TV

'Voice' coach Usher advises Pharrell and Gwen Stefani to 'be motivated' by his win

May 21, 2014 at 1:37 PM ET

Image: Josh Kaufman, Usher
Trae Patton/NBC
Josh Kaufman and Usher pose with their trophy after the show.

Usher gave "The Voice" more than a new champ Tuesday after his contestant, Josh Kaufman, won the singing competition, he ended Blake Shelton and Adam Levine's five-season winning streak. 

But after the finale, the R&B star admitted during a press conference that his winning coaching style — which included making his singers run laps, carry dumbbells and condition their diaphragms — had been rather "unconventional." Usher said he stayed true to who he is (strange tactics and all), and has no regrets about it.  

“I’ve always pretty much gone against the grain ... the type of music, the type of direction, a 'less is more' approach,” he said.

He even advised incoming coaches Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani to follow his lead next season.

“(They can) be motivated by the fact that I was able to win ‘The Voice,’” Usher told TODAY. “I think that they are both incredible artists, and as long as they are as true in their process of working with talent as they are with their creative, then it should work. They’re geniuses. For the most part they should just be true to who they are, that’s what I did. It was a bit unorthodox ... but that was all a process of artist development.”

“We called Usher the Mr. Miyagi of coaches because when he first started in season four, he had these unbelievable little things he would make the artists do, and it was like, ‘Wax on, wax off,’" host Carson Daly said. "But there was always a method to his madness and it was always so much fun to watch him. It’s fun to see (him) get rewarded for (his) coaching style. It’s exactly why we built the show, for a coach like (Usher).”

TODAY video: Josh Kaufman performs on TODAY plaza

The R&B star feels that his win has opened the door for Pharrell and Stefani to look for completely different types of talent than the show has featured in the past.

“It changed the idea about what type of winner, what it takes to win, the type of songs that we chose, the type of coaching that went into it,” Usher said.

During a visit to TODAY Wednesday, Kaufman said his coach worked extremely hard to take home the win this season.

“I was glad to do it for myself but also for Usher,” he said. “He’s been so involved and invested in the whole process, so it was good for me to be able to win the trophy for him too.”

Even Shelton, who, along with Levine gloated constantly throughout the season about being unbeatable, admitted he was happy to see another coach win.

“I think viewers of the show were ready for somebody else to win,” Shelton told TODAY after the finale. “If I watched the show, I would be. You’ve gotta change it up.”

While Pharrell will be sitting in Usher’s chair this fall for season seven, Usher hasn’t exactly ruled out returning to his big red throne and coaching another season.

“This is definitely a great way to close season six,” he said. “It obviously gives great reason and logic to come back and defend the title.”

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Daly, who is also a producer, made it clear that the door — er, the chair — is always open for Usher to come back.

“Once you have a big red chair, you have it for life,” Daly said.

"The Voice" returns this fall to NBC.

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