"It became something that I didn't feel was what I had signed up for in season one," Christina Aguilera explained

By Jordan Runtagh
May 03, 2018 11:35 AM
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Between 2011 and 2016, Christina Aguilera was a television mainstay as a coach on six seasons of The Voice. But despite the apparent camaraderie and her always-elegant façade, the pop diva was apparently miserable during the majority of her stint on the hit singing competition.

“I was longing for freedom,” Aguilera, 37, says of the time in Billboard‘s June cover story. She recalls the moments when she would arrive home from taping and breathe a sigh of relief. “I would just take everything off — the makeup, all of it — and would blast hip-hop, or Nirvana, ‘Creep,’ Slayer. Anything like that to get me out of that zone, that TV mode.”

Christina Aguilera in Billboard.
| Credit: Miller Mobley

Calling it a “churning hamster wheel” and an “energy sucker,” Aguilera outlined her fundamental problems with the program, which she eventually won in 2016 with Alisan Porter.

“It became something that I didn’t feel was what I had signed up for in season one,” she said. “You realize it’s not about music. It’s about making good TV moments and massaging a story. I didn’t get into this business to be a television show host and to be given all these [rules]. Especially as a female.”

Christina Aguilera on the cover of Billboard.
| Credit: Miller Mobley

Aguilera elaborated, saying that she felt confined by the production’s restrictions. “You can’t wear this, can’t say that. I would find myself on that show desperately trying to express myself through clothing or makeup or hair. It was my only kind of outlet.”

Aguilera admits she stayed on The Voice in part because she didn’t want to disrupt the lives of her young children: son Max Liron, 10, and daughter Summer Rain, 3. “It’s easy to get comfortable and cushy in the same place and not have to worry about uprooting your kids. I’ve been putting myself on the back burner.”

The show had one silver lining for the “Beautiful’ singer: a chance to mend fences with fellow pop icon, Pink. According to Aguilera, the pair had a falling out while recording the star-studded 2001 remake of “Lady Marmalade,” but they have recently patched things up. Pink’s 2016 appearance on The Voice provided an opportunity for the warm feelings to flow.

“I was so excited — even she was like, ‘Why is she so excited to see me?'” Aguilera remembered. “I was like, ‘Another female! There’s another vagina in the room! I’m so excited!'”