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Now in its 14th season, The Voice has been NBC's biggest standout in the world of unscripted TV. While part of fans' enjoyment is tethered to watching a group of America's most talented singers duking it out on live TV, The Voice wouldn't be nearly as fun without its ever-changing coaching quartet. Through each of those seasons, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton have been the permanent fixtures, with a total of ten other musicians having taken the other seats so far. But readers, we think it's high time The Voice finally gave fans a season of all-female coaches.
Don't get me wrong. I don't want Adam Levine and Blake Shelton to go away forever or anything. Their boyish rivalry has somehow remained fresh and silly after all this time, and it's always fun to watch the other coaches taking sides in those situations. But I don't think that particular dynamic is necessary for the show's success, and The Voice could afford to lose it for at least one of its twice-yearly cycles. To that end, we've picked our ideal female-focused coaching crew, just in case NBC execs and show producers were looking for a nudge in the right direction.
The newest entry into the Voice coach lineup, Kelly Clarkson first hit it big as American Idol's initial champion, and she has had one of the biggest post-reality show careers of any entertainer out there. But the fame never went to her head, and it's indeed Clarkson's wide-eyed happiness and unabashed joy that make her an instant standout on The Voice's stage. She's like the perfect vessel of audience vicariousness, saying anything and everything that comes to her mind, no matter how random or goofy it might be. And her wild and emphatic cheers would add levity to even the most boring and dour telecast. Kill 'em with kindness, Kelly!
On the more calm and collected side of things, third-year coaching vet Alicia Keys is less about barking out big and boisterous compliments, but she's no less of a positive force. Rather, Keys sometimes feels more like an actual coach than others on The Voice do, because she's often focused on the more technical and procedural elements of the craft itself, offering constantly useful advice about singing techniques and performances. As awesome as it can be to have a coach gushing over performances in half-sentences and gasps, I always prefer to see practical opinions and guidance over just verbal applause. Plus, it's not like Alicia Keys doesn't have a ton of fun up there.
The Voice landed a top prize when American Idol vet Jennifer Hudson signed on as a coach for Season 13, and there was a point when I thought I'd never want to watch another Voice season without her. Hudson is the personification of class, charisma and confidence, and she's more than a little talented, to boot. (Understatement.) If someone's performance really impressed Hudson, her emotions were felt everywhere in that building, and if she took her shoe off -- honey, please -- you might as well hang it up, because there are no better compliments. But even as reserved as she might appear, the Oscar-winning musician was always seemingly seconds away from hopping up and joining a contestant for an impromptu duet. She is the best!
For all of her past tabloid-friendly foibles, Miley Cyrus has spent much of her life within the world of entertainment, both with music and with TV, so she's had the kind of showbiz education that most people can only dream of. That intelligence and familiarity with the craft is always on display when Miley is advising her team members, and she gives it 100% every time. Of course, Miley is also known to get a little wild and crazy on stage (especially when it comes to outfits), but that kind of silliness never eclipses the genuine emotion and support she exudes whenever someone else is performing.
Of course, just because those are our top four female couches, that doesn't mean the show would need to ignore other former stars like Christina Aguilera or Shakira. Maybe they could be part of the second all-female coaching squad, after the first one proved so successful that it needed to be repeated immediately. That's how Hollywood works, right?