'The Voice': Adam Levine Responds to Outrage Over 'I Hate This Country' Comment (Video)

The Voice Shakira Adam Levine - H 2013

The Voice Shakira Adam Levine - H 2013

Adam Levine is firing back at complaints over his "I hate this country" remark on Tuesday's edition of The Voice. The judge muttered the comment during a tense elimination round in which three of his contestants -- Amber CarringtonSarah Simmons and Judith Hill -- were left standing along with Holly Tucker from Blake Shelton's team. 

Carrington and Tucker snagged the last two spots among the top eight on the NBC singing competition, while Simmons and Hill -- both of whom were judge favorites -- got the boot. (When her name was announced, Tucker -- an aspiring country star from Texas -- seemed genuinely surprised. Shelton applauded while Levine fumed.)

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"Adam Levine just said 'I hate this country' on TV... Not a smart move, dude. Not smart at all. #america," wrote a critic on Twitter. Another sniped: "If Adam Levine really said, 'I hate this country' can we send Seal Team 6 after him?"

Still, others tweeted in defense of Levine, with one viewer writing: "The two best singers on @NBCTheVoice got voted off, I agree with Adam, 'I hate this country.' It's not the voice, it's the country show."

Levine's initial response? A litany of tweets citing dictionary definitions for "joke," " humorless," "misunderstand" and "lighthearted."

On Wednesday afternoon, Levine issued a statement, 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. 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."