A newly fiesty Shakira and a more aggressive Usher join returning champions Adam Levine and Blake Shelton on the NBC singing show, with Aloe Blacc, Jill Scott, The Band Perry and Miranda Lambert serving as guest mentors.
Shakira and Usher are back in their spinning red chairs on The Voice, joining Adam Levine and Blake Shelton for the show's sixth season. "The first time in season four, I feel like, that Shak and Usher just were sort of respecting the territory of the show," says host Carson Daly. "But season six, they came back with a vengeance. Everybody on this show has to step up their game."
The Voice kicked off its sixth season with its traditional performance by the coaches. But rather than having them all collaborate on a single song, they took each other's tracks for a genre-swapping spin on the same stage: Blake Shelton on Shakira's "Whenever, Wherever," Shakira on Shelton's "Boys Round Here," Usher on Maroon 5's "Love Somebody," and Adam Levine on Usher's "Without You."
Adam Levine returns to The Voice for his sixth season. The Maroon 5 frontman won the first season and fifth of the NBC singing competition, dethroning fellow coach Shelton with reggae-rocker, Tessanne Chin.
The 19-year-old New Jersey native, whose mother has had breast cancer three times, is a YouTube sensation with over two million subscribers. She auditioned with Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" ballad a few keys higher and turned all four chairs. "You're more comfortable than I am up there," said Levine, who became her coach.
Dawn & Hawkes
Miranda Dawn and Chris Hawkes hit it off – musically and romantically – in an Austin bar in 2010, and endearingly layered their harmonies while plucking their acoustic guitars. "That was my favorite performance that I've ever seen ever on The Voice," said Levine, revealing that he was raised on the tune. The duo chose Levine over Shakira.
The singing Starbucks barista who auditioned for season five returned with Donny Hathaway's "A Song for You," turning all four chairs. "I hadn't heard somebody exercise that much control," said Shelton, while Levine noted he sounded twenty times better. Choice then picked Levine.
The stay-at-home mom relocated her family from Alabama to Wyoming, since her husband works in the oil and gas industry. After slaying The Band Perry's "Better Dig Two," she was invited to sit in nearly every judge's red chair. Though her son was shouting backstage for Laine to pick Shelton, she instead went with Levine.
Shakira also returns for her second run as a Voice coach, after debuting in season four with Usher. She admits that she might have been "hormonal and sleepless" then due to her pregnancy with her son, Milan, but she announces that she's got a laser focus this season. (Throughout the premiere episode, the three male warned contestants not to look at Shakira lest they be "blinded by lust.")
The openly gay singer quit the corporate career life to pursue country music, and performed with Sugarland after winning a contest. Her performance of "Something More" got Shakira and Levine dancing. Shakira plead, "Social media is going to be critical in getting votes, and I have twenty million followers on Twitter -- these guys together don't get to seventeen!" After promising to call Miranda Lambert to coach her to be Merlin's coach, and with Shelton's blessing, Shakira successfully recruited Merlin.
The former college baseball coach spends his days working at Sacramento's unemployment board, but hopes to take his evening gigs full-time. After singing "Bad Company," Briggs was warned by Shelton to stay away from Shakira: "Don't look at her, because if you even look at her, it's over – damnit, he's looking at her!" Combined with her reminder that she began her career in rock, Briggs chose Shakira.
The 16-year-old military brat needed to have her kidney removed as a newborn, and kept her cool all throughout Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors." Amid bickering between Shelton, Shakira and Usher, Hall joined Team Shakira.
After making his Voice debut on season four, Usher is back for his second turn as a mentor. "My approach, every year, is significant with that person, and everybody, I guess, needs something specific," he said at a panel. "While I'm mentoring, I would actually like to win the show. I think Blake [Shelton], he created an idea -- there's a focus, he stays country, no matter what. It's his one go-to if he feels like he's out of sorts in some way. I'm working out that one piece. The rest, you gotta to tune in and see."
The South Central resident was shielded from bad influences by bussing across town to a performing arts school. Currently studying music in college, Wilkins went with a soulful spin on Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets" that intrigued Shelton, Levine and Usher. "I hear a great R&B record in you," said Usher, who pointed out the strategy to hit the piano parts with a falsetto – a comment that had Wilkins siding with Usher.
The Denver worship leader and nonprofit head was saved from fighting in the Gulf War after his brother petitioned for his orders to be canceled. His cover of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" was finished by a very happy high-kick. When Gore said that his family thinks Usher is gorgeous, the musician flashed his abs and welcomed him to his team.
The personable 17-year-old blues rocker, whose mother was diagnosed with sepsis last year, beganJames Taylor's "Steamroller Blues" with a huge note, and blew off the roof with her rasp. Though all four judges wanted her, Usher waved his Grammy in front of her face – a tactic that won Kelly over.
The 16-year-old effortlessly auditioned with a piano-ballad version of David Guetta/Sia's "Titanium," spotlighting her voice's purity. "I think your approach was smart, because you weren't aggressive, you showed a gentler side," said Usher, while Shakira called her sound beautiful and powerful. Paige picked Usher over Shakira.
With three Voice championships under his belt, the country singer returns for his sixth season on the show. He won the second, third and fourth seasons, and was dethroned by the series' inaugural winning coach, Levine.
Though he didn't get a chair turn during season five due to lack of breath control, the high school senior chose to performKeith Whitley's "Don't Close Your Eyes" ballad that he first learned to play on guitar. Shelton asked if Worthington wanted to be "a real, rootsy country singer" and beat Levine and Shakira in bringing him to his team.
The 22-year-old working musician wants to bring back the sound of classic jazz standards, which is why he crooned on Billy Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones" and got Levine and Shelton's button-pushes at the last second. Lis was recruited to Team Shelton, who broke out into Martin's "Aint That a Kick in the Head" in celebration.
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