Shakira just announced that she will not return to “The Voice” after Season 6 wraps up next week. Too bad. While I sometimes questioned her decisions as a coach during her bumpy first season, I immediately warmed to her — and in Season 6 she seemed to find her groove, picking great songs for Kristen Merlin, who went from underdog to America’s sweetheart under Shakira’s watch.
Shakira will be missed, but of course, but Gwen Stefani and then returning coach Christina Aguilera will take her place, so the show will go on. Until then, to commemorate Shakira’s final season, ranked below are some of the Colombian superstar’s finest, most DVR-able moments from her two “Voice” stints…
1. That time when she went for a wild ride with her new co-stars.
I admit that when it was first announced that Shakira and Usher would be filling Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green’s big red chairs in Season 4, I had concerns. Would either of them be able to provide the entertainment value we’d come to expect from the show’s original cast? But then this hilariously adorable, adorably hilarious Season 4 promo came out… and once Shakira joined in for its “Wayne’s World”-style car singalong, it was clear that the answer to that question was a resounding YES. Turn around, bright eyes, because this was going to be a fun fourth season.
2. That time when we found out she plays a mean harmonica.
The new coaches once again exhibited great chemistry on Season 4’s premiere, when they all came together, so to speak, for a pyro-tastic cover of the Beatles’ barnstormer “Come Together.” With Adam Levine on drums, Blake Shelton on guitar, Shakira on harmonica, and Usher on bass (who even knew Shakira played harmonica and Usher played bass?), the fab four totally owned the stage. It was enough to make me not even miss Xtina and CeeLo. Seeing this rock ‘n’ roll She-Wolf wail on that harp and rock out with the boys perfectly set the tone for a high-energy season.
3. That time when she wore a perfect poker face.
Shakira’s hips may not lie, but sometimes, for the sake of “Voice” gameplay, her face does. One time, a contestant unisexily named Kris Thomas belted Whitney Houston’s “Saving All My Love For You,” and his prepubescent pitch had all four coaches convinced that he was a girl. Shakira was the first and only coach to buzz in for Kris… and when she saw a ruggedly handsome 27-year-old man singing in front of her, instead of gasping in shock (and thus stirring up her castmates’ curiosity and causing them to turn their chairs as well), she registered no reaction. The other judges had no idea what was going on, until it was too late. So this usually fiery singer’s ability to play it cool paid off in the end. Well played, Shakira. Well played.
4. That time when she spoke to Midas Whale en Español.
When this folk duo — Ryan Hayes and former “Idol” contestant Jon Peter Lewis — tried out in Season 4, they enjoyed a bilingual bonding moment with Shakira that really would’ve been cute in any language. Midas Whale totally should have signed up for Team Shakira, since the coach they went with, Adam, soon dumped them in the Knockout Rounds. Muy triste, indeed.
5. That time when she spoke in an exotic language called “Country.”
To win over Nashville singer-songwriter Tawnya Reynolds, Shakira whipped out her “English-to-Country” dictionary and made her case in an amusingly twangy brogue. “Out of the three of us, the most country one here is me. Blake knows that I’m his successor. So I reckon that you wanna join Team Shakira. I’d be much o-bliged.” This time it worked — no language barrier here — and Tawnya signed up with Shakira. Yee haw!
6. That time when she compared herself to Alexander the Great.
Apparently Kanye West isn’t the only pop star prone to making self-comparisons to historical legends. In Season 6, Shakira persuaded powerhouse Clarissa Serna (a contestant who’d inspired a four-chair turnaround) to join her team by likening herself to brilliant strategist Alexander the Great and likening her fellow judges to Hannibal, “a great tactician who didn’t win.” Oh, snap! A convincing argument, a burn on her castmates, and a mini-history lesson? All hail Shakira the Great.