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The Voice is switching up coaches for its eighth season. While the show has featured a rotating crew of four coaches, this spring’s series will be fairly close to the original lineup that launched The Voice just a few short years ago. Christina Aguilera will be returning to NBC’s singing competition series, joining other originals Blake Shelton and Adam Levine. Pharrell Williams will also be back, making him the relative newbie among three veterans.
While Shelton and Levine have stayed steadfast and true to The Voice and the paycheck and exposure it provides, Aguilera has taken breaks from the series on several occasions. She left in Seasons 4 and 6, handing over the reins to Shakira, who replaced her on the coaches panel. She currently isn’t appearing on the seventh season of the hit show for a very different reason. In August, Aguilera had a baby girl. With a new kid in the house, it would have been very difficult to make the grueling The Voice schedule work.
In her place, this time Gwen Stefani has signed on for the gig. She doesn’t have the vocal temperament that Aguilera has and uses to try to domineer the boys on the show. She also tends to focus a lot on stylizing and performance, since she herself is more of a brand than a set of huge pipes. Season 7 has definitely been a change up for the series, but many people should be interested in the return of Aguilera.
Honestly, what I feel would be most interesting would be a panel with a couple of girls around Shelton and Levine (who look to be going nowhere). Whether that would mean bringing Shakira back or adding a new lady with a famous voice to the panel, I think it would be interesting to see how two female coaches face off during the early rounds on the series when they are still vying for contestants. I’m not sure if The Voice simply feels the female to male ratio on the show is already working, or if the scheduling simply hasn’t worked out to have two leading ladies appear. Although NBC’s series does feature a revolving door of coaches, most of them seem interested in the gig and return for more than one season, thus scheduling conflicts could be the one thing keeping us from two female coaches.
Whatever the reason, The Voice will return in 2015 with its regular lineup of three male coaches and one female coach. Pharrell Williams will be back for his second season in the red chair, Aguilera will be back for her fifth season and Levine and Shelton will be back for their eighth. Season 7 is currently still in the battle rounds, so it should be some time before NBC starts gearing up for Season 8, but we will let you know when the new episodes plan to premiere during midseason.
In the meantime, you can catch new episodes of NBC’s The Voice on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.