Tuesday night during “The Voice’s” highly anticipated Season 18 finale, quarantined host Carson Daly took fans on a nostalgic journey through coaching panels of years past. Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green started it all back in Season 1, with Shakira and Usher coming to NBC’s reality TV show in Season 4, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams being hired in Season 7, and Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys joining in Season 11. However, did this 2020 season — starring Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Nick Jonas — have the best coaching panel to date?
The current judges were a perfect blend of experience (Shelton), enthusiasm (Clarkson), charm (Legend) and rawness (Jonas), which made them a force to be reckoned with whether sitting in the studio or skyping in from home. Gone were the days of silly bickering between Shelton and Levine, or distracting relationship drama with Shelton and Stefani. Instead, the four superstars had a fun, yet respectful camaraderie that truly stood out on the screen. See our rankings of all 14 “Voice” coaches in our photo gallery above and then vote in our poll below.
Blake Shelton (Seasons 1-Present)
Some may argue Shelton has a lock on all of the country artists, but his first of seven wins came in Season 2 with R&B singer Jermaine Paul. Up next was Cassadee Pope in Season 3, who was more of a pop singer at the time. But since then country artists have reigned supreme on Team Blake with Danielle Bradbery (Season 4), Craig Wayne Boyd (Season 7) and Sundance Head (Season 11) all taking home trophies. It is also worth noting that to date, artists on Shelton’s team have had the most success on the music charts after their time on “The Voice” has ended. His most recent championship victories were for Chloe Kohanski (Season 13) and Todd Tilghman (Season 18).
Kelly Clarkson (Seasons 14-Present)
This original winner of “American Idol” joined “The Voice” in 2018 and quickly won three of her first four contests: Brynn Cartelli (Season 14), Chevel Shepherd (Season 15) and Jake Hoot (Season 17). When Levine shockingly left the reality TV show, Clarkson became Shelton’s new punching bag in terms of making fun of her at every turn. But we know it’s all for show — they’re best friends in real life.
John Legend (Seasons 16-Present)
In 2019, Legend came on strong as the latest coach, having just received the last letter in his prestigious EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). The other judges realized Legend was a force to be reckoned with when artist after artist chose to be on his team instead of theirs. In the season finale, Legend’s pop singer Maelyn Jarmon (Season 16) claimed victory thanks in part to Shelton having three of the four finalists, which split his own vote.
Nick Jonas (Season 18)
As the new kid on the block at the start of the 2020 season, Nick really stood out in the blind auditions for his way of speaking to the artists in a down-to-earth manner and writing special notes about them as they performed. He also savvily stole Thunderstorm Artis from Team Legend, the eventual runner-up, proving he has an eye for the competition aspect of the show. This kid is going places.