The coaches of "The Voice" gathered in Los Angeles recently to dish on the shows upcoming 10th season, Christina Aguilera's return to the chair that coach Gwen Stefani kept warm last season and what to expect when the show returns Feb. 29. According to Aguilera, there's only one thing on her mind this season: "Winning."
"We're going to win it. [I'm] In it to win it this time," jokes Aguilera to fellow "The Voice" coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams, adding that she wants to "break the girl curse."
Since the shows debut in 2011, fellow coach Blake Shelton has dominated the number of contestants winning. Shelton has four wins to his credit, closely followed by Levine with three and Williams with one. However, this season Aguilera is feeling more confident than ever.
"I do have to say I think I have the most consistently great talent," says Aguilera. "I know these guys can vouch for this too, I mean, they're really dynamic. And, God, I wish I could say more, because I'm really that excited. But I think this might be the year."
Newly blonde coach Levine concurs admitting, "I think it's her year, y'all."
Aguilera admits to having no strategy going into each new season of the show, but after watching the guys win year after year, observing them has to finally pay off. "I've been taking notes from the guys for years now," she admits. "Adam came in full‑force. Like Season 1, he was just so, like the ultimate salesman. Pharrell just comes in and he's just like Mr. Humble, he's got his own strategy, which is awesome, and that works for him. And then Blake, he just has that Southern drawl, and dimples, and it's just like, you know ‑ but I'm trying."
The coaches also gave insight into one of the upcoming season's guest mentors and probably one of the shows worst kept secrets - coach, and Shelton's girlfriend, Gwen Stefani would return along with Patti LaBelle, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Tori Kelly.
"With me, my mentor, I always look for somebody that I respect," said Shelton with a smile. "I know that when they give their opinion, that I will have 'No Doubt' I'll agree with."
Aguilera is more than happy to have Stefani back to help break up the boys club, admitting, "When Gwen came on, I remember telling her, I think at Zuma's birthday party, I was, like, eight months pregnant, I was like just do me one favor when you go in. Please, give the boys hell. Break the girl curse."
"And it still hasn't been done yet. I know she's rooting me on too, to come try and fix that. She'll be around. She'll be around, I'm sure. I'm going to get her to take my side against all you guys. Girl power," she adds.
Season 10 of "The Voice" Premiers Feb. 29, at 8 p.m. on NBC. For more with coach Christina Aguilera read on:
Is there an initiation when you come back, after taking a season off?
Oh, my God, there should be, there should be a party for me or something. I bring the party, baby. No. No. It's fun. The guys really make it fun, you know. And then I come back, and I'm like, oh, my God, what's different, and then I'm, like, oh, my God, nothing (Laughs). It's totally "Groundhog Day."
What are you most looking forward to about getting back to work on "The Voice"?
Winning. I'm really ‑ I'm trying to make it different by winning this year. I'm very strategy‑less though. I do notice I think every year half the battle, once we start getting into the nitty‑gritty of competition, is talking the competition out of their own heads. They get in there, and it's hard to be faced with the onslaught of either criticism or likes and then dislikes. Everybody has opinions, but that's part of being in this business. So, as a coach, I find that to be one of the biggest things that I try to help them with, is helping them with their headspace and their mindset, encouraging them to move forward, and have fun with it.
What do you have to offer for your contestants that you think is the difference in winning?
Every year it's different; the talent is different. At the end of the day it is the talent that wins. It's not like we go home with, like a "Voice" trophy, but it is really up to them. Ultimately I'm here to be just their biggest fan. You know, I always go into it with the hopes of definitely taking somebody to the end.
What's the most important factor in that?
I think song choice is definitely a huge factor. Having to focus on that, figuring out your talent and what allows them to shine the brightest, and what's going to connect with America and how they're going to react.
What do you think a contestant looks for when they choose you as a coach?
I've been doing this since I was seven years old, so I've been doing this for a very, very, long time. I've always worked in television on some level actually. But being a TV persona here and there is fine too. It's really about helping these kids, and helping all these walks of life come together, and try and give them the same opportunities. They always ask me about nerves. They ask me about how I keep my voice and my exhaustion level down. Whenever you're using your pipes, and at full range how to control your power, how to gain a more consistent vibrato. You know, these are all vocal notes that I do bring to the table, and I do strip down and try to help constructively better their performance. I really try to come at it from a professional point of view vocally, and then try and give them that mamma bear emotional support.
What can you say about your advisor [Patti LaBelle] this season?
I have some very magical moments that I'm very excited about. I gave a song to one to two of my team members that I had covered from the original and we all had a moment where we all got to join in. It's a pretty magical, pretty epic moment. It's a part of why I do love coming back to "The Voice." I'm very excited and there's going to be some good stuff coming up. I think it's going to be a really fun season.