Fans of NBC's "The Voice" may have to start taking notes. Not only has the show announced coaches for this fall's Season 13, the network on Thursday issued a press release that revealed three of the four coaches for next year's Season 14, including one big addition: "American Idol" winner (and former "Voice" advisor) Kelly Clarkson.
"I'm so excited to join 'The Voice' at NBC," Clarkson said in Thursday's press release. "We've gone back and forth about a role as a coach for years, but the timing hasn't been right until now. I have always loved appearing on the show as an adviser or performer and established an amazing relationship with the network during my Christmas special. I can't wait to turn my chair and see the faces of up-and-coming artists and provide them with the help and support they've needed to break into the industry. Watch out Shelton, I'm comin' to win!"
The news obviously confirms that "The Voice" is renewed for Seasons 13 and 14, and thus will be within one cycle of the original run of "American Idol," which exited after 15 seasons on FOX (but will return for Season 16 on ABC next TV season). Clarkson is the second "Idol" superstar that "The Voice" has hired as a coach in two days; Jennifer Hudson joined Season 13 on Wednesday. Making things more interesting, Clarkson was being targeted to join the revived "Idol" as late as Wednesday, per Billboard. But "The Voice" apparently beat "Idol" to the punch for her services.
It's the second time that Clarkson has served as a coach/judge on a singing competition since "Idol," after she was part of ABC's short-lived "Duets" in 2012. But she has an equal history with "The Voice," too; she was a battle rounds mentor for Team Blake in Season 2 and has appeared on the show numerous times since as a musical guest. She most recently appeared in December's Season 11 finale performing with Team Adam finalist Billy Gilman; you can watch their performance of 'It's Quiet Uptown" by using the media player included with this article.
The question for "Voice" fans is how Clarkson fits into the musical dynamic of the show, because unlike any other coach who's been involved, she moves between two genres of music. Does the show use her as Season 14's resident pop coach, filling the seat currently occupied by Miley Cyrus and Gwen Stefani? Or does it consider her country and for the first time ever, have two coaches from the same genre in the competition? Considering her country wouldn't help the claims among some fans that "The Voice" leans heavily toward the country genre.
But regardless of where she lands, the addition of Kelly Clarkson is a great get from a coaching standpoint. She has been through and conquered the reality TV process, so she'll be able to bring that first-hand experience and empathy to the "Voice" contestants, plus her knowledge of what it takes to translate that into commercial stardom - the one thing that has proved elusive for the NBC series. Plus, she has a fantastic personality and an existing banter with the series' most successful coach. Season 14 could be an amazing new season of "The Voice" with her addition.
For more on Kelly Clarkson, visit her artist page at AXS.