Throughout the last decade, there have been countless reality singing competitions fighting for our viewership. American Idol used to be king, but for the last three years, The Voice has dominated the ratings, and it just keeps getting better.
What separates The Voice apart from other singing shows is its eclectic mix of coaches. The artists have ranged from Cee-lo, Christina Aguilera, Usher, and Shakira, with mainstays Blake Shelton and Adam Levine.
This season, both Aguilera and Cee-lo have parted ways with the show for the fall (Usher and Shakira fill the chars during the spring), making way for the most musically gifted set of coaches in the show’s history. This year, the show has added two extremely talented coaches in Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani.
Both Stefani and Williams come from very extensive musical backgrounds, and have been very influential in the pop culture scene of the last 20 years. Gwen has had success with the band, No Doubt and has had a very impactful solo career with songs like Sweet Escape, Cool, and Hollaback Girl, a song which was co-written by Pharrell.
Pharrell Williams is best known for his most recent single “Happy”, but the singer has had much success as a producer. He has produced songs for not only Gwen, but many other big-name artists including Ludacris, Clipse, and Snoop Dogg. In addition, Williams also is part of hip-hop group, N.E.R.D.
The inclusion of Gwen and Pharrell, and their already established chemistry, has brought a new excitement to the show, something that was lacking with Christina and Cee-Lo. Gwen and Pharrell have had some special moments with each other. Pharrell occasionally calls Gwen his “boo”, something Blake has taken a serious dislike towards, as he shouted out, ”I think I’m gonna be sick”.
Levine took the connection with the two one step further. When the two had a spat on the show, the Maroon 5 front man stated. “They’re gonna fight each other with rainbows and happiness”
While Adam and Blake are certainly taking well to their new coaches, a big part of the shows success comes from the “bromance” Levine and Shelton share , something Stefani spoke on
“They do this whole thing like they hate each other, but Adam turns to me and he’s like ‘Seriously, I love that guy so much.’ And then he turns and he flips him off,” she said laughing. “So it’s this whole back and forth thing, but it goes deep for them. They have a real chemistry.”
The interaction between the judges is one of the best aspects of the show, but can Pharrell and Gwen have the coaching success of Blake and Adam?
Both Gwen and Pharrell will share their diverse musical styling on their singers. Gwen has succeeded in both the rock, hip-hop, and pop genres and will look blend those many elements into her artists performances. Pharrell is not only flashy but has a brilliant musical mind.
Some of the arrangements he comes up with are not only catchy but addictive, and his coaching ability will show that.
So, can Gwen and Pharrell work as the new Voice Judges? Judging by the 12 million people who watched the singing completion on Monday night, I’d say no doubt.
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