Photo Credit: Adam Taylor/NBC
When the fourth season of The Voice arrives on Monday (8 p.m. ET on NBC), it will be without that outlandish diva and…that other outlandish diva. As you've probably heard by now, stars Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green are both taking a break to pursue other projects, and have ceded their spinning chairs to Latin pop superstar Shakira and that unstoppable R&B mainstay, Usher.
Will the fresh faces bring much change to the show? You betcha. More than any other singing competition on TV, The Voice's charm comes from the spicy competition among the four judges/mentors. Consider the most memorable aspects of seasons past. Do you remember the names of the contestants who won? Probably not. Do you remember the feud that erupted between Adam Levine and Aguilera? Definitely.
Luckily, Usher has arrived ready to rumble. Reclining in his red throne with a cocksure leg up and smug look on his face, he's not afraid to be the first one to push the button and spin around. "There's a new sheriff in town," he says in the preview clip below. Shakira, meanwhile, plays the "lady card" any chance she gets. When Levine grumbles about that, she points out that she is a lady, after all. This ought to be a new and interesting wrinkle for Levine and Blake Shelton.
Carson Daly has already set expectations sky-high for the Season 4 premiere, calling it the best episode of The Voice so far during an interview on Today. The judges will kick off the season by singing The Beatles' "Come Together." Then they'll get down to the dirty business of building their talent rosters with the most promising contestants, at each others' expense.
"Maybe it doesn't really matter who's in those chairs," says Shelton in a rare moment of humility during the preview. But the truth is, the fiercest competition here happens among those seated superstars. Sure, some previously unknown singer will win The Voice this year. But the only thing we'll remember is which of the show's celebrities was the winning mentor.