With the premiere of their 21st season, The Voice introduces a new coach, Ariana Grande. Weekly episodes reveal a hidden side of the pop star as she coaches contestants to become their best selves in the hopes of taking home the grand prize.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
The Voice is back on NBC and is welcoming back live audiences and new coach, Ariana Grande. The pop sensation is replacing Nick Jonas as she continues to build the momentum of her outstanding career. Grande joins R&B singer John Legend, multi-talented Kelly Clarkson, and country music veteran Blake Shelton on the panel of coaches. Shelton is the most experienced coach having been part of the show since the very first season in 2011. But the target is on Grande’s back as the younger generation of singers have grown up with her and see her as an idol. With the high energy of the audience and the anticipation of seeing Ariana Grande as a mentor, this season brings something new to The Voice’s collections.
Although Grande has been part of the entertainment industry since she was a teenager, her role on The Voice is nothing like she’s ever done before. In 2003, Grande jump-started her career on Broadway in New York, starring in 13. She quickly then made the transition to television acting through Nickelodeon, cast as Cat, a red-haired performing arts student on Victorious. She brought quirkiness and comedy to the show as the ditzy, air-headed friend. Her airy voice and easily confused facial expressions convinced the public that Grande wasn’t very capable of much. In 2013, she ended her red-haired career to establish her place in the music industry with her debut album, Yours Truly.
Following the release, Grande’s career skyrocketed. She gave us hit singles such as The Way, One Last Time, Break Free, Love Me Harder, Side to Side, and many more. Her rapid success and catchy songs convinced the world that she was more than just a character on Nickelodeon. But with all the highs come the lows. After a series of traumatic events in the public eye, Grande took a break from the media and refrained from interviews and appearances. The constant manipulation of her words into clickbait was also a contribution to her withdrawal from public appearances.
She later returned to the scene with the release of her album Sweetener, where she appeared on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Grande also became more active on social media, dedicating time in her day to engaging with fans on Twitter and Instagram. She revealed more of her personality and passion for her music, family, friends, and fans. Grande was finally ready to be back in the spotlight.
Grande’s recruitment to The Voice is a special one as fans and the public get to see the pop star in a new light. She is no longer being asked about her music or what life is like with her husband. Now, she gets to show her expertise and the way she communicates as a mentor. As a longtime fan of Ariana Grande, I am incredibly happy and appreciative that she took on the show. We get to see a side of the pop star that we have never seen before. Her ability to articulate her critiques and feedback to contestants while also graciously dissing Blake Shelton is a side of Grande that made me fall in love with her more. She’s more than just a pop star, or a girl who falls hopelessly in love, or an airhead character from Nickelodeon. Grande is passionate about music, uplifting her mentees, and celebrating everyone and everything she can. To see Grande in her element and gain insight into who she really is, The Voice airs on NBC every Monday and Tuesday night at 8 PM.
Melanie Moyer '22,