"I'm excited about Ariana joining the show because it's somebody new for me to beat," the country hitmaker, 44, told reporters during a virtual Q&A via PEOPLE, alongside his fellow season 20 coaches John Legend and Nick Jonas, as well as mega mentor Snoop Dogg. Kelly Clarkson wasn't available due to scheduling conflicts with her daytime talk show. "I'm tired of beating John every season — and Nick."
Shelton has a total of seven times and went on to admit that Jonas "is the easiest coach I have ever beat in 20 seasons of doing this show."
"The easiest defeat of my career was Nick Jonas," he continued. "So I'm looking for a challenge. I think Ariana could be a challenge. I'm looking forward to beating her though."
Legend also chimed in on Grande’s booking, which was announced in March, confessing that he’s interested to see what she brings to season 21. "Part of the charm of the show is that we keep things exciting and bring different coaches on that will add a new flavor to the mix," he explained. "Ariana is one of the most gifted artists in our business today. She is a huge, chart-topping artist with amazing vocal skills. I think so many of our fans out there truly love her, and I think she's going to bring additional fans to the show, a different audience to the show, and I think it's going to be great for all of us."
"What we've learned is that our audience likes some stability with coaches, but I think it also likes for us to introduce some new flavors to the mix every once in a while," he added. "I think Ariana is going to be a great addition."
Photo: Getty Images