Blake Shelton Thinks Ariana Grande 'Could Be a Challenge' on 'The Voice'

Ariana Grande was recently announced as the newest coach on The Voice, with the pop star set to join Blake Shelton, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson for Season 21 this fall. In a Q&A with Legend and fellow Season 20 coach Nick Jonas this week, Shelton, who has had a member of his team win the show a record seven times, discussed Grande's arrival, joking that he's "excited about Ariana joining the show because it's somebody new for me to beat."

"I'm tired of beating John every season — and Nick," he continued, via PEOPLE, calling Jonas "the easiest coach I have ever beat in 20 seasons of doing this show." "The easiest defeat of my career was Nick Jonas," he said. "So I'm looking for a challenge. I think Ariana could be a challenge. I'm looking forward to beating her though." Jonas won't be coaching alongside Grande in the fall, and when asked if he had any advice for her, replied that "Ariana clearly doesn't need my advice."

"She's an incredible artist and, I think, our generation's best vocalist," he explained. "She's got such an incredible career to pull from to inspire these artists she's going to work with. I'm so excited to see her beat Blake. It's going to be great for me."

Legend also complimented Grande's talent and shared that he thinks she'll help bring a new audience to The Voice. "Part of the charm of the show is that we keep things exciting and bring different coaches on that will add a new flavor to the mix," he said. "Ariana is one of the most gifted artists in our business today. She is a huge, chart-topping artist with amazing vocal skills. I think so many of our fans out there truly love her, and I think she's going to bring additional fans to the show, a different audience to the show, and I think it's going to be great for all of us."

"What we've learned is that our audience likes some stability with coaches, but I think it also likes for us to introduce some new flavors to the mix every once in a while," he added. "I think Ariana is going to be a great addition."


Earlier this month, Shelton told Hoda Kotb on the Today show that he and the other coaches won't hold back their competitive natures when Grande arrives. "I'm not going to lie," he said. "We're still going to beat the crap out of her, you know, on the show. It's our job — they pay us to win, Hoda. They don't pay me to lose."