Blake Shelton steps up his game for 'The Voice' Season 4 to keep up with new judges Shakira and Usher

By Markirah Shaw,

Country artist Blake Shelton is gearing up for his role as one of four mentors on the next season of The Voice. He says that the new dynamic between the two original judges and the two new judges has encouraged him to play harder to win.

Shelton is a two-time champion mentor on The Voice but he told The Boot that he’s had an awakening since Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera stepped away from the show. Shelton admitted, “Adam [Levine] and I have always kind of lollygagged through this thing and not taken it too seriously. Just having fun with it.”

But with the arrival of Shakira and Usher, the level of competitiveness has risen. “They were very serious. They were determined to win this thing. And Adam and I were like, 'Damn! Alright, I see how it is now.'”

In December 2012 MTV reported that Green and Aguilera were going on hiatus to “pursue their opportunities.” The four original judges came together on the season three finale to perform Green Day’s song “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).”

Newcomer, Usher, told MTV how excited he was to be a mentor. “It's the type of show that I feel really sets up an artist and makes it about what matters most: the voice”

This year's mentors are Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Shakira, and Usher.

Season four of The Voice will premiere on Mon. March 25 at 8pm on NBC.

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