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The Voice returns tonight on NBC, and Kelly Clarkson‘s back in the big red chairs alongside veteran coaches Blake Shelton and John Legend, and new coach Ariana Grande. While Kelly’s extremely busy hosting her Emmy-winning talk show and recording new music, she says she still makes time for The Voice because of one particular aspect of the show.

“My favorite thing is the Blind [Auditions],” she says, explaining, “Sometimes it’s nice just to…listen and just be moved. And that’s a definite reason why I keep coming back.”

Another reason she looks forward to doing The Voice is that it gives her the opportunity to pal around with people who truly understand what it’s like to be her.

“It is a different thing to be in the public eye and to have so many eyes on you all the time, and it’s a different thing to explain or try to describe to friends that might not know that,” Kelly notes. “So it’s really cool to have people to have conversations with, or lean on…commonalities that you can’t have with everyone else.”

“So, yeah, I just get really stoked about hanging out with the guys and talking about what everybody’s watching or listening to or what’s happening with their families,” Kelly adds.

Ariana’s the new kid on the block this season, but Kelly thinks she’ll be a formidable opponent.

“She has this amazing ability to really bring the best out of a song, I think, and so I think that’s going to make her an amazing coach,” Kelly admits. “Because a lot of these people don’t know really where they want to go or how to craft a song like that. So I think she’s going to be really good in that sense. But also…pick me!”

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