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Blake Shelton admits Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson may have an edge on "The Voice" thanks to "American Idol"

Art Streiber/NBC
Art Streiber/NBC

Tonight, Blake Shelton kicks off season 15 of The Voice on NBC with two hours of blind auditions that start at 8 p.m. ET.

And as much as Blake hates to admit it, he believes fellow coaches Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson may both have a leg up on him and Adam Levine, thanks to their experience on American Idol.

“You know, I would like to think that just because Kelly and Jennifer came from another singing competition show that they wouldn’t have an advantage, but I guess maybe they do a little bit,” Blake confesses.

“I mean, Kelly won her first season as a coach on this show,” he adds, “and that’s tough to do. And I was definitely betting against her the whole time, and she proved me wrong for sure.”

Blake remains the winningest coach in the history of The Voice. Still, he sees that Kelly and Jennifer have some invaluable insights that he lacks, thanks to their time on American Idol

“I guess it does, you know, [give you an advantage] to be able to relate to your contestant in a way that even I can’t or Adam can’t,” he observes.”Because they were under these spotlights and in front of the cameras on live television night after night, and they know what these artists are going through.”

Two of Blake’s country colleagues will be joining him when it comes time for the battle rounds this season. Keith Urban will advise Team Blake, while Thomas Rhett will be helping Team Kelly.

Kelsea Ballerini will also serve as the fifth coach on The Voice this season, as its companion series, Comeback Stage, debuts tonight on the show, before continuing online.

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