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'The Voice' premiere: Ariana Grande vows to 'have a baby' for singer in 'cutthroat' debut

·4 min read

Ariana Grande is switching positions.

The multi-hyphenate Grammy winner made her much-anticipated debut on NBC's "The Voice" Monday as the newest coach on Season 21, alongside reigning champion Blake Shelton, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson.

"I’ve been watching ‘The Voice’ for years and I wanted to be a coach. This is my first season and I’d like to think I’m here to win," said Grande, who wants to become the third new coach in the show's history to win their first season. (Clarkson won on her first attempt as coach in 2018 with Brynn Cartelli and John Legend won in 2019 with Maelyn Jarmon.)

Ariana Grande set to join 'The Voice' as coach, replacing Nick Jonas for next season

"The Voice" kicked off with not one, not two, but three voices in the sibling trio "The Girl Named Tom," the season's first four-chair turn of the Blind Auditions. Clarkson turned her red chair around first, followed by Legend, Shelton and then Grande. ("That whipping around will take some getting used to," she said.)

The rookie quickly learned how "cutthroat" the pitching environment is. "I need to fight harder. I’m being too nice," Grande said after the trio picked Clarkson.

Shelton offered up some not-so-friendly advice to succeed in the competition as the most winningest coach in "The Voice" history: "Lie… talk over people."

Grande proved to be a fast learner and applied Shelton's questionable tactics after she, Legend and Clarkson turned for Katie Rae, who opened up about her battle with postpartum depression before a rendition of Maren Morris' "Bones."

Lying: Check. After Clarkson and Rae bonded over motherhood, Grande promised she would "have a baby for you to be on my team" before quickly recanting.

Talk over people: Check. While Legend was in the middle of pitching himself as a coach, Grande brutally cut him off by playing a snippet of her hit single "Thank U, Next."

See the photos: Ariana Grande goes on romantic getaway with husband Dalton Gomez

"I love a strong powerhouse, bad (expletive) vocalist," Grande said. "I may be new here but … I’ve been through hell and back and I would love to work together."

Rae ultimately selected Grande. Shelton could not have been prouder.

"See, being mean gets you somewhere," Shelton told Grande, but he made a note to keep an eye on her: "She is taking over these Blind Auditions…she’s incredibly sneaky."

"I’m not going to be nice," Shelton warned. "I’m not going to be friendly. There won’t be any alliances. I’m here to win."

Grande proved she's going to be a threat after effortlessly picking up super-fan Katherine Ann Mohler (who performed Jermaine Stewart's "We Don’t’ Have To Take Our Clothes Off") and registered nurse Vaughn Mugol (who performed Ed Sheeran's "The A Team.")

"We are all in trouble," Legend said about Grande. "When someone's a threat, maybe the best way to get rid of that threat is to block them."

Well, Legend jinxed himself because he was the one blocked by "Block Shelton" following four-chair-turn Wendy Moten's powerful rendition of The Beatles' "We Can Work It Out." Shelton wouldn't own up to it though: "I don’t think I did."

The feedback was unanimous. Shelton said Moten turned in a "Top 3 Blind Audition for 'The Voice' of all time." Grande said she hasn't "heard someone sing like that in my life." Clarkson added Moten is "what this show is all about. Legend just protested: "Don’t pick Blake whatever you do."

Moten picked Shelton, leaving Grande "heartbroken." She added, "Blake's the real deal."

Each coach brought their own interpretations of gifts to lure new team members. Clarkson's jackets made a return, this time in a turquoise hue. Grande created a "vocal health goodies" lunchbox to "help soothe your voice." Legend brought boxing robes for the battle ahead, although Shelton said anyone could find it at "your local thrift store." The cowboy created a "Winner's Cam," "something that I can just put in people’s face."

"Blake’s 'Win Cam' is overrated… I’m not impressed," Legend said. Grande added: "What do I think of Blake’s 'Win cam'? Nothing."

Blind Auditions resume on "The Voice" Tuesday (NBC, 8 EDT/PDT).

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ariana Grande makes coach debut on 'The Voice,' vows to have baby

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