By Esther Zuckerman
September 18, 2014 at 04:00 PM EDT
Trae Patton/NBC
  • TV Show

 The Voice launches its seventh season next week, with Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams joining the well-established buddy comedy that is Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. At a press luncheon for the show earlier this month, the coaches and host Carson Daly—minus Williams—discussed the new group’s dynamic and how Levine and Shelton welcomed the two newcomers into the fold. (Levine claimed to be nice; Shelton said “I’m going to beat you.”) Stefani also revealed she has a great description of Williams up her well-tailored sleeve. (She was wearing pinstripes; Levine wore a Hawaiian shirt.) Here are six tidbits EW gleaned from their conversation.

Stefani binged on the show after she got the gig

Before she was tapped to be a coach, Stefani had seen the show but wasn’t a consistent viewer. When she got the job, she decided to seriously prepare: “I went back and watched every single episode.” When Shelton expressed disbelief, Stefani admitted that she didn’t watch all of season one. “I won that season,” Levine chimed in.

About those Taylor Swift rumors…

When the present coaches and Daly were asked about reports that Taylor Swift will join the show as an advisor, they got very cagey. “Blake, did you hear about that?” Levine asked. “I didn’t have Taylor Swift,” Shelton responded. “I had Little Big Town as my advisor. I heard about that too.” Levine added that Stevie Nicks was his advisor, then turned to Daly, who pled ignorance. “We called Taylor Lautner for me,” Shelton joked. Swift is reportedly helping all four teams.

Williams and Stefani were good sports

Levine and Shelton’s relationship may be one of the show’s trademarks, but Levine explained that Stefani and Williams came in with a rapport of their own. “That’s the first time that’s really happened,” he said. They were also more genial than some of their predecessors. “When Shakira and Usher came in, you could tell that the network or producers—somebody had told them, ‘Hey, you need to go in there ready to be a smart-ass. Fight when you get in there,'” Shelton said.

Williams and Stefani, however, went in another direction. “Pharrell and Gwen came in totally nice, not going to go there. But then eventually they went there anyway—because after so much prodding and things that get said back and forth, by the time we get to the knockouts and battles, man, they were firing some missiles,” added Shelton. “They, naturally, got pissed at us.” Still, that initial good cheer had its benefits. “Gwen and Pharrell came in with the opposite attitude they were told to come in with, and that wound up working in their advantage and really backfiring on us,” Levine said. “Everyone was like, ‘They seem nice. I’ll go on their team.’ Meanwhile, we’re like total maniacs, Blake and I.”

Pharrell is beatific

Stefani described Williams as “basically if Oprah and Yoda had a son.” Levine took it one step further: “Oprah, Yoda, and Quincy Jones in a blender is literally Pharrell.” According to Stefani, Williams makes everyone cry. “He makes me cry,” she added.

Stefani got personal

Stefani tapped her husband Gavin Rossdale to be her adviser on the show, but she wasn’t always confident in her decision. “I had a freak out,” she said. “It’s just awkward because we’ve only collaborated on making babies together.” Stefani said that she and Rossdale even got into a fight the night before his advising stint. Despite her initial nerves, it turned out to be a “fun” experience. “He’s so talented, he’s so smart, he knows so much about music,” she said. “I just feel really lucky because now he’s super invested in the show, like, emotionally.”

And the pop star today that would win The Voice

Adele. “Like, for sure,” said Levine.

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