There's no love lost between Christina Aguilera and The Voice, apparently. It has nearly been two years since the pop diva exited the NBC reality competition — seemingly for the final time — and in a new interview, she calls the show a "churning hamster wheel" and an "energy sucker." (It's no wonder her new album is called Liberation!)
So why did Christina Aguilera leave The Voice, anyway? When Billboard asks the "Accelerate" singer about her experience coaching Seasons 1-3, 5, 8, and 10, she initially says she only wants to talk about "positive things," the first indication of her frustration. But then she opens up, explaining she eventually became disillusioned with the hit show. "It became something that I didn't feel was what I had signed up for in Season 1," she says. "You realize it’s not about music. It’s about making good TV moments and massaging a story."
Not only that, but Christina's red chair on The Voice started to feel like a prison, apparently. "I didn't get into this business to be a television show host and to be given all these [rules]," she adds. "Especially as a female: You can't wear this, can't say that. I would find myself on that show desperately trying to express myself through clothing or makeup or hair. It was my only kind of outlet."
The 37-year-old continues, "I was longing for freedom. [After coming home], I would just take everything off — the makeup, all of it — and would blast hip-hop, or Nirvana, 'Creep,' Slayer. Anything like that to get me out of that zone, that TV mode."
Xtina seemed to be chafing under her employment with The Voice as early as Season 3, when she first took a break from the show. "In order to remain great coaches and to stay relevant, we have to go out and we have to still tour, see our fans one-on-one," she told E! News at the time. "I have to feel creatively fulfilled in order for me to then do my job as a coach and be on that show."
With Liberation, her eighth studio album, Christina seems to have found that creative fulfillment. The album's 11 tracks reflect her passions for hip-hop, R&B, and — most of all — soul. "At the end of the day, I am a soul singer," she says. "When you strip back the words 'pop star' and the many things that I've done, singing soulfully is where my core, my root, and my heart really is."