They performed together on The Mickey Mouse Club, battled it out on the pop charts and now, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears will go head to head in primetime when their singing competitions, The Voice and The X Factor, both return this fall.
“I came up with Britney, we were very close,” Aguilera, 31, said during a press conference in Malibu, Calif., at the home of The Voice producer Mark Burnett on Sunday evening. “Our paths have always crossed. They’ll continue to cross. I welcome her to this family of fun and entertainment and finding new talent. Britney’s a pro. She’s going to give great advice!”
But when it comes to singing competitions, The Voice, which returns to NBC Sept. 10, has “raised the bar,” says Aguilera, who cited the talent of her returning costar coaches, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton, as well as this season’s chart-topping mentors, Mary J. Blige, Rob Thomas, Billy Joe Armstrong, and Michael Bublé.
Also new this season on The Voice: a twist in the fan favorite “battle rounds.” After a coach selects a singer to eliminate, now another coach can steal that performer and add them to their team. If more than one coach vies for the eliminated contestant, the contestant gets to pick, just like in the blind auditions, which team to join.
With all the singing competitions on TV these days and the various ways they sort through talented contestants and pick winners, it’s still no guarantee that any of them will launch a superstar like Aguilera or Spears.
“We can provide a certain amount of insurance,” says Levine, 33. “But we’re not their managers, we’re not their record labels. We can’t micro-manage everything that happens after their run of the show. We would love to see a star born out of this. However, we’re not hinging the relevance of the show on that.”