Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we here at MTV News were right there with you during the Season 7 premiere of "The Voice" on Monday (September 22), enjoying the friendly heckling of Blake Shelton and Adam Levine, rooting for the fresh-faced singers making their way onto the blind-audition stage and welcoming (with open arms!) Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams as the show's newest coaches.
Mere minutes into the episode, it was hard to remember that Pharrell and Stefani were "Voice" rookies at all. They sweet-talked, talked back and sold their best pitches just as well as Levine and Shelton, and, with their countless past collaborations, the two made it clear that they have each other’s back in this competition.
But how will the two newest coaches stack up against their veteran peers? Or have Shelton and Levine been in the game for far too long? Read on for our “Voice” report card!
Levine is practically a permanent fixture on the "Voice" red chairs (and believe us, we couldn’t be more grateful!), but some might argue that seven seasons have worn down Maroon 5 frontman. Can one of his team members take home the top title a third time, following Season 1's Javier Colon and Season 5's Tessanne Chin?
It might be too soon to tell, but there was no sign of slowing down for this coach on premiere night. His sweet-talking was still at its best, and he even added some poetry to his sales pitch –- and it worked!
The "Animals" singer has even taken his standing ovations to new heights this season, standing at the highest point of his red chair for the contestants he absolutely had to have on his team. Smooth move, Adam, but the two times you tried it, you failed, and the singers chose to ally with different coaches.
It’s no secret that the whole world went B-A-N-A-N-A-S (#sorrynotsorry) when Stefani signed on for "The Voice." And with a career that spans over two decades, fronting No Doubt, having a successful solo career, being a global fashion icon (*stops to breathe*) and three Grammys, we’re sure future contestants went wild, too.
Much like Christina Aguilera and Shakira before her, Stefani has the built-in "Girl" card that she can throw to any female singer to make herself a more relatable coach from the get-go, and she wasn't afraid to pull it out on premiere night.
But Stefani pulled ahead on this report card when she brought out her special "Team Gwen" t-shirts for every singer that allied with her –- and we thought her fashion experience would do little for her in the "Voice" game!
Let us start by stating the obvious: Pharrell is –- among other things –- a producer. His day job is to find talent, hone it and make it successful. He was made to be a "Voice" coach! With that, Pharrell has an incredible advantage, and we’re eager to see it come into play as the competition progresses.
In fact, that edge is already working in his favor, as Pharrell name-dropped and spat producer-like wisdom in order to team up with the very first singer to hit the blind-audition stage! We respect it, Pharrell, and we can’t wait to see more.
Fellow seasoned veteran and three-time winner Shelton flew under the radar for much of the premiere, but we've grown to know his M.O. pretty well. It's just a matter of time before the finger pointing to himself and witty jabs at Levine come into play and earn the trust of the contestants -- not to mention the hearts of viewers.
Along with the most wins, Blake, perhaps more than his fellow coaches, listens to what his team wants –- more often than not, he lets his singers choose their song. That kind of trust and dedication in a coach won't go unnoticed by the contestants as they make their decision.