Singers Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton are warming up their big red chairs for another season on the hit singing competition series "The Voice," which returns to NBC on Sept. 23.
Aguilera, who sat out season 4 of the series last spring, and Shelton, who has been the coach behind the past three winners of "The Voice," return to the NBC show along with original coaches Adam Levine and CeeLo Green following their most successful season to date. The finale of the past season of "The Voice" drew more viewers than the final episode of competitor "American Idol."
The two spoke to OTRC.com to dish on what their strategies are for grabbing talent during the blind auditions and how having time off between seasons benefited Aguilera as a coach.
[To Christina] Do you think maybe you have the competitive edge because you've had some time off, you can come back with a fresh, kind of clear head perspective?
Blake Shelton: "I think I have an edge but Christina was smart enough to use that against me. Adam and I both -- we'd been doing this and she went and took a little breather and she's more ready to do this than we are, which is not true, but I'll be damned if it doesn't work when she says that now and again ..."
Christina Aguilera: "It was funny -- it took me a little culture shock. I was so far removed from the idea of competition and all that for a second on purpose, so to come back in and be like, 'Wait, wait, wait, I got to get my game face on.' Adam gets real heated. It was actually kind of funny coming back this season after he's won so many times and see how mad Adam becomes."
"By the end of it all, once America chimes in, it's not about us coaches at all. We can do our best as coaches but it's really about the talent, how they represent themselves, what their stories are, what their inspirations are, and then allowing America to connect with that. So honestly, we could have all the strategies in the world, but it's really in the talent's hands, which is nice."
Do you ever sit there and hesitate when you hear something that is sort of way off from what you do and what you know?
Blake Shelton: "I'm guilty of being afraid sometimes to push my button if I hear somebody that I can tell is full on metal or something like that. Twisted Sister is about as heavy as my knowledge of rock gets, you know what I mean, and I just wouldn't be doing that person any favors. I think I should have at least a little bit of a working knowledge of what they're about before I'll push my button."
Christina Aguilera: "Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, you're like ..."
Blake Shelton: "Oh, we should smash pumpkins back in Oklahoma all the time ... gourds, squash all that stuff."
Christina Aguilera: "It's so funny. We'll be sitting there in our chairs and we'll get the guys like, 'Talent is approaching the stage' ... so we know to shut up and then you'll hear clicks and maybe be like, 'Oh, I think it's heels, high heels, I hear heels,' and it could be boots for all we know, we don't know. So then once the first sound you hear, because we're on every detail just trying to latch onto anything to understand what's behind you, and as soon as I hear a steel guitar or whatever, I'm like, 'Oh, Blake's got this one, all right, it's got to be cowboy boots back there,' and if it's country I get intimidated too."
Watch videos of the full version of OTRC.com's interview with Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton above.