Fans of The Voice are bracing for Blake Shelton‘s 23-season tenure on the show to come to a close at the end of the upcoming season. As the only artist to serve as a coach for every season of this beloved show, he has made an indelible impact by winning a record nine times. During the pandemic, thoughts of departing from the hit series began to cross Shelton’s mind.
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“I think I was close to calling it a day right when COVID hit,” Shelton recently said on The Today Show. “And then, because of COVID, I didn’t want to walk away from the show and leave everybody in a bind. I mean, this show changed my life. I’ll stay here until the world kind of gets back to normal again.”
Shelton playfully quipped that there is one thing that could keep him on the series for good.“I’d like for Kelly (Clarkson) to not be on the show anymore,” he joked. “I just think there’s too much Kelly Clarkson on television, in general,” Shelton went on.
Blake Shelton looks back on how much ‘The Voice’ changed his life
Even though he is leaving, Shelton knows that The Voice has had a lasting effect on his life and career. “I met my wife [Gwen Stefani] on this show,” he explained. “It’s changed my life in every way it possibly can, from a personal standpoint.”
Shelton remarked that his career was forever altered through the show. “When I came on as a coach on this show, I mean, everything in my life was turned upside down,” Shelton recalled. “And in a good way, you know? This has been incredible, but it’s time, you know. It’s time for not even what’s next. A little bit of nothing would be nice.”
Experienced competitors Shelton and Clarkson welcome newcomers Horan and Chance the Rapper to the show. “When I see artists out there on the stage, I see a young myself. Somebody navigating the industry on their own, trying to make a name for themselves,” Chance the Rapper explained. “And I just try to impart on them the wisdom that I’ve gained over the years being in it.”
Following in the footsteps of the first American Idol victor, Kelly Clarkson, Horan shot to stardom on Britain’s own X Factor. As part of One Direction, he has been able to bring his vision and ideas whilst coaching in regard to what music should be heard and seen. “I think, for me, I just kind of went for them voices that kind of make you feel something, a bit of the storyteller kind of vibe going on,” Hiran said. “Get a few goosebumps and then hit the button.”
Shelton returns for one last season of The Voice on March 6th.