The Voice returns on September 23rd, and original coaches Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera are reuniting with fellow panelists Blake Shelton and Adam Levine. After sitting the fourth season out – with Shakira and Usher filling in – Green and Aguilera linked back up with the team as part of the Television Critics Association press tour this past weekend.
"I needed a moment to step away," Aguilera said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Thank God for Shakira. She did a beautiful job." Green said it was surreal to see Usher filling in for him. "It was awkward and intriguing at the same time," Green said. "It was a bit of an out-of-body experience."
Levine was also questioned about his controversial "I hate this country" comment last season, when he muttered the remark into a live-mic while off-screen after losing two of his contestants in one night. "Ugh, really?" the Maroon 5 frontman said when asked about the comment. "Everyone makes mistakes. If your intentions are good and someone misunderstands you, regardless of what the scenario is, I think people can see through stupid media hype. No offense."
He continued, "I think that as long as you allow yourself to be who you are, you can't really defend every single thing you say, and you can't worry about saying the wrong thing, you just have to say what you're going to say and stand behind it."
"It's part of my personality to say things that piss people off," said Levine.
The show's coaches (save Shelton, who was in Indiana on tour), along with producer and host Carson Daly, were well-aware of the difficulties in making a new star through The Voice. "A lot of things have to happen in order for that to take place. The goal of the show is to do what we can do with these amazing singers while they're on the show to get somebody into the front to win the show," Levine said. "We all know that the lightning in a bottle that you have to capture in order to be successful in the business is extremely difficult."
Still, they maintained that launching the next big thing isn't what The Voice is really about. "I don't know if that's the overall mission statement of the show," Levine said. Added Daly, "It's not."