Their voices have been heard! At Saturday's Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, the cast of NBC's "The Voice" had plenty of talking to do about their hit show, including the reunion of the show's original mentors and a news flash on what the TV talent show's mission is. (Hint: It's not what you think.)
While the show's biggest mouthpiece, Blake Shelton, wasn't in attendance (he was readying himself for a concert), original coaching team Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and CeeLo Green were joined by host Carson Daly to recap last season's changes and give the scoop on the upcoming fifth season.
But first, Aguilera — who took a break from the show last season — talked about missing the last cycle of the singing competition. "I had to step away," she said of her hiatus. "Thank God for Shakira. She did a beautiful job. She has sweet, lovely energy."
The pop icon explained why she needed a breather, saying, "I cannot live in front of the camera 24 hours a day. I have to take breaks and stay connected with myself. I'm a mom and … when the cameras go off, I put on sweats and a T-shirt. The red lips come off. I needed some time to do that."
Aguilera clearly used her time away to her advantage. The 32-year-old wowed reporters when she showed up for the panel in a sexy pink minidress that showed off her recent 20-pound weight loss. The recharged superstar dished, "I've been on a really incredible journey the past six months and I just feel revived."
Green — who also took a Season 4 break from the show — commented on his fill-in, Usher, saying it was "a bit of an out-of-body experience" to see the R&B star sitting in "his" swiveling red chair.
"It was awkward and intriguing at the same time," Green said. He also dished on the (animal) company he likes to keep when he's in that red chair. In the past, the "Voice" mentor has shared his chair with a feline friend, Purrfect, and a Moluccan cockatoo, Lady. But who will be on his lap (or shoulder) for Season 5?
"At any moment, I can bring one of my pets up there," Green told the panel. "I brought my boa constrictor up there but they didn't like that." (Note to CeeLo: Can you blame them? There's no such thing as Take Your Snake to Work Day.)
Meanwhile, a fully bearded and newly engaged Adam Levine addressed his controversial, off-the-cuff "I hate this country" comment, which landed him in hot water last season after he became frustrated by viewers' votes.
"Everyone makes mistakes," he said. "If your intentions are good and someone misunderstands you, regardless of what the scenario is, I think people can see through stupid media hype."
Another hot topic that was addressed: Has the show accomplished its mission? Well, that depends on what you think its mission is. While critics have made note of the fact that "The Voice" has yet to produce a bona fide superstar like, say, "American Idol" has, the cast insists that isn't their main goal.
See a video of the coaches of "The Voice" singing "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" on the show:
While Levine said it would be "really nice" to launch a breakout star, he added, "The goal of the show is to do what we can do with these amazing singers while they're on the show to get somebody into the front to win the show." He related it to his own experience as an artist, saying, "All I used to want was to be able to pay the rent."
The Maroon 5 frontman spent a lot of the time talking about this topic, saying that while he understands the comparisons to "Idol," the fact of the matter is that "the immediacy of winning and becoming a huge star is a fairy tale."
Aguilera — who's lived her own fairy tale — explained that it didn't happen that way for her either, pointing out that she and fellow "Mickey Mouse Club" alumni Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Ryan Gosling didn't achieve instant stardom after their turn on the Disney show. "All these names come from that show, but right after the show, did we all rocket to success right after? No, it takes time." (Fun fact: Aguilera even lost on "Star Search.")
As for discovering the next big thing, Levine said, "I don't know if that's the overall mission statement of the show." (Daly was more concise: "It's not," he said.)
Of course, one thing "The Voice" has this year that "American Idol" doesn't is an Emmy nomination. The NBC show just received its second Emmy for Outstanding Reality Competition Program, beating out its Fox rival for the second year in a row. If "The Voice" actually pulls off an Emmy victory, that could be the show's winning-est moment yet.
Meanwhile, Aguilera made it clear she knows what she's in for come Season 5. In a nod to her absent co-star's triple winning streak, she joked, "Well, I understand that I am coming back to the 'Blake Shelton Show' at this point."
Season 5 of "The Voice" premieres on 9/23 at 8 PM on NBC.
Take a look at a slideshow of photos from the most recent season of NBC's "The Voice":
- Arts & Entertainment
- Christina Aguilera
- Adam Levine
- Blake Shelton
- CeeLo Green