Singer Blake Shelton is the last original “Voice” coach and he announced in early October that he is leaving after 23 seasons. Now a source closer to the country superstar has given fans more insight into why Shelton decided it was time to hang it up.
Blake Shelton ‘Agonized’ Over the Decision
An insider told Us Weekly that Shelton “really agonized” over his decision to call it quits and was of “two minds” over it “for a while.”
“[Shelton] was in two minds for a while because the show has given him so much — and certainly way more than just a financial perspective,” said the source, adding that he “loved mentoring” the batch of contestants he currently has on his team in season 22.
The insider also said that Shelton really values the “great friends” he made on the show and that it “helped him see the good side about living and working Hollywood.”
However, his wife Gwen Stefani was not going to be part of the show after season 22 and he felt like it was time time to move on with her.
“Getting to work alongside his best friend Carson [Daly] and then, of course, Gwen was the icing on the cake. But now the show’s moving in a new direction without Gwen and others so it felt right for Blake to bow out as well,” said the source.
The insider also cited the filming schedule and how much time it took, saying that he and Stefani want to spend more time in Oklahoma with her three sons that she shares with ex-husband Gavin Rossdale — Kingston, 16, Zuma, 14, and Apollo, 8.
“Gwen’s kids are becoming older, and their school breaks are becoming longer which allows for the family to spend longer periods of time in Oklahoma,” said the source.
John Legend is Missing Blake Shelton’s Final Season
In addition to Shelton leaving, there has been quite a bit of coach shuffling on “The Voice” lately. Kelly Clarkson took season 22 off to focus on her kids and her talk show. She’ll be back in the spring of 2023, though, for Shelton’s final season.
But joining the two longtime coaches are two new faces — former One Direction member Niall Horan and three-time Grammy-winning hip hop artist Chance the Rapper.
Longtime coach John Legend will actually miss Shelton’s final season because he was under the impression there wouldn’t be a spring season in 2023 (they didn’t do one in 2022) and he has a few other things on his plate.
In an interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” the R&B singer explained his absence in season 23.
“We took a break last season because we had another show in our slot that the network tried and I thought that’s what was gonna happen this season, but it ended up that they wanted us back,” said Legend, referring to “American Song Contest,” the U.S. version of “Eurovision” hosted by Clarkson and Snoop Dogg.
“My family’s growing, I have a new album out, I’m going to be doing a little bit of touring, so it’s probably better that I take a break,” Legend continued, but he did assure his fans that he plans to return to “The Voice” some day.
“I’ll be back on ‘The Voice,’ just not this coming season,” said Legend.
He also told “Entertainment Tonight” that the whole “Voice” family is really going to miss the last original coach when Shelton leaves.
“Well, you know, he’s been doing the show for 22 seasons, it’ll be 23 when he’s done, and you can’t do something forever,” Legend said. “We’re gonna miss him though. He’s been the heart and soul and anchor of the show for a long time, and he’s a friend of mine, and I really enjoy working with him. We’re all gonna miss him.”
“The Voice” airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on NBC.