A show source responds to Aguilera's negative experience on NBC's hit singing competition

By Melody Chiu
May 03, 2018 02:15 PM
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Christina Aguilera is relieved her days as a Voice coach are behind her, but the star will always have a special place at the hit singing competition.

“Christina was an incredibly valuable member of The Voice for many seasons and we appreciate all she did for the show,” a show source tells PEOPLE exclusively in response to what the singer says was a negative experience for her from 2011 to 2016. “She’ll always be a part of The Voice family.”

The 37-year-old star sounded off about NBC’s reality show in a new cover interview with Billboard, saying she was “longing for freedom” while sitting in the red chair.

“I would just take everything off — the makeup, all of it — and would blast hip-hop, or Nirvana, ‘Creep,’ Slayer,” said Aguilera, who dropped her new single “Accelerate” off her upcoming album Liberation on Thursday. “Anything like that to get me out of that zone, that TV mode.”

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Credit: Miller Mobley

Though she eventually won in 2016 with her contestant Alisan Porter, Aguilera claimed the show turned out to be the opposite of what she had expected.

RELATED VIDEO: Christina Aguilera Gets a Makeunder and Poses Completely Barefaced in ‘Liberating’ Photo Shoot

“It became something that I didn’t feel was what I had signed up for in season one,” she said, calling it a “churning hamster wheel” and and “energy sucker.”

“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.”

The Voice - Season 10

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.”

As for why she decided to stay on the show for years, the entertainer admitted it created a consistent schedule for her kids, 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.”