Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson have been buddies for years now. Her husband, Brandon Blackstock, is one of Blake’s managers, so they’ve had countless dinners together over the years. That doesn’t mean Blake took it easy on Kelly, though, when she reported for duty as the newest coach on NBC’s “The Voice,” where Blake is now shooting his 14th season.
Though she was the winner of the debut season of “American Idol,” Kelly admits she was apprehensive during her first days on the show.
“I was so nervous and Blake was making so much fun of me because I was nervous about it,” Kelly tells “Entertainment Tonight.” She was mostly concerned about turning her red coaches’ chair around for the right performers during the blind auditions. It’s easy to think you’d know who you’d pick when watching from home, but Kelly says actually being in the studio is a completely different experience.
Kelly explains, “When you watch, you hear the singer differently than you hear in a room with all that ambiance and everything. So I was nervous that I wasn’t gonna turn when I should’ve turned, or I was gonna turn and thought someone was awesome but then it was like, ‘Oh no.’ I was really nervous.”
Kelly’s training on “American Idol” has come in handy as she’s mentored her team members, who we will meet when the new season begins airing in late February. Mostly, she wants to remind them that “The Voice” is a marathon and not a sprint.
She says, “Sometimes, the greatest singers sing their best songs too early in the competition and then they have three more shows or something to do and they kind of can’t top that A-game. On a competition, you’re only as good as your last performance. So it’s been very different than making a record.”
Kelly was a bit of a disadvantage during the blind auditions since she joins returning coaches Blake, Adam Levine and Alicia Keys.
“They’ve all three won ‘The Voice,’ so it was a little tough,” Kelly says, “But I did manage to get an amazing team.”
Kelly goes on to describe her team, saying, “They’re really great, and they’re all different.”
Kelly makes her debut on “The Voice” while ABC’s reboot of the show that made her famous, “American Idol,” is also on the air. So, will Kelly make time to watch “Idol” while she’s on “The Voice?”
She explains, “I’m watching ‘The Voice,’ and I can only fit so many shows in. I just feel bad when people are like, ‘Have you seen my show?’ and I’m like, ‘[No], I’m so sorry.’ It’s not that I don’t care about it, it’s just that, legit, like, there’s only so much time in the day and I really am about being a present parent.”
Kelly, the mother of two and stepmother of two more children, makes her coaching debut on “The Voice” Feb. 26 on NBC.