of Wilson Phillips?

Shelton’s opening monologue was funny on Saturday’s (Jan. 24) show.

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“I’m kind of like the Justin Bieber of country music — just a trouble-makin’ cutie,” he grinned.

And even when he took the Hee Haw-themed set during the show’s opening segment on with everyone in overalls and gingham, he managed to transcend the hay.

Then his parody of Chris Soules (The Bachelor) in the Farm Hunk skit was very funny. He wasn’t as funny as the contestants, though, who kept on insisting on one-on-one time to talk about their post-porn future with the farmer. “Can I just steal him for a sec,” they kept asking one another.

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Then his turn as a man obsessed with a magic show was genius. He was very believable as someone who has just discovered the power of a magician. He begs him to grant these wishes: make him rich, give him the power to know what women are thinking to get their tops off, make him be able to slam dunk, give him indestructible bones and wolverine claws, make him a black guy for a day, give him guns for hands, give him chicken nuggets with ranch and give him the power to go down on himself.

Shelton’s musical performance of “Neon Light” was excellent. That and his sweet and witty “My Darling Joan” and his “Boys ’Round Here” were easily the best parts of the show. All good reminders of why Shelton is famous in the first place.

But his part on Family Feud was just so-so. He played himself in an American Idol vs. The Voice episode. Good thing there was someone playing Keith Urban to kind of save this skit from severe mediocrity.

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Same with Shelton’s prison parole skit. Just so-so.

And then there was “The Wishing Boot,” a country music video with a song about a magical cowboy boot that solved all your problems. Other than the fact it was a goofy concept, there’s really not much else to say. I mean, when a song makes you long for yet another bro-country tune about tailgates and ’shine, you know it’s bad.

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Shelton tweeted shortly after the episode:

Before the telecast, Sheton’s wife Miranda Lambert posted her support on Twitter.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.