This Monday, September 23, the original four "Voice" coaches — regulars Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, plus returning cast members Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green, who took a hiatus last season — will be reunited on "The Voice" Season 5's premiere. And Xtina seems particularly happy to be back with her boys…and to be one of the boys.
Speaking at a "Voice" press dinner alongside "Voice" producer Mark Burnett this week, Christina gushed, "I know these guys, their ins and their outs. And we know each other. And that's what was so cool about coming back this season, because there's a comfort level that we've never had before, that it's just like we know each other so well. We know what's going to get each other ticking, or riled up, emotional. And it's cool. It's just nice...I mean, beyond the competition, we're just friends, you know? And I've seen them have my back actually at one time or another, numerous times. And we all care. And they're good guys."
Christina joked about all of her personality-plus castmates, starting with CeeLo. "[He's] just his own unique, just, being. And sometimes the things that come out of his mouth are just so poetic and so interesting…he starts speaking in rhyme, and then a tone comes up. And yeah, he starts speaking lyrics: 'You make me dream with my eyes open.' And I'm just like, 'Oh, CeeLo...'
"And then you have Blake, just like, you know, a good ole country [boy], who shows me what he just hunted. He likes to torment me, drawing dirty pictures on my notepad and stuff…we bust each other's balls, and that's what's great. And then you have Adam who's just…he has so much energy. He's just constantly moving and shifting: 'Hi! Hi! I'm Adam! Over here!'
"When I'm around them, I become a 12-year-old little boy. But it's hilarious. And they're like brothers. You knock them around, knock each other around, and it's all good in the end."
Christina and CeeLo have yet to win a season of "The Voice" (Adam won Season 1, and Blake has prevailed every season since), but Christina said she's ready to fine-tune her strategy this time around. "I definitely realized a sales pitch is everything at first," she laughed. "I've got to sharpen my speech. You know, Blake's witty. He had these three 'Voice' trophies made up, and he's got his props…he's got a good [pitch] this year: 'Let me give you three reasons why you should pick me as your coach: One, two, three.'
"And then Adam's, like, deliciously competitive. You see his blood boiling because he has the best sales pitch. I mean, he's a genius sales-pitch guy. I said that the first season. I was like, 'He'll sell a used car to your grandma.'"
While the rivalry between Christina, CeeLo, Adam, and Blake is sure to heat up in Season 5, Mark Burnett stressed the importance of keeping the show fun and relatively controversy-free, citing the recent seamless addition of interim coaches Usher and Shakira as an example. "Wasn't it the first time ever you've seen a show where there wasn't a big, unnecessarily crazy drama about judges being fired? It's like, please. [That's] like the complete opposite of what 'The Voice' stands for. It was great [when Usher and Shakira temporarily replaced CeeLo and Christina]. They went, 'Hey, come on in. Take a chair. You know, we're all a family here.' And it really worked. And the audience gets this…Now the original four is back this season, and better than ever."
Said Christina, "I've learned a lot in so many different aspects and moments in my career, my life. And being in the position to be able to share that in this environment has been really nice to come back to this season. And, yeah, step away, live my life for a second outside of the bubble of this red chair…Mark has really made it this really comforting space to come back to, like a welcome home. I felt like coming back to my first day back at school."
"The Voice" Season 5 welcomes back Christina and CeeLo on its premiere this Monday, 8pm on NBC.