March 26, 2013 at 10:08 AM ET
"The Voice" is back! On Monday night, the talent competition returned with a new batch of singing hopefuls and two new coaches -- Usher and Shakira. So what did veteran coach Blake Shelton think of the newbies sitting beside him?
"I think they suck. How's that sound?" Shelton said with a smile during a Tuesday morning visit to TODAY.
But on a more serious note, the country crooner admitted he and returning coach Adam Levine now have some stiff competition when it comes to swaying singers to join their teams.
"I think they're doing way better than Adam and I expected," he explained. "I mean, the first couple of auditions, we were sitting there, like, 'Oh, yeah. This is going to be easy.' (But) you could tell they'd done their homework. They knew what was up, and they made it hard for us -- and embarrassing at times. ... We thought we had somebody won over just because we'd been there longer. That wasn't the case."
In addition to giving Shelton and Levine a tough fight for contestants, Usher and Shakira even gave them a run for the spotlight on the show's stage during a group performance of the Beatles hit "Come Together."
"It was really cool," Shelton recalled. "I think it was the first time Usher ever played and sang live (at the same time) before. He was having a ball with that. You know, that's the cool thing about when we do live performances. They kind of just leave it up to us to do whatever we want to do musically. And so, of course, Adam always wants to play the drums so he can be the loudest."
According to host Carson Daly, who continued his week-long co-hosting stint on TODAY Tuesday, the performance was part of what makes "The Voice" stand out among other reality TV talent competitions.
"We have these coaches, who are four of the biggest artists on planet Earth," he said. "And it's a big sort of point of differential between us and other shows -- the fact that we can do these big, supergroup performances. We like to do them as often as possible."
See what's next from the coaches and the talent when "The Voice" airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.
How do you think the new coaches did? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.
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