5 Things to Expect on ‘The Voice’ Premere: Plus, Watch the Coaches Sing Each Other's Hits (Video)

NBC previewed Monday's return episode for here's what we can tell (and show) you

After chasing Fox's “The X Factor” off television and pushing “American Idol” out of the Emmy race for two years and counting, “The Voice” returns on Monday at 8/7c.

Shakira and Usher rotate back in to replace Christina Aguilera and the exiting CeeLo Green on the upcoming sixth season of the show.

NBC hosted a screening of the premiere episode earlier this week for media and TheWrap was there having our emotions manipulated by the blind auditions, requisite inspiration stories and the anticipation of whether the coaches will swing their chairs around along with everyone else.

Also read: Insider: CeeLo Green Quit ‘The Voice’ to Avoid Being Fired (Exclusive)

Here's what we can tell you:

1. Shakira has a new battle plan.
The singer isn't wasting one moment of her second tour of duty escape her in a plan to create the strongest team. Her battle plan includes pointing out her 20 million plus Twitter followers – more than the other three coaches’ followers combined – and her 70 million-plus Facebook following. She'll also draw on her very extensive musical background, including her rock roots, her experience in music producing and her formidable international experience.

2. There's a surprising new alliance.
Shakira also gains a surprising ally: Blake Shelton takes up her cause multiple times at the expense of his bromance with fellow original coach Adam Levine. And it's not just joking around – Shelton makes some very damning arguments against Levine in support of Shakira.

3. Blake Shelton is gun-shy.
While the other coaches are quick to swing their chairs on the first episode, Shelton is being very choosy. There are a few acts that would seem to fit in his wheelhouse – country and singer/songwriter – that he looks to be considering but ultimately passes. That said, he knows that his multiple season wins on the competition carry weight. So when he strikes, the blow can be deadly to his fellow coaches.

See video: ‘The Voice's’ Blake Shelton Gushes Over Usher and Shakira's Return (Exclusive)

4. If it ain't broke…
As Fox has been making format changes to both “American Idol” and “X Factor” (before it put the latter show out of its misery), “The Voice” seems pretty much untouched – at least during the blind auditions. One NBC representative told TheWrap that she didn't know of any new changes to the show for this season.

5. “The Voice” is still the most pro-gay TV singing competition.
On “The Voice's” first season, four gay singers advanced to the battle rounds. On the Season 6 premiere, it continues to be a welcome place for gay competitors. Just last week — 13 seasons in, mind you — “Idol” announced its first contender to be openly gay while competing. Just sayin'.

Also, here's what we're allowed to show you from Monday's premiere: Above, watch the coaches sing each other's hits.

And below, watch Bria Kelly, a singer that may just take the competition this season.

  • David Perkins

    Both Bria Kelly and Christina Grimmie were very strong in NBC's season promo excerpts. It promises to be a great one. Once again, I'm in comment-ready mode for The Wrap's excellent coverage of The Voice.

    • Jethro Nededog

      Welcome back, David! This should be fun.

      • David Perkins

        Tons o fun! BTW, I like Sara Bareilles as a replacement for Cee Lo. Her style is different than Xtina and/or Shakira, she'd be a nice fit with Adam/Blake, she's probably got a high TV Q, and she's got a history with NBC via 30 Rock, Community and The Sing-Off. Could be a shoo-in.

        • wat

          I think when Christina finally leaves (no doubt she will announce it soon), Mariah Carey would be an excellent replacement for her. They occupy the same lane, for the most part, and Mariah is a lot better (arguably) and definitely more experienced. Plus, during her time on Idol, she only wanted to mentor the artists and push them to accomplish their goals. The Voice would be the perfect platform for that. They do it better than the other shows could ever hope to.