February 24, 2014 12:21pm PT by Ashley Lee
'The Voice' Season 6 Premiere: 5 Things to Look For
The Voice returns to NBC on Monday night, with Adam Levine, Shakira, Usher and Blake Shelton in the spinning red chairs this season. The premiere kicks off with the four coaches covering each other's top hits, but the two-hour episode is sprinkled with fun moments among the coaches between the performances.
After an advanced screening of night one of the blind auditions, The Hollywood Reporter highlights a handful of high points to watch out for:
Sitting through sit-ups. At the time that the blind auditions were filmed, Usher was simultaneously training to play Sugar Ray Leonard in Hands of Stone (the film is now in postproduction), so expect a ton of sit-ups throughout the premiere episodes. "I can win these four chair turns all day," he tells the camera while doing sit-ups at one point. And viewers see the fruits of that labor, as the singer shows off his abs in an attempt to woo one contestant in particular.
Shelton's alleged nickname. The coaches are dancing on their feet often -- either cheering on performers or bragging with victory dances after recruiting a singer to their team. As Usher breaks into a moonwalk -- and Shakira attempts to in heels -- Shelton reveals that his nickname is "Shufflin’ Shelton" within his circle of friends, though he doesn't stand up to prove its accuracy.
New ammunition. The Twitter hashtag #InstantSave will be alive and well again this season, Carson Daly and Mark Burnett confirmed at the screening, so social media is now a major selling point for the coaches. Shakira strategically reminds auditionees of her success in that space. "Social media is going to be critical in getting votes, and I have 20 million followers on Twitter -- these guys together don’t get to 17 [million]!" she brags, though apologizing that she has to use her online clout as "bullets" in the fight for team members. (Meanwhile, Levine is left begging on his knees.)
Shakira's zingers. Keep an ear out for well-targeted one-liners from Shakira, who is especially entertaining throughout the episode. "Adam's too busy thinking about his wedding, all he thinks about is flower arrangements," she tells one singer. She admits that she might have been "hormonal and sleepless" last season due to her pregnancy with her son, Milan, but she announces that she's got a laser focus this season. (Throughout the episode, the three male warned contestants not to look at Shakira lest they be "blinded by lust.")
Grammy debut. While Shelton has often displayed his American Music Awards statues during past blind auditions, the Grammy statue makes its debut for a contestant, thanks to a newly aggressive Usher. He walks up to the stage to wave the golden gramophone in front of an auditionee, hoping the accolade is enough to draw the singer to his team. Levine then jokes, "And if you’re really cool, you can turn your Grammys into shoes, like Usher did," while pointing to his coincidentally matching, gold kicks.
The Voice premieres at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Who are you most looking forward to watching? Sound off in the comments below.