has been going on for nearly a decade. Yet the show has managed to stay fresh by switching the coaching panel almost every season. Anchored by Adam Levin and Blake Shelton, The Voice
has added multiple musical superstars to mentor up-and-coming artists. The latest addition is Kelly Clarkson. Although season 14 and Kelly Clarkson's Voice
stint are just beginning, the former American Idol
winner is already a breath of fresh air.
The Voice Season 14 Premiere Recap: The Blind Auditions Begin with New Coach Kelly Clarkson>>>
Chemistry Is Everything
Considering how many coaches have been on The Voice it's pretty easy to determine who were the best and who were just OK. The quality of the coaching panel on The Voice really comes down to the chemistry between all four judges, even though Adam and Blake's dynamic is essentially set in stone. All the artists that have been recruited to appear on the show have been rather good mentors, albeit with their own styles. It's that chemistry with the others that takes a coach from good to great and Kelly Clarkson is overloading on chemistry with her colleagues.
Kelly is having so much fun with Adam and Blake. Adam and Blake's friendship/rivalry has been the source of many hilarious Voice moments. So if, by some miracle or disaster, The Voice ended up losing one or both for a season or more, it would end up feeling like a very different show. Yet Kelly has already inserted herself into that dynamic nearly flawlessly. Kelly can rib and improvise with the two guys in an organic, and most importantly, amusing way.
Other coaches have tried to insert themselves into the guys' fun, mainly Miley Cyrus and Christina Aguilera. Yet those previous attempts just felt awkward, at best, and, at worst, mean-spirited. A lot of the time it felt like Christina wasn't playfully insulting Adam but borderline abusing him. The real friendship that Kelly has with Blake and Adam, that obviously predates The Voice, is so valuable in allowing the coaches and the audience to have fun.
Of course, there's another coach on the panel -- Alicia Keys. Clearly Kelly isn't as close with Alicia, having just met her on The Voice. Already though the two are playing off each other and getting along in a really satisfying way. Their relationship isn't couched in cliched "girl power" talk as typically happens with the other female coaches who have nothing in common but their gender. Kelly and Alicia appear to be getting along in a very personal and real way that just elevates the panel and the show itself.
The last time The Voice coaches felt like they were having this much fun was way back in season 4 when Shakira and Usher first joined. True, that particular dynamic did subsequently lose a bit of its charm in Usher and Shakria's returning season(s). Yet there's no sense the same slump could or would happen with Kelly.
Stealing the Show with a Smile
The sense that Kelly won't burn out is based on more than just her chemistry with the fellow coaches. Kelly is, on her own, funny and entertaining to watch. She doesn't need anyone to prop her up. Kelly hits this great balance on The Voice of being relatable and totally unexpected. A lot of Kelly's humor is born from her relationship with Adam and Blake, especially the latter. No one on The Voice, not Adam and certainly not Gwen Stefani, has been able to give Blake a taste of his own medicine quite like Kelly. Yet Kelly is also able to have her own comedic voice that isn't just making fun of Blake Shelton.
Kelly's not afraid to get loud, weird or spout out whatever funny non-sequitur comes to mind. Kelly's outburst about Star Trek in night two of the Blind Auditions was strangely fantastic. There tends to be a real warming-up phase for new Voice coaches. When a coach starts out on the show they're either way too concerned about building a certain image or too nervous to get in and mix things up. Kelly, by comparison, has been fearless.
Kelly's confident but not in a brash or unlikable way. When Kelly pranced around the stage talking about her mother-in-law Reba McEntire to win an artist she just felt comfortable in her own skin. It was refreshing as well as being totally hilarious.
Kelly has come to The Voice ready to play in every conceivable way. She's not just there to mess around with her friends Blake and Adam or to meet Alicia Keys. She wants to win AND have fun, which is exactly what The Voice needs from its coaches. Sadly, The Voice has plenty of coaches who have felt like they were just there to boost their careers or cash a paycheck. Kelly doesn't feel like she's doing either. She's herself and that's a joy to watch.
But how do you feel about Kelly on The Voice? Are you enjoying her or do you think she's too much already? Who are your favorite Voice coaches?