He may not be an Olympian, but Coach Usher was going for the gold in his return to the big red chair on the Season 6 premiere of “The Voice” on Monday night.
The R&B star pulled out all the stops on the NBC show — including a rather shiny award — to try and woo a teen who appeared to be the most promising contestant of the night (he called this person, “The Voice”). But, Usher wasn’t the only coach working very hard to impress the contestants and viewers on the season premiere. The whole panel – Adam Levine, Shakira and Blake Shelton – brought their A games.
Find out which singer had Usher pulling out his Grammy, which two coaches are now red chair besties and how Shakira got sassier as AccessHollywood.com looks at five awesome moments from the Season 6 premiere.
A New Coach-mance: Sorry Adam, Blake has a new friend in the big red chairs – Shakira! In 2014, Blake appears to be taking a cuddlier approach to his “Voice” tenure, forming a friendship across the aisle with Shakira. On Monday night’s show, the two actually championed each other to various contestants. Blake threw his sway toward Shakira when she wanted Kristen Merlin (who joined her team), and the season’s first duo – Dawn & Hawkes (who joined Team Adam).
Shakira Gets Even Sassier: Confident and comfortable, Shakira was ready to throw her fellow coaches’ business on the table to get what she wanted. When she tried (unsuccessfully) to woo Biff Gore to her team, she threw them all under the bus, Shakira style. “I tell you why you should pick me as your coach: Adam’s too busy thinking about his wedding. Everything he’s got in his head is flower arrangements. He (Usher) is preparing for a movie, so he keeps just doing sit ups and sit ups and sit ups… and he’s (Blake) drunk most of the time.”
Usher’s Smooth Moves & Sexy Abs: He may have a host of awards in his trophy case, but Usher still couldn’t contain his enthusiasm for winning contestants over on “The Voice.” After recruiting T.J. Wilkins for his team, Usher hit the stage in his gold high-tops for a moonwalk-style celebration. Later, the sexy R&B star even produced his six-pack in a successful attempt to get another standout singer on his team – the soulful Biff Gore.
America Loves A Comeback: High school senior Jake Worthington didn’t make it past the blind auditions in Season 5, but he took the advice of coaches like Blake, who reminded him to work on developing his vocal muscle, and he came back to impress. Hitting the stage with a slow country song – “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” by Keith Whitley – he had both Adam (first) and Blake turn around… and then, Shakira. “You came back! I love that,” Blake screamed. Adam tried to suggest that Jake could benefit from his coaching – and his belief in the teen (because he turned around first) — but in the end Jake picked his dream mentor… and it was Blake.
Usher’s Grammy Moment & A Teen Is Branded ‘The Voice’: Before they even heard a word, Blake was first to notice something different about 17-year-old Bria Kelly, starting with her walk. “I hear some interesting sounding shoes,” he said as she hit the stage. Moments later, he heard something else quite interesting – her wail. Just a few notes out of her mouth and Adam and Blake slammed their buttons down and whirled around to see the teenager whose voice was raspy like Janis Joplin’s. Shakira made her chair flip in the middle of the performance, and finally, Usher completed his own rotation near the end, leaving Bria with four judges to choose from, all of whom gave her a standing ovation. “Ladies and gentlemen, you just heard ‘The Voice,’” Usher proclaimed. Blake called her “a stud,” and a “powerful presence.” Shakira told the teen she reminded her of a young Shakira. In the end though, she could choose just one coach. But, before she did, Usher pulled out the stops and… one of his Grammys. “I don’t have ‘The Voice’ trophy. I don’t… but there is one thing that I do have that I want you to have as well,” he said, pulling out a Grammy. “It’s one of these. Would you like one of these?” Adam and Shakira both pointed out they had some too, but Usher pitched first, and brought the hardware for demonstration, walking his Grammy on stage. And then… Bria picked him as her coach.
“The Voice” continues Tuesday at 8/7c on NBC.
-- Jolie Lash