Blake Shelton: New “Voice” Season “Better than Ever”

The reigning champ said all the coaches' fights have improved the show

Blake Shelton gave a hint of what to expect when "The Voice" starts its new season Monday night on the "Today" show Monday and indulged in a little friendly trash talk about his fellow coaches.

Blake, the show's reigning champ coach after his team member Jermaine Paul won last season, said he hasn't exactly refrained from gloating about the title.

"I think it started irritating not only the other coaches but the production staff, network people…" he told Savannah Guthrie.

"It's gotta be embarrassing to be Cee-Lo or Christina," neither of whose team members has ever won the show's top prize, he added.

He also ribbed Adam, who helped Javier Colon win the show's first season — getting in a friendly dig at the Maroon 5 frontman's arsenal of ratty teeshirts and calling him "a wuss" for not trash-talking to his face.

But as for all that tension that seemed to lurk below (and sometimes bubble above) the surface in last season...? Blake said it's improved the show.

"It's made us as a group that much tighter," he explained.

"Season three, it really does trump both the first two seasons," he said, adding that in addition to all the coaches' fights, some crucial rule changes had helped the show, which he called "better than ever."

So what's the tactic that helped Blake's singer win last season and that he hopes will pay off again?

"I think you just treat each individual differently depending on where they're at in their career," he said.

The new season of "The Voice" premieres tonight at 8/7c on NBC.

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