'The Voice' judges defend Twitter fights: Cee Lo explains 'Imagine' lyric change

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NBC’s The Voice judges say the singing talent in season two will be “way, way, way” better than last year and–

Blah, blah, blah!

Every TV talent competition claims the contestant performances are going to improve right before every season. Admittedly, in the case of The Voice, it might actually be true, since the show’s profile skyrocketed after its breakout debut (though after all these years of American Idol, America’s Got Talent and now The X Factor, you have to wonder if TV talent scouts are booking explorations into the Appalachians to try and find talented singers who aren’t bitter veterans of Hollywood rounds and snarky judges).

But here’s something fresh from NBC’s The Voice panel at the critics press tour in Pasadena: The judges defending their Twitter fights.

Cee Lo was asked about his social media battle with critics of his New Year’s Eve performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” The singer changed the iconic lyrics from “And no religion, too” to “And all religion’s true.” It was a stab at advocating universal acceptance, but just managed to piss off an odd coalition of Lennon fans, atheists and some religious partisans.

“I will say that it’s all about love,” the singer said. “It was all done out of love and out of peace and unity and tolerance and acceptance and all those many wonderful things that seem cliche and a little bit cheesy. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

“You got that one right,” chimed in fellow judge Adam Levine, giving a nod to Cee Lo’s “Imagine” lyric reference.

“I believe that we’re just advocates of individuality, you know what I’m saying,” Cee Lo continued. “I’m pro choice. I’m pro expression. You know, that’s just me. And I meant no harm and no disrespect to anyone [of] any religious preference.”

Levine added: “We all worship John Lennon. He would have said the same thing — ‘It’s only a song,’ you know. But you put your spin on it, and that’s what you did.”

Of course, Levine is no stranger to Twitter sparring either, having called Fox News an “evil f–king channel” and bashed MTV’s Video Music Awards.

“Sometimes we say stupid s–t, and it goes out on Twitter for millions to see,” Levine said. “People make mistakes because they’re human, and we all make them all the time, sometimes more publicly than others … but, you know, whatever. Life goes on. You can’t worry too much about it, right?”

Right. The Voice debuts after the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.

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