Despite the excess of television singing contests, The Voice was a big hit in its first season last spring, thanks in no small part to the gimmicky blind auditions that had coaches Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton making their choices sight unseen. But, according to Green, there are other factors at play that make the show must-see TV.
“It’s honest, organic, it’s highly intense. It’s passionate minus the pretentiousness. It’s necessary. It’s equal opportunity,” says Green. “It’s artist development, which is a department that's closed, null and void at most labels today,” he adds, noting that in the second season, he continues to be pleasantly surprised by the high level of contestant talent: “I’ve been fortunate to find a kindred spirit and a connection with the selections that I’ve made.”
The Voice has also been a learning experience for Green. “Television is quick. You have to definitely be on your toes, on your best game. It’s taught me how to be even more professional and more precise and proficient. It’s all things that I want to be — sharp tools in my shed.” He’s looking forward to having Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Ne-Yo join him to mentor contestants in the battle rounds, in which pairs of competitors from each team have a sing-off to determine who continues to the live shows.
Green, known for his flashy, often outrageous style, believes that one’s fashion statement “is an extension of the self, of the artistic endeavor, so I take it very seriously. It’s such a second nature to me. It’s about distinction. You can buy clothes, but you can’t buy style. It’s about doing what you want to do and making it work.”
Now that he’s in the business of advising others, he passes along the best advice he’s ever received. “Let go and let God. And do for yourself. The more you come to the table with, the less you have to ask for.”
The Voice premieres February 5 on NBC after the Super Bowl, and the judges perform a great medley of Prince hits the following night in its regular Monday night slot.
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(Photo: Lewis Jacobs/NBC)