Spoiler alert: This story contains details about Monday’s episode of “The Voice.”

“The Voice” is back.

Season 19 of the NBC singing competition premiered Monday with returning coach Gwen Stefani, who hopes to give boyfriend Blake Shelton a run for his money. 

“Blake won last season, but I’m back this season and I’m going to get a win,” said Stefani, who served as a coach on Seasons 7, 9, 12 and 17. “It’s such a blessing (to be back), but things are a little bit different.”

It’s safe to say that things are very different. In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, “The Voice” returned with a virtual audience, including contestants’ families who normally joined their loved ones in-studio. 

‘The Voice’:Gwen Stefani ‘cannot wait’ to return as coach, will replace Nick Jonas

And it’s clear that some of the coaches were a little rusty. Kelly Clarkson made a critical error that allowed John Legend to swoop in and pick up the first four-chair-turn of the season.

Tamara Jade wowed all the coaches with a powerful rendition of Lizzo’s “Cuz I Love You.” Clarkson and Legend quickly turned after Jade’s opening note. Stefani and Shelton also pressed their buttons shortly after. 

Clarkson threw modesty out the window (“I do think it would be helpful to have someone who’s navigated a vocal competition”); Legend used flattery (You “can do literally anything”); Stefani pointed out her glittery outfit (“I got dressed up for the occasion”); and Shelton went with reverse psychology (“It makes zero sense to go with someone like me”).

In the end, Jade went with Legend. 

“And just a pre-congratulations on possibly winning ‘The Voice,'” said Clarkson, who admitted that she “should’ve blocked John” from Jade, but completely “forgot.” 

With physical touch out of the question, the coaches stepped up their game to form connections with singers to lure them to their teams. Clarkson had a closet of purple coats, Stefani used a T-shirt launcher, Shelton offered cardboard cutout replicas (“Just because I can’t hug my artists, doesn’t mean my artists can’t hug me”) and Legend shook hands with a creepy extended arm. 

Their pitches were equally unconventional. 

Jim Ranger, 38, pastor of a small-town church in Bakersfield, California, earned chair-turns from Legend, Shelton and Stefani with his rendition of Keith Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color.”

To discourage Ranger from picking the country legend, Legend displayed his own political-style advertisement that attacked Shelton’s habit of exaggerating the truth. 

“You don’t want to work with Blake. You can’t always trust this guy,” Legend said. “As the son of a pastor, you want to work with someone you can really trust and believe their word. And we have an important message I want to present to Jim.”

The attack ad repeatedly called Shelton a “liar.” (“All he does is lie. Isn’t it time you pick a coach you can believe in… I’m John Legend and I approve this message.”)

Shelton’s rebuttal? “I may be full of crap, but I won’t be deterred. I do lie, but it’s only when something is important to me. It’s worth it to me to lie to these other coaches to get somebody like you on my team.”

'The Voice' premiere: John Legend's campaign-style ad attacking Blake Shelton backfires badly

His twisted logic appeared to work because Ranger selected Shelton as his coach. “Luckily, my reputation precedes me,” Shelton added before laughing in Legend’s face. 

Legend added, “It was one of a few disappointments for me today.”

'The Voice' premiere: John Legend's campaign-style ad attacking Blake Shelton backfires badly

Source