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SNL RECAP: Does Blake Shelton Bring the Magic?

Welcome to Edition No. 54 of Popculturology's Saturday Night Live recaps. All of your questions about the Blake Shelton-hosted episode will soon be answered.

How'd Blake Shelton do?

Going into this weekend's episode, I wasn't sure how Shelton would do as an SNL host. Sure, he's a country music star and banters with Adam Levine on The Voice, but would he melt under the SNL spotlight? Turns out the show didn't give Shelton the chance to melt, instead hiding him in sketches that relied heavily on SNL castmembers.

Don't get me wrong, Shelton delivered an enjoyable show. He played along with ridiculous concepts, he recited dumb lines and he didn't break when surrounded by ridiculousness. He just wasn't the star of his own episode.

Shelton's monologue was a sign of how the show would go. He may have been the guy sitting at centerstage, but the monologue was about everyone else — mainly Leslie Jones.

What were the best sketches of the night?

The best sketch of the night didn't just stand up Shelton — it stood up the two "Weekend Update" anchors SNL has been trying so hard this season to prove belong behind the "Update" desk. Bobby Moynihan's Riblet, a high school friend of Michael Che, proved how easy it was to anchor the segment, insisting that it wasn't a hard jorb.

This was Shelton's highlight. For reasons that I'm pretty sure include the fact that you can't have a character yelling for the power to "go down on myself," this sketch was held until the final moments of the night.

Best country music song ever. (Not a very hard competition, though.)

Once again, Shelton sat there while SNL went crazy around him. Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer and Aidy Bryant all took turns unleashing increasingly insane dating show contestants. For Strong and Bayer, they once again played pornstars. Can we pretend those two characters were the duo that would someday find themselves hawking Sabosky crystals and Manuel Blondicks shoes?

Shelton got to sing in this one, performing a song that never got quite as awful as I hoped it would.

How was 'Weekend Update'?

Besides Moynihan's Riblet was the highlight of "Weekend Update," but we still got two more guests this week.

A segment about Pete Davidson wanting everyone (especially his girlfriend) to know that he isn't gay?

Che and Sasheer Zamata performed well together, going on the premise that Zamata's character was there as a financial expert but really couldn't get over the fact that she and Che had just broken up. At the end of the segment, SNL revealed that Riblet wasn't just after Che's jorb.

How about the rest of the show?

Was a sketch poking fun at the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady funny? Yes. Was it the best option to lead off this episode? Not really. SNL mostly ignored the past week's State of the Union, but even that probably wouldn't have been the best cold open option.

Remember when SNL did Celebrity Family Feud and Jimmy Fallon played Jim Parsons while Justin Timberlake played Jimmy Fallon? That was awesome. Blake Shelton playing himself while Taran Killam plays a weak Levine wasn't very awesome. If there was a moment where Shelton needed his The Voice co-judge to swing by, this was it.

Yes, we get it. He ate a few people.

What's next?

SNL is back on Jan. 31 with JK Simmons hosting with D'Angelo as the musical guest.
SNL RECAP: Does Blake Shelton Bring the Magic? Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 1/25/2015 Rating: 5

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