"The Voice" is back for its 19th season with a host of changes due to the pandemic, but some things remain the same.
"I mean, I think everyone that comes on this show, the whole reason to come on this show, is to try to destroy Blake (Shelton)," Gwen Stefani said on TODAY Thursday about her boyfriend and the reigning winning coach of last season's champion.
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Stefani is also back in the red chair after returning to the show to replace Nick Jonas as a coach on the singing competition.
TODAY's Carson Daly, who also hosts "The Voice," sat down with Stefani, Shelton and fellow coaches John Legend and Kelly Clarkson to get a preview of how the new socially distant season back at Universal Studios Hollywood in California will work when the singing competition premieres on Oct. 19 on NBC.
Staff and crew numbers have been reduced 60%, and there will be no live audience this season. The coaches also will not be seated close together.
"This season our chairs are further apart because we're social distancing, and Kelly's waaaaay over there," Stefani said.
Stefani and Clarkson have also found workarounds for how to formally welcome contestants to their teams.
"Because we're social distancing, I got myself a T-shirt launcher," she said.
"I have made cute little masks, team-colored masks," Clarkson said. "That's a little weird (for me), because I'm a hugger."
While the coaches have been spending time with family and working on other projects during the pandemic, they are grateful to be reuniting in person after finishing last season by appearing virtually.
They got themselves in the spirit last month by performing a socially distant cover of Bob Marley's "One Love" on the backlot at Universal Studios.
"Feels awesome," Shelton said. "To be totally honest, I didn't think this was going to happen at all."
"Every day we'd be calling, 'Are we still going? Are we still going?'" Stefani said. "Just excited about it and wondering how we're gonna pull it off."
In place of a live audience, fans of "The Voice" will appear virtually in the crowd.
"We're able to see people from all over the country right here, in our audience, enjoying the shows, experiencing what it's like to be in a blind audition," Legend said. "And I think that's pretty magical."
There will also be a much different atmosphere for the contestants in the studio. The coaches have already experienced the difference because the show is currently filming the blind auditions.
"This is a pretty intimate — we can hear a pin drop when someone's singing," Carson said.
"I don't know if that's gonna be intimidating, or just exciting," Clarkson said. "There is a little bit of an intimacy factor that we've never really had like this because it's a different scenario. But you do hear every single note, every single everything."