How Ariana Grande is shaking up The Voice

·3 min read

The Voice is going Grande!

When the NBC singing competition returns for season 21, it will have a new coach in Ariana Grande. The pop superstar is joining Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, and John Legend in this season's battle to crown the next great singer. Not only does Grande's massive following bring more attention to the new season, but her talent and personality should make her formidable coach.

Shelton is coming off his eighth win, and returning coaches Clarkson and Legend tell EW they have a strategy for keeping from a ninth: "We hired Ariana Grande," Legend jokes.

"Having Ariana join us this season is the freshest thing ever, so it's really fun, and she's been incredible," executive producer Audrey Morrissey says. Landing Grande while she's at the top of her game will no doubt be a draw for the Emmy-winning show. "[Grande] is a massive global superstar popular with multiple generations, but certainly the younger set right now," Morrissey says. "She relevant right in this moment in a unique way."

The Voice
The Voice

Trae Patton/NBC Ariana Grande on 'The Voice'

Morrissey credits Grande's strength as a coach to her experience and ability as an artist. "[Grande] is highly technical and trained," she says. "She really zeroes in on technique, so it's good to see her give the other coaches a run for their money on that level."

As Grande mentors her team, viewers will see her skills as a writer, vocal coach, vocal producer, and more. According to Morrissey, being an extremely caring and genuine person will also help the "Positions" singer thrive in the coaching environment. "She's unbelievably talented, has knowledge to impart, and she's funny and caring," Morrissey adds.

Grande's fellow coaches warn that there will be some surprising song choices from The Voice's newest addition. "I don't know what I expected song selection-wise, but I've loved the songs because it's so random," Clarkson says of Grande's picks. "It's all over the map, even [in terms of] decade. I think that's really cool."

Grande's arrival marks the latest in a long line of lineup changes that keep the show exciting. "Swapping out coaches is the number-one way we keep the show fresh, because so many elements of the format work," Morrissey says. While the block function and different rounds have been added over the season, coaches like Jennifer Hudson, Clarkson, Nick Jonas, and now Grande have brought new energy and relationships to The Voice. One new dynamic to look forward to: Ariana and Blake! With the two coaches seated next to one another, viewers can expect them to poke, joke, and jab each other all season.

Of course, there will also be a new group of talented singers. "This season feels like the deepest group of talented people that we've ever had," Legend says. The result is four teams that are evenly matched, so it promises to be a hard-fought season.

"Everyone's teams are so incredible," Grande says. "And also so diverse with the talent, genre, and voices that each of us have."

The Voice season 21 premieres Monday, Sept. 20, at8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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