'The Voice' Season 20 Premiere: John Legend Says Victor Solomon's 'Glory' Blind Audition Is 'Better Than Me'
By Meredith B. Kile
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The Voice's season 20 is almost here -- and John Legend is already breaking his own rules!
The coach has never before turned for a contestant who sang one of his songs during a Blind Audition, but he has to make an exception in this sneak peek from Monday's premiere episode. College student Victor Solomon makes a brave choice by choosing to sing Legend's collaboration with Common, "Glory" -- which was written and performed for Ava DuVernay's 2014 Martin Luther King film, Selma -- but it pays off.
Victor gets chair turns from Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas, and John himself -- though there is the matter of sorting out whether or not the panel's resident country star knows the origin of the gospel-inspired anthem. "I knew an angel wrote that song, that's all I know," Blake admits as his fellow coaches crack up.
"John, let's just clear it up, this is your Oscar-winning song, right?" Nick asks, twisting the knife a bit.
"When [John] turned around, I was like, I don't have a chance here," Kelly Clarkson notes as to why she didn't turn her chair for Victor. She even admits that, at points, she thought it was John himself singing!
"I've literally, zero times, turned for someone singing my song," John shares in response. "I just scrutinize it more heavily than I normally would. But [this time] I was like, I don't need to do that! He's doing some things that I haven't done, that are better than what I would do with the song... He was better than me!"
Victor even joins John on a spontaneous duet of his hit, "Ordinary People," but when it comes time to pick his coach, he wonders if it might be time to "shake things up." Who will he pick? Check out the full audition below:
As The Voice enters its 20th season, and prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary, ET sat down with the coaches, who all noted that there's still something thrilling about the show's "captivating" blind audition process that fans love to watch.
"It's all about the talent and not the aesthetic, 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 Blinds for season 20 "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.'"
"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 production a possibility amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "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."
The Voice season 20 premieres Monday, March 1, at 8 p.m. PT/ET on NBC.