This season of The Voice you will find Usher and Shakira keeping the seats warm for Cee-Lo Green and Christina Aguilera. Both new judges are bringing their musical experience along with competitiveness to the table. All of the judges, including returnees Blake Shelton and Adam Levine, mean business.
Rolling Stone had a chance to watch the new judges at a taped blind auditions. At the audition, there was friendly competition among the judges over a few contestants. Usher bested Levine for a vocalist, and he playfully taunted his fellow judge. Blake Shelton confirmed that this season will give new meaning to the term “battle rounds”. “I would say competitiveness is up,” he said. “We’ve replaced Cee-Lo with somebody that’s just that much more aggressive. And Christina was also competitive, [but] now you’ve got four that are just killers up here.”
Levine added, “You have a pregnant, hormonal Columbian,” he said. “She’s ready to bust some heads. She ain’t messing around.” Shakira took on the comments with a laugh. “Spending some time with these guys, I can only tell you that it is the best–they joke all the time and make me laugh onstage, offstage,” said the singer.
Both additions will add flare to the competition to work with their teams. Shakira plans to take on the hands on approach, while Usher tends to be more military style. Levine and Shelton have coached the winning contestants in all three previous seasons, feel they still have the edge. But, Usher may have a heads up as the mentor for pop sensation Justin Bieber.