Speaking with Entertainment Tonight’s Lauren Zima at the taping of the reality singing competition on Monday, Shelton playfully joked that Legend (who’ll take Jennifer Hudson’s spot on season 16) won’t be getting any veteran advice.
“I’m not here to help John Legend, I’m here to beat John! I could give a crap about helping him,” Shelton said, teasing, “I don’t care about giving you advice, John. They pay me to win!”
News first broke in September that Legend would be joining next spring’s new season in place of Hudson. “I’m thrilled to join the coaches of The Voice,” Legend announced on Instagram at the time. “I’ve been a guest and mentor on the show multiple times and I’m so excited to discover talented singers and help them make the most of their gift. I hope the world is ready for #TeamJL.”
The timing couldn’t be better. Legend is at the top of his game. In early September, he joined a prestigious and exclusive club — EGOT winners, or entertainers who’ve won an Emmy, Oscar, Grammy and Tony Award. Legend reached the coveted status at the Creative Arts Emmys, where he took home a trophy for producing NBC’s variety special Jesus Christ Superstar, Live in Concert.
According to Hollywood Life, Legend is already joking he’ll be “the first VEGOT winner.”
Really, who could blame Shelton for being a little intimidated ahead of Legend taking his spot in one of The Voice’s iconic red spinning chairs?
At least Shelton has some time to think of his witty barbs (and perhaps a new boastful dance move or two) before Legend arrives. For the time being, he’s focused on bringing home a potential seventh win on The Voice — he, Hudson and fellow coach Kelly Clarkson all have contestants competing in the two-night season 15 finale this week.
Shelton is also clearly content to pass the time antagonizing his original archnemesis (but real-life BFF) on the show: Levine. When Clarkson told ET everyone was “rubbing it in” that Levine didn’t have any contestants in the final four, Shelton chimed in, “It’s like badass. It’s awesome, is what it is.”
“No, it does suck for his team,” Clarkson clarified. “You know, everybody wants to make it to the end, so that does suck.” To which Shelton quipped, “It is rough for his team, but they did choose him as their coach. And you know he’s a loser.”
Oh, boy. Next season should be interesting, especially if Legend takes Shelton’s trademark ego down a peg or two.