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The Blake Shelton-Miranda Lambert saga sums up how social media has changed celebrity drama

The Blake Shelton-Miranda Lambert saga sums up how social media has changed celebrity drama
02 May
8:32

Blake Shelton performs at the 49th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Is it 2015 again? Certainly seems that way, given the flurry of headlines about Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, the former country music power couple who divorced nearly three years ago.

No, the current frenzy is because Us Weekly — which once got the exclusive rights to Shelton and Lambert’s wedding photos — and People magazine reported last week that Lambert is dating Evan Felker, the lead singer of country music group Turnpike Troubadours. Felker’s band opened for Lambert’s tour for a few days in early February. According to the magazines, Felker was married at the time — then several weeks later, he filed for divorce.

That alone would cause the celebrity gossip machine to start churning, but thanks to cryptic tweets, photos and Instagram posts, it went into overdrive. While neither of the singers has directly addressed the chaos (Felker’s representative declined to comment; Shelton and Lambert’s reps did not respond to a request for comment), these days, they don’t have to. This situation is a perfect example of how much social media has changed the game with celebrity drama — particularly breakups — and helps stories take on a life of their own. Here’s how this one unfolded.

Step 1: The ex weighs in

Shelton isn’t known for being subtle. With one tweet, he threw a match on the gossip gasoline.

“Been taking the high road for a long time.. I almost gave up,” he wrote a few hours after the tabloids broke the news about Lambert and Felker. “But I can finally see something on the horizon up there!! Wait!! Could it be?! Yep!! It’s karma!!”

Social media users went to work analyzing this gleeful tweet, which clearly seemed related to Lambert, and fueled the story to a new level of public fascination: Shelton never talks about his ex. Some speculated that “karma,” may have something to do with the criticism that Shelton received when he and Lambert admitted they first had a spark in 2005 while Shelton was married to his first wife. But that doesn’t quite add up, so was it something else entirely?

While doing press for “The Voice,” Shelton demurred. “It was a personal thing that’s in a small circle of my people and that’s why it was written the way it was. And then people took it and make it into what they want to make it into, which I don’t want any part of that,” Shelton told “Extra.” (Note: When you send a tweet to your 21 million followers, that makes it less “personal.”)

“At the same time, I can’t help but think it’s funny how these fires get lit, and it takes off,” Shelton added. “I don’t have time to care, also, that’s why I’ve just kind of moved on.”

That’s great for him; his fans have not. Which leads us to…

Step 2: Another ex weighs in

As Shelton’s tweet made the rounds, singer Jeff Allen — who dated Lambert in the mid-2000s — fired off a tweet to “The Voice” star. According to publications who saw the message before it was deleted, Allen accused Shelton and Lambert of getting together while Allen was still in a relationship with Lambert.

“I kept my mouth shut for 13 years,” Allen continued in another now-deleted tweet. “Sorry, his karma tweet rubbed me wrong. All of this is pointless.”

And as that propelled the whole situation further…

Step 3: A reminder of the impact

There’s usually someone who is unwittingly shoved into the spotlight but wants to make their feelings known. Two days after the Lambert-Felker news became public, Felker’s wife, Staci, posted a photo on her Instagram story that quickly spread around the Internet. She took a teary-eyed selfie and captioned it with a “public service announcement.”

“If Staci Felker can make it through this week,” she wrote, “so can you.”

Step 4: A search for previous clues  

Lambert, one of the most popular stars in country music, can be intensely private when she wants to be. However, People magazine, citing an anonymous source, guided readers to “several veiled references” that Lambert may have already made about Felker on Instagram.

The mag pointed to a photo from Feb. 7 which showed Lambert standing in front of a mirror with the caption, “I do this thing called whatever I want.” In March, Lambert posted about a co-writing session, which included a picture of a beer that is Felker’s reported “drink of choice,” according to People.

No matter the actual purpose behind the photos, judging from the comments, those posts did not age well. And that’s one of the conundrums of being a celebrity in 2018 — social media is made to boost your profile, but when you’re in the midst of drama, it’s made to be analyzed.

Read more:

Everyone ganged up on Blake Shelton on ‘The Voice’ premiere.  This might explain why.

Blake Shelton’s first post-Miranda Lambert divorce song is here, and it’s not subtle

ACM Awards 2018: Complete list of winners, best and worst moments

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