Adam Levine's tough love yields astonishing result on The Voice

Adam Levine generated controversy last season on The Voice for throwing one of his contestants under the bus, but this season, it seems his shadiness is working for him.

After 16 seasons, he has either become a master of reverse psychology… or maybe, just maybe, on an enabling, coddling, everybody-gets-a-cookie singing show that features “coaches” instead of “judges,” some thicker-skinned contestants actually find Adam’s brutal honesty and tough love refreshing.

On Tuesday’s Blind Auditions episode, 29-year-old church belter LB Crew was the only four-chair contestant of the night, thanks to his beautifully nuanced rendition of Mr. Probz’s “Waves.”

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'The Voice' Season 16 Judges
THE VOICE -- 'Press Junket' -- Pictured: (l-r) Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Adam Levine at Universal Studios, Hollywood, Ca. on February 12, 2019 -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Battle Reality' -- Pictured: (l-r) John Legend, Khalid -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Battle Reality' -- Pictured: (l-r) Charlie Puth, Adam Levine -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Battle Reality' -- Pictured: (l-r) Kelsea Ballerini, Kelly Clarkson -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Battle Reality' -- Pictured: Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn (c) Blake Shelton (Center) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Live Cross Battles Results' Episode 1611B -- Pictured: (l-r) Adam Levine, John Legend -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Live Cross Battles Results' Episode 1611B -- Pictured: Kelly Clarkson -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Live Cross Battles Results' Episode 1611B -- Pictured: (l-r) Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Live Cross Battles Results' Episode 1611B -- Pictured: (l-r) Adam Levine, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Live Cross Battles Results' Episode 1611B -- Pictured: Blake Shelton -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Live Cross Battles Results' Episode 1611B -- Pictured: Adam Levine -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Live Cross Battles Results' Episode 1611B -- Pictured: John Legend -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Live Cross Battles Results' Episode 1611B -- Pictured: Adam Levine -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Live Cross Battles' Episode 1611A -- Pictured: John Legend -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Live Cross Battles' Episode 1611A -- Pictured: Kelly Clarkson -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE VOICE -- 'Live Cross Battles' Episode 1611A -- Pictured: (l-r) Adam Levine, John Legend -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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Adam was the last coach to turn for LB, and the only coach not to lavish LB with praise. In fact, while Adam found LB’s smooth soul voice “99 percent unstoppable,” he chose to focus on the 1 percent in need of improvement.

I think that one of my best skills as a singer is falsetto, and that's the one area that wasn't as good as it could be,” Adam told LB bluntly.

“When someone has the gift that you have and someone is so incredible on every level, and there's one little, tiny thing that I have right skill set to help you with -- that's why I turned. …I'm coming at you real with it. Just want to be straight up about it.”

Surprisingly, LB ended up joining Team Adam -- even after the coach that he’d claimed was his first choice, John Legend, had called him “magnificent” and “powerful.”

LB maturely and thoughtfully explained to host Carson Daly, “I picked Adam because he gave some constructive criticism and it was honest, and I appreciate that. I don't mind getting help where help is due.”

Good-cop coach Kelly Clarkson was incredulous, exclaiming, “I'm gonna try that. I'm gonna try to be like, ‘You really weren't great.’ And then hopefully they'll pick me!”

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