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It’s hard to believe that NBC’s hit singing competition series The Voice is heading into its seventh season this fall. In some ways, the show still seems like a new novelty, but it’s actually been around the block a bit, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the show’s lineup changes. While we’ve seen Usher and Shakira sub in for Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera in the past, Season 7 will actually feature two brand new faces in Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani. You can catch them awkwardly gelling with The Voice veterans Blake Shelton and Adam Levine in the first promo for Season 7.
The video is clever, featuring a bunch of hashtags asking fans to “holla” and get excited about Season 7 of The Voice, which doesn’t actually hit NBC’s schedule until September 22. The holla component of the new preview is fitting, as the network used Gwen Stefani’s famed solo single “Hollaback Girl” as the backdrop to the video. While the promo is a flashy one, I can’t help feeling a little sad for Pharrell, who gets the short end of the stick, here. The man’s probably had the best year and is currently the most relevant of the four judges and mentors, with “Get Lucky,” “Happy” and “Lose Yourself To Dance” all becoming big hits in the last year or so. Hopefully, “Happy” was just too expensive for the promo.
We’ve known Pharrell and Stefani would be joining The Voice for a while now. Pharrell was the first to sign on in March, following news that Green would be quitting to pursue a new music album (and to settle some legal troubles). Aguilera is also out, but not due to her music career this time. Instead, she is pregnant with baby number 2. The Voice is a pretty demanding series for the coaches, who work with the contestants behind the scenes and have to be available for at least two live shows each week. Since (last I checked) Stefani still has those rock hard abs, she should have more free time in her schedule to meet the show’s rigorous requirements.
The Voice veterans Blake Shelton and Adam Levine have been around for the show’s whole tenure and have, quite frankly, crushed when it comes to producing winners on the show. While last season’s winning contestant Josh Kaufman did have Usher for a coach, Blake or Levine have won all of the other five seasons. It’s tough for a set of newbies to come in and play in the big leagues with two veteran coaches, and we’ll have to wait and see whether Pharrell and Stefani have the charm and finesse to play ball.
The Voice will return to NBC’s schedule on September 22. Traditionally, episodes of the series have run on Monday and Tuesday nights.