Season 17 of The Voice (Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on CTV2) kicked off on Monday night with the newly revised coaching line up of Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Gwen Stefani, and of course, Blake Shelton, marking the first time the show has aired without Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.
The season got off to a bumpy start earlier this summer when Levine made the delayed decision to vacate his chair after already being announced as a coach on Season 17, but Stefani’s last-minute return has already helped to breathe a more positive life into the show, with Monday’s premiere featuring all the good-natured ribbing and stellar musical performances we love about The Voice without any of the negativity.
Levine’s absence wasn’t completely ignored, with fellow OG coach Blake Shelton making a comment at one point during a playful interaction with Kelly Clarkson as the pair fought for a contestant. “She’s in Adam’s old chair and she’s possessed,” said Shelton, a slight that didn’t even come close to some of the mean-spirited comments viewers sadly had come to expect from Levine during his last three seasons of the show. (It was nice to tune in on Monday night without having the expectation that a ‘joke’ to go too far.) The coaches still came to play on Season 17, but they did so as a masterclass in how to fight for the singer you want without cruelty. The Voice is about making us laugh, making us dance, and inevitably, making us cry.
The performance of the night
Blake kicked off the season with Kelly as his new Adam, aka the person he will hilariously torture all year, using his only block to stop Kelly from getting a chance to woo Katie Kadan. Technically, Katie received the first four-chair turn of the season, but Blake’s block made that a bit foggy. Katie said that she was scared to perform because she’s “a chubby chick living in a skinny girl’s world.” We already liked Katie because of her voice, but now it’s love. Pure love.
Will Breman turned the Spice Girls “Say You’ll Be There” into a folksy rock song and it worked so well that he finagled a duet with John Legend out of the performance. We can’t wait to hear how Will is going to spice up our life with his next cover.
The artist we can’t wait to see again
Rose Short’s rendition of John Legend’s “Preach” wasn’t enough to get John to turn his chair, but as Kelly accidentally pointed out during her plea, that’s because Rose’s version annihilated John’s. Harsh, but hilarious. We had already fallen for Rose’s incredible control and powerful voice, but then she picked Gwen over obvious choice Kelly and now we’re really intrigued. Okay Rose, we see you and we can rock with you.
Blake’s bon mot
While fighting for country artist Brennan Lassiter in a four-chair turn, Blake went down the line of his esteemed colleagues and listed their biggest professional moments. He then drove home his point with the memorable line, “These people know as much about country music as I know about getting a pap smear.” Brennan still chose Kelly, but we appreciate the inadvertent PSA about annual check-ups.
Poor Blakey. pic.twitter.com/F9ZVIDLcY8
— The Voice (@NBCTheVoice) September 24, 2019
The Voice airs Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on CTV2.