10 Reasons Kelly Clarkson Will Be the Best ‘Voice’ Coach Yet
The newest coach of The Voice, Kelly Clarkson, will have to fight an uphill battle if she's to outdo the likes of seasoned judges Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Alicia Keys, who've all previously won the competition with stellar proteges. But, if Kelly does manage pull out a win at the end of her rookie season, make no mistake — it'll hardly be a case of beginner's luck.
Clarkson, whose own career began with a reality TV show win (ever heard of American Idol?), is set to shake up the Voice's panel when the show returns Monday (February 26) for its 14th season. And while the premiere might amount to Kelly's first time officially sitting in the show's famous swiveling chair, the terrain of The Voice is not unfamiliar to her — Kelly's got the experience of a contestant, is a previous talent competition show coach and has served as Voice adviser for years. Don't let her inviting smile or laugh fool you: she's a sniper who's been waiting to strike for years, and finally, she's got the intel and know-how to make her move.
So will she fly? Or, like Icarus, will she fly too close to the sun and fall? Only time will tell, but we're willing to place our early bets and say that based on Kelly's long and expansive resume, she might just have what it takes to defy expectations and pull out a victory.
But why are we going all in, you might ask? We're happy to share.
Check out 10 very good reasons that Kelly might already have The Voice Season 14 in the bag below, and be sure to tune in to the premiere episode at 8 PM EST on NBC.
Hey, in case you weren't tuned into FOX on September 4, 2002, and can't admit to openly weeping at sight of the then-20-year-old Clarkson winning the inaugural season of American Idol, know this: she is built for winning reality TV competitions. Clarkson is unofficially credited with kickstarting the singing-competition obsession for a reason: she's one of the best live singers in the world, has a personality that engages viewers and is as funny as a seasoned standup.
Trained in opera, schooled by local rock shows and steeled by singing Mariah Carey's catalog from front to back, Kelly can sing anything. From her big-band Idol performance to an "Ave Maria" dedication to The Pope to an arresting rendition of "I'd Rather Go Blind," Clarkson's vocal acumen is as broad as it is arresting, which will do a huge favor to her team. There's no doubt she'll know exactly how to pick songs for her crew, varied as her team's members may be.
While Kelly's most widely acknowledged for her sustained belts and throaty yells, she doesn't want a team of Mini-Mes — she's said across her Meaning of Life press cycle that it's her goal to accumulate a group of singers that span genre, timber and training. And really, is there a better way to cultivate mass appeal with viewers?
Sure, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine have won this thing a combined kajillion times, but they won't be able to pull any fast ones on Kelly — she's been a friend of Shelton's for years (her husband, Brandon Blackstock, is Shelton's manager), and has toured with Maroon 5 on more than one occasion. Kelly's already got the guys' numbers.
Don't forget, charm goes a long way, particularly on a show like The Voice, which places a huge emphasis on the personalities of its celebrity coaches. And among the four, Kelly's got the standout personality, no ifs, ands or buts.
And you don't need to look much further than the current Voice season's promos for proof — in one segment, Kelly asks a contestant who inspired her to sing, and the contestant can only mirror the question back, and say she was schooled by the school of Clarkson. There's no way Kelly's eventual team won't fight tooth and nail to win for their idol.
Yup, while not many remember ABC's 2012 singing competition, Duets found Kelly squaring off against Jennifer Nettles, John Legend and Robin Thicke, who each chose a crew of two amateur singers with whom they'd duet each week. Kelly's acts found themselves at the bottom of the pack early on as a consequence of trouble with nerves, but eventually, Kelly got them to come out of their shells, and Kelly and Jason Farol eventually placed a respectable second-place behind Nettles.
Clarkson said across her Meaning of Life press tour that The Voice-style blind auditions are actually no new concept to her. In high school, she'd compete in opera competitions in which judges would listen to musical acts from behind a separating partition to avoid favoritism. Kelly said at the time, it was her way of trying to earn scholarships (no surprise, she won a bunch).
Her unforgettable "Piece by Piece" performance on the final (well...formerly final) season of American Idol trended like a snap bracelet in the '80s. And it was proof of Clarkson's power — before the performance, the single was lost in the mix on Billboard charts, but after the viral moment, it immediately shot to the No. 8 slot on Billboard's Hot 100. Making people love a song with a live performance is something Kelly can do with her hands tied behind her back.
Yup, while Clarkson has got the talent and personality markets cornered, there are — GASP! — some young millennials and Gen Z-ers who aren't so familiar with her pop star history. So, Steinfeld — a current favorite of teens and tweens — might definitely help her curry favor with the youngins. WITH THEIR POWERS COMBINED...