Tuesday, September 21, 2021

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Ariana Grande proved a hit as she made her debut as a coach on The Voice US.

The pop superstar joined the show as a replacement for Nick Jonas, appearing alongside her fellow celebrities John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton on the panel.

And Grande wasted no time in getting stuck in.

During the season premiere, the Positions singer found herself pitted against Clarkson and Legend for talented hopeful Katie Rae Mortimer.

Mortimer, a stay-at-home mother, wowed the panel with a cover of country music star Maren Morris’s The Bones.

Clarkson bonded with the contestant over their both having young sons, before Grande made a tongue-in-cheek offer to have a baby for her if she joined her team.

When Legend made his pitch, Grande interrupted by playing her hit Thank U, Next through the soundstage.

The move impressed defending champion Shelton.

“You can tell she’s been a fan of the show for a long time and she’s incredibly sneaky,” the country music star said.

Grande got her wish and Mortimer became the first member of Team Ariana.

Grande told her: “I trust your instincts. I only want to help you execute your vision for yourself as an artist. I might be new here, but I have a lot of experience as well.

“I’ve been through hell and back and I would love to work together and create and sing and be your coach.”

Grande also added nurse Vaughn Mugol to her team after being impressed by his cover of Ed Sheeran’s The A Team.

Grande is aiming to follow in the footsteps of Clarkson and Legend in winning her maiden season.

The celebrity coaches were not contained to judging the talent on offer.

They took to the stage for a performance of their own, delivering an energetic mash-up of Aretha Franklin’s Respect and Sam And Dave’s Hold On, I’m Comin’.

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