Collectively, Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green have racked up nine Grammys, three Billboard Music trophies, and countless WTF Outfit Awards — but neither has ever led a mentee to victory on The Voice. Unfortunately, this fall could be the last chance for both of them: Executive Producer Mark Burnett said this summer that the competition’s upcoming fourth season may feature an entirely new judging panel.
So, what can Xtina and Cee Lo do to vanquish Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, starting during tonight’s season premiere? We’ve got a few ideas. Namely:
Keep your heads in the game
Both Christina and her quirky co-coach have outspoken personalities — and ridiculous wardrobes — that make them perfect for TV. But in the midst of all that sniping with Adam and stroking Purrfect the Cat, each musician can lose sight of what should be the ultimate goal: grooming an undiscovered singer into a superstar. If these two focus less on drawing attention to themselves and more on giving good, concrete advice and guidance, their team members will transform into polished performers capable of victory — and viewers may reward the coaches’ hard work with extra votes.
Oh, and an extra note of advice for Ms. Aguilera: Don’t pick fights with Justin Timberlake. Everybody loves Justin Timberlake!
Employ tough love
America loves a mentor who’s tough but fair. (R.I.P., Mike Wallace.) Neither Christina nor Cee Lo has really mastered this art; Xtina is plenty snarky when it comes to the rest of the show’s panel, but she holds back when asked to criticize the members of her team. And too often, Cee Lo falls into a Randy Jackson-esque “speaking words without actually saying anything” trap. If both are a little more cutthroat, their contestants may seriously improve over the course of the season — which, after all, is supposed to be the point of having “coaches” rather than “judges.”
Diversity, diversity, diversity
Christina, appropriately enough, gravitates toward singers with powerhouse voices like her own. (Though she did manage to avoid building a too-samey team last season). Cee Lo doesn’t exclusively stick with funkmasters like himself, but he does favor the showy and colorful over the understated. But picking a diverse team could be the key to success, since it means members will fill different niches and won’t cancel each other out. Stick to what you did last season, Xtina — and Cee Lo, try following her diversity-loving example.
Be aggressive. B-E aggressive!
As revealed in EW’s Fall TV Preview, there’s a new rule in the Voice Box this year — coaches are now allowed to employ The Steal, snatching up to two contestants from their rivals’ teams. Christina and Cee Lo shouldn’t be afraid to play dirty if they really want to win — especially if playing dirty is now officially sanctioned by the Voice Gods.
Got anything to add, Voice watchers? Stick your advice in the comments — and feel free to discuss The Voice‘s season premiere there until Melissa Maerz’s full recap goes live tonight.