Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend are back in action on The Voice.

In a preview of season 19 of the NBC singing competition series, shared exclusively with PEOPLE, the coaches return to set — and their famous swiveling red chairs — for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic sent the U.S. into lockdown back in March to film the blind auditions.

Keeping socially distanced in their chairs, which are now situated eight feet apart, the coaches had to find innovative ways to connect with their artists now that hugging and other forms of physical connection are off the table due to the pandemic.

As can be seen in the clip, Stefani, 50, attempts to welcome one artist to her team during the blind auditions by launching a t-shirt at him with a t-shirt cannon. "I got a present for you but because we're social distancing, I'm going to launch it at you. You ready?" she says. 

When the cannon proves to be unsuccessful, Stefani — who is returning as a coach after taking last season off from the show because of her Las Vegas residency — takes boyfriend Shelton's advice and places the t-shirt on a long pole with a glove at the end to give it to her new team member.

Last season, which saw Shelton's artist Todd Tilghman win, The Voice aired remotely from the coaches and contestants' homes due to the pandemic. Carson Daly, meanwhile, continued his hosting duties live from a soundstage without a live audience and at home.

In July, Shelton, 44, said during an appearance on SiriusXM's The Storme Warren Show that he was having a great time isolating with Stefani, his girlfriend of nearly five years, at his Oklahoma ranch.

"You wake up and look at the news and you're starting to realize that this quarantine is not working out too well for a lot of people who are finding out … they don't like being around each other as much as they thought they did, which is terrible," he said. "She and I have experienced the opposite, you know, and we've been having a blast."

The couple's at-home life inspired their recent duet "Happy Anywhere." The romantic song — their fourth together and first since their hit January duet "Nobody But You" — sees the pair croon about being perfectly content no matter where they are, as long as they have each other.

Throughout quarantine, Clarkson, 38, has been keeping busy filming her daily talk show between her home in Los Angeles and cabin in Montana. Legend, 41, has also been busy preparing for his and wife Chrissy Teigen's third baby on the way.

Season 19 of The Voice premieres Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. EST/PST on NBC.





Source: Read Full Article