'You're about to break up America's couple!'
The couple wasted no time on Monday's season 19 premiere before they were facing off over a singer. Payge Turner, a 27-year-old crooner from Trinidad and Tobago, got an early chair turn from Blake as she covered The Weeknd's "Call Out My Name," but then Gwen hit her button just before the end of the song.
"Why are you doing this to me?!" Blake exclaimed, as John Legend warned the hopeful singer, "You're about to break up America's couple!"
Blake did his best to make a case for his team -- pointing out the fact that he turned much earlier than his ladylove -- but ultimately, Payge went for the glitz, girl power and cross-genre experience that Team Gwen had to offer.
"I'm always looking for the personality, the message -- I feel like I got that with Payge," the No Doubt singer gushed to the cameras after the audition. "Blake won last season, but I'm back this season and I'm gonna get a win."
Thankfully, it seems like there were no hard feelings in the Shelton-Stefani household. "It's hard to resist Gwen Stefani," Blake admitted. "I can relate."
Season 19 of The Voice looks a little bit different, as the singing competition returned to production with strict safety protocols, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The blind audition rounds are taking place with a "virtual audience" of fans watching from home -- which, as Blake explained ahead of the premiere, created a "new dynamic" for the coaches, as they were able to listen to the hopeful performers without any crowd noise.
"We're able to hear the artists in a way that we've never heard before -- and we're able to hear the insults coming from the other coaches in a way that we've never heard them before," he joked. "They're really cutting through."
The country star teased that even his socially distanced proximity to fellow coach Kelly Clarkson isn't "far enough," though he did offer a rare moment of sincerity as well, admitting that he and his fellow coaches were excited to be a "comforting presence" for fans and viewers in a tumultuous year. And of course, he was thrilled to welcome Gwen back to the show this season.
"Having Gwen back is very comforting to all the coaches," Blake shared. "We were all able to just go back to the game we already knew. We all know how to play each other at this thing. It felt like the old gang got back together again, and we're having a blast."
"I think that being able to sit down and watch a show that's so inspiring and will bring inspiration to people, it will definitely bring joy," Gwen agreed. "Music is the heartbeat of human beings, so I feel really blessed to be here and to be a part of that and to be able to connect around America on the TV."
"Maybe the reason there's so much talent is that a lot of people are kind of paused and they get to kind of, you know, follow the dream in a way they didn't get to because maybe they're working or they were in school," she added. "I think there's kind of a different kind of group of people this time because of the opportunity that we are all paused in the world right now."
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm PT/ET on NBC.