'The Voice' Season 20 Coaches React to Blake Shelton Comparing Himself to Tom Brady (Exclusive)

Nick Jonas, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend are ready to contend Shelton's self-claimed title.

The Voice season 20 hasn't even begun, and Blake Shelton's ego is already taking over!

The country star and his fellow coaches recently joined ET's Lauren Zima to discuss the upcoming landmark season of the NBC singing competition show, and Nick Jonas -- who's returning to the show for his second season, taking the seat vacated by Blake's fiancée and season 19 champion, Gwen Stefani -- shared his thoughts on taking down the Voice's resident old-timer.

"Blake is in his 20th season, which means that he's just getting bored, he's getting tired of doing this," Nick joked. "This new blood, me, I mean, coming in and taking his crown, it's gonna be a lot of fun for me."

However, Blake likened his rivalry with Nick to the recent Super Bowl, noting, "There was a young kid named Patrick Mahomes that thought he was gonna do that with Tom Brady, and we know how that worked out."

"You know what's strange too is, I heard after the game that they were referring to Tom Brady as the greatest of all time," Blake added slyly. "And I thought it was interesting that he has won seven championships and I have won seven championships."

"He's very into the idea that both he and Tom Brady have seven titles now," John Legend chimed in. "He will not let us forget that."

"And I will not ever let him forget that it's seven out of 20," Kelly Clarkson added. "If you have to call yourself the GOAT, it might not ring true. I think usually the greatest-of-all-time people, they don't have to say it. It just, like, is."

Unlike Brady, Blake is not the reigning Voice champion -- Gwen won her first-ever title in season 19 with young crooner Carter Rubin. However, he was the winner of season 18, Nick's first on the Voice, which aired early last year during the start of the coronavirus pandemic. 

"I will say it's unfair to judge Nick based on the first season he was a coach, because it was, you know, horrible circumstances. We couldn't even be in a room with our contestants," Blake admitted. "So I won't hold that season against him. But I will damn sure hold this season against him."

Nick admitted that his strategy has changed a bit in his second season, sharing that he's tried to loosen up more and take some of the pressure off of his team members. "Just kinda taking the stakes down a notch and encouraging them to enjoy the ride, have fun, and even for me try to learn something along the way from each one of them," he shared.

"It's just about having fun," Nick added. "This is meant to be an amazing journey for them, you know, regardless of the outcome. There's one winner, sure, but the journey that we all go on together, collectively, is what really matters."

"I think people love the repartee, the camaraderie, the rivalries that we have with each other, even though they're friendly rivalries," John agreed. "So, to not only help these singers do their best work, but also just get a little bragging rights and get a little edge... it's a lot of fun to watch us compete with each other."

As The Voice enters its 20th season, and prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary, all the coaches note there's still something thrilling about the "captivating" blind audition process that fans love to watch.

"It's all about the talent and not the aesthetic, you know, right off the bat," Kelly explained. "It's a really interesting thing to just hear something and be moved by it and turn around and go, 'What?!'"

In fact, the performer and talk show host shared that the blind auditions for the upcoming season "were my favorite blinds to shoot. Like, it was so much fun. I literally kept coming home, thinking on my drive home, 'I can't believe I get paid to just go and hang out and it's really fun.'"

Without Blake and Gwen facing off in season 20, the coaches' home life plays an interesting dynamic in each of their strategies. Blake insists that Gwen doesn't offer him any advice on his team, even when she's not on the show. 

"I'm still the competition," he noted. "She comes back and she doesn't want to have helped me in any way... Now that she has a 'W,' it's even worse!"

Nick, however, has the help of wife Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who is a "diehard" fan of the franchise and can offer a "unique perspective" on his team. "She's she's got a wealth of Voice knowledge that I have pulled from at different points," he said. "And then once I get to the point where I build my team, she's the first person that I'm excited to share who I got, who picked me, who picked John, or you know, made the mistake of picking Blake or Kelly... She's the first one to hear it all."

For John and Kelly, the past year hasn't been an easy one in their personal lives, but they each expressed how grateful they are to be back on the Voice stage, working with young artists and sharing inspirational moments with their fellow coaches. 

"We're so fortunate we get to do what we love to do and we're so fortunate that we have art as such as an outlet for us creatively and emotionally," John said, also sharing his gratitude for the crew that makes their pandemic production a possibility. "It's not just a job, because we actually enjoy doing it. It's fun to be around our coworkers and we get to make music with people who have dreams and are inspired and that's exciting."

See more in the video below. The Voice returns for season 20 on Monday, March 1, at 8 p.m. PT/ET on NBC.



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