It seems like Season 8 of NBC’s hit TV series The Voice just barely ended, but fans don’t have too long to grieve, because Season 9 is back tonight with a new panel of judges. Though veteran coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Pharell Williams will remain on the show, Christina Aguilera will be taking the season off, and Gwen Stefani will step in as coach No. 4. It will be the same panel as Season 7, the dynamic foursome that brought us Craig Wayne Boyd.
There will also be a whole host of guest judges to enter the mix, including Selena Gomez, who will join Team Gwen at some point during the competition to help the star get her team into shape.
Pharrell Williams has requested that Missy Elliot join him as a judge during the competition. He believes that her unique brand of music and her distinct talent on stage will be just what his team needs to excel.
Rolling Stonereports that country star Brad Paisley will be the guest coach of choice for Blake Shelton, and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine has chosen John Fogerty, the lead singer of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Fogerty also performed a duet last season with the winner of The Voice, Sawyer Fredericks.
Those who’ve watched The Voice in the past know that not only do the judges each get an individual guest coach to help them out, but they also share one special guest advisor who will be a “key advisor” to the show’s finalists. For Season 9, that key advisor will be Rihanna. She won’t be showing up until closer to the end of the season, but when she does, you can expect that she’ll have a special performance to commemorate the occasion.
However, her late appearance shouldn’t dissuade fans from watching the previous seasons. There will be star-studded performances throughout the series, opening with a quartet from the show’s main coaches. Thanks to a sneak preview featured on International Business Times, we know that the coaches will be switching it up with their hit songs in a medley. Gwen Stefani will start out with Shelton’s recent hit, “Neon Lights,” followed by Shelton singing Stefani’s famous “Don’t Speak.”
After that, Pharrell will take the stage with Maroon 5’s “Sugar,” followed closely by Adam singing Williams’ hit, “Get Lucky.” At the end, the coaches will all come together on the stage to finish the medley off strong.
The recordings of the blind auditions for The Voice are set to hit NBC networks on Monday, September 21 at 8 p.m. EDT.
[Image via Jason Kempin / Getty Images]