Blake Shelton talks 'The Voice' (and the start of his rivalry with fellow coach Cee Lo Green) -- EXCLUSIVE

the-voiceBlake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Adam Levine, the four “coaches” for the upcoming Mark Burnett-produced NBC reality singing competition The Voice, have been in L.A. this week getting to know one another and doing photo shoots in preparation for the start of taping next week. (The series debuts April 26.) “When you get down to it, sure, it’s another reality create-a-star-on-television America-votes type show, but the process of getting there is like nothing else I’ve ever seen,” says Shelton, a former Nashville Star judge and Clash of the Choirs choir director. “Every different level along the way just creates more entertainment. And what I love about it, and was talking to Adam about, is it’s not like you’ll see on American Idol where they build this story and there’s drama and it’s sad. This is all just so much fun.”

Shelton says his favorite part of the format is the first round of competition, the blind audition phase. NBC describes it thusly: “The coaches hear the contestants perform but they don’t get to see them thanks to rotating chairs. If a coach is impressed by the contestant’s voice, he/she pushes a button to select the contestant for his/her team. At this point, the coach’s chair will swivel so that he/she can face the contestant he/she has selected. If more than one coach selects the talent, the power shifts to the contestant, who may choose which coach he/she wants to work with throughout the competition.” Shelton is hoping that role reversal happens a lot. “A great singer, we’re all gonna have an ear for it and try to get him for our team, and I love the idea that it’s up to the contestant then to shut three of us down and tell us, ‘No, you didn’t make it,’” he says. What does Shelton, one of country music’s biggest and beloved smartasses, plan on saying to contestants considering choosing another coaches over him? “I would tell ‘em how the other artists are truly losers and that they didn’t really do anything to get themselves to the point they’re at in their career. They counted on other people. I, on the other hand, did it completely by myself and if they pick the other artist, there’s a good chance they’ll lose the entire competition,” he deadpans. “You know, just helpful tips like that.” Which judge does he expect to be his biggest competition? “I don’t know him that well, but sittin’ across that table looking at Cee Lo Green [Tuesday], I started feelin’ my chest puffin’ up because I was thinkin’, Man, I’m gonna wear a Superman or Batman costume one day just to try to outdo whatever he comes in there wearin’. I’m just gonna compete with him on how the guy dresses. That will be a handful for me.”

In round two of the competition, the battle phase, the coaches mentor their chosen singers and pit two of their own team members against each other to sing the same song together in front of a studio audience. The coach will then choose which of his/her singers will advance. The remaining contestants advance to the live shows. Per NBC, “In this final performance phase of the competition, the top contestants from each team will compete against each other during a live broadcast. The television audience will vote to save one talent on each team, leaving the coach to decide live who they want to save and who will not move on.  At last, each coach will have their best contestant left standing to compete in the finale. From these four, one will be named ‘The Voice’ — and will receive the grand prize of a recording contract and $100,000. After two-hour episodes on April 26 and May 3, the show settles into its regular one-hour timeslot, Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET, on May 10. Country fans know Shelton and Miranda Lambert have set a May 14 wedding date. Will that need to change? “No, I don’t know how it all worked out, and I’m sure they didn’t cater to my situation, but luckily, it doesn’t interfere with our wedding or any of the time that we had off for it,” he confirms. Does he already have a song picked out for their first dance? “No, I don’t. But I guarantee you, whatever song it is, it’s gonna be a slow song because I can’t dance, but I’m still good at the old middle-school put-your-arms-around-each-other’s-necks-and-rock-back-and-forth. I mastered that,” he says. “So it’ll probably be ‘You’re the Inspiration’ or something like that that we slow dance to.” Told you he was a smartass.

Read more:
Country singer Blake Shelton joins NBC’s The Voice
Christina Aguilera joins NBC’s The Voice
Cee Lo Green, Maroon 5 singer in talks to judge Mark Burnett’s NBC singing competition — EXCLUSIVE
Blake Shelton nails the EW Pop Culture Personality Test

Comments (16 total) Add your comment
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  • PN

    I agree with Shelton-they do let that drama backstory thing go far too long but fortunately, they got away from it and are focusing on the contestants more.

  • Dubya Bush

    This genuinely sounds like it’ll be fun. I’ll tune in just to see what it’s all about.

  • Bobby B

    How long will the show run for?

    • Alvina

      Seems like a one season wonder but I like the premise all the same…

  • Sam

    How many people does each person have on their team?

  • Keith

    While I’m weary of talent shows on tv, I have to say I’m impressed with the stars Burnett was able to line up for this. All save Christina have or have recently had hits on the radio in their respective formats. Cee Lo currently has one of the biggest songs in the country. Christina, though troubled and struggling career wise, is still not far removed from success and her days of relevance. Not saying I’ll watch it. haha! But I’m impressed with the line up. A hell of alot more relevant than Steven Tyler and JLo, even though I think they’re doing a great job on Idol.

  • Abel

    It actually sounds alot more interesting than American Idol.

  • heva

    are all these singing shows going to start having non compete clauses or are we going to see idol contestants cut in hollywood week reappear on the voice or the x-factor…you figure aspiring singers are going to try any and all formats to get noticed…already we’ve seen incidents of americas got talent pple showing up on idol – even this year, thia was on americas got talent….i figure pple who auditioned for idol will audition for the voice and will audition for x factor…so once you appear ‘on camera’ on one of these shows, will that bar you from the competing show? Theyre not gonna want to see the same pple on all shows….altho it would be hilarious if someone that idol cut in hollywood or in a televised audition ends up going on xfactor and winning 5 million….Does make you think – xfactor $5 million or the voice and 100K…only 4.9 million dollar difference – thats worth having to deal with simon…X factor better break a MAJOR SUPERSTAR. Simons gonna pull out all the stops… I really dont want or need another singing show like the voice

    • Flavor

      $100,000 is a far cry from 5 million but I think the XFactor guarantees them a 5 million dollar recording contract. All that money will go into marketing and promoting the artist, but The Voice gives them a contract and $ 100,000 to keep for themselves.

  • MattS

    It amazes me how some people can pass judgment on Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aquilera and say they are not relevant. WTF? J.Lo happens to have a HUGE hit off her latest album – On The Floor is number one in something like 20 countries. Not relevant? Christina’s last album may not have been a hit, but she is hardly irrelevant. Several Grammy’s and considered (by the industry) one of the greatest vocalists around. Her style may not be for everyone, but you can’t say she is not a force within the music industry.

  • RJL

    Heva & Flavor: Heva, it is not about the money entirely. Even the non winners are gaining the experience needed to move forward in their quest to enter the entertainment world. So what if they go from show to show. They are not going to get to compete on them unless they are able to get the OK after auditioning. If you were out of work, how many places are you going to file a resume to get to the interviewer to plead your case that you are the best person for the job. Are you going to deny these people for doing the same thing for their chosen fields of life. Who are you to do this? You state that you do not want or need another show like The Voice. Who is asking you to need or like it? If you feel you really do not need or like it, exercise your right of not watching it, instead of trying to influence others to feel the same as you do.

    Flavor: You also have dollar signs in you eyes. It is not only about the money. Yes, The Voice on gives them $100,000 for themselves, which is the same as the X-Factor in the end. It is about them getting the recording contract. How much in the long run is that worth to these inspiring performers? That is what they are there for. The money is just icing on the cake. And, who is to say how much $$$ goes into not only the recording contract,but also in the promotion of them. At this point it is really unknown isn’t it? Really just a guess.

    All said and done, I am going to check it out on the 26th and if I like it, I will continue to watch it. If I don’t like it, I will discontinue to watch it. But, I will not try to encourage others by decrying it. However, If I do like it, I will state it so and explain why. Not negatively tho.

    But, I like the way the contestants will be chosen and then coached, something that is lacking on the other shows. Will still have to see how their voting system works. It definitely can’t be worse the AI, which can be manipulated at ones desire. AHT relies on the judges votes only. I can only wait and see. Have a Great Day All!!!!

  • Melissa Walker Conner

    I have a 21 yr old that could blow your sox off! He’s been singing since he’s been talking! Only wish he could have the chance to be noticed! There are so many God Gifted talented people that just never get the opportunity to shine. So go check him out if you want because he has hit defends in the past and I doubt he will submit a video.

  • Melissa Walker Conner

    …….has hit deadends in the past and I doubt he will submit a video………Jordan walker on YouTube frm Tx.

  • jckfmsincty

    Country Music: White Straights Only

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