Blake Shelton Reveals Why & When He Decided to Leave ‘The Voice’

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani

NBC Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani

Blake Shelton is leaving “The Voice” after season 23 of the show, and the self-proclaimed “King” of the competition is now opening up about when, exactly, he made the decision to leave the show.

In an interview with Extra ahead of the semi-finals of the show and premiere of his new show, “Barmageddon,” Shelton shared that he made the decision to leave “The Voice” ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I made the decision to leave ‘The Voice’ probably a couple of years ago,” Shelton shared. “Then it was just actually doing it. I knew it was time. I knew that I needed to take a step back. It had completely taken over my life.”

The country star added, “It’s been the greatest thing for my career ever. It’s been a blessing, but it was just time. The trouble with it is just walking away from this team that has counted on me for all these years to be there. So I just wanted to make sure I did it at the right time, and didn’t leave people hanging, and then COVID happened. That would have been a bad time to walk away.”

Shelton Says His Wife Knew First

Shelton and his wife, Gwen Stefani, met on the set of “The Voice,” and they’ve since competed against one another for multiple seasons. Season 22 was the first, and only, season they shared as a married couple.

“She knew before anybody,” Shelton told Extra. “Listen, I had to clear it through Gwen. I didn’t tell Gwen.”

Shelton said Stefani is okay with him leaving the show, but she told ET Online that she is sad about her husband’s exit from the competition.

“It’s just been a really amazing season, too short. It’s mine and Blake’s last season… I can’t even get the words out of my mouth, ’cause it sucks,” she told the outlet.

Shelton Compares His New Show to ‘The Hangover’

“Barmageddon” premiered on Monday, December 5, 2022. The show features Shelton and Carson Daly as well as WWE alum Nikki Bella. When asked to describe his show, Shelton told People that it’s like “The Hangover” with his famous friends.

“What we were aiming for was real-life ‘The Hangover,'” Shelton told the outlet. “We wanted to try to capture that in a TV show with people that we know.”

The first episode featured Gwen Stefani and Sheryl Crow at Shelton’s Nashville bar, Ole Red, playing bar games.

“Unfortunately for Gwen and Sheryl, they were the very first episode that we actually taped,” Shelton shared. “Gwen had to be the guinea pig for everybody else. She and Sheryl both did so well and just let the hair down and went for it. They set the bar for the tone and the personality of the series. It gave us the confidence to say, ‘We really can do this.'”

The star added, “If these two icons are willing to be on this show and do shots of gross stuff and play absolutely stupid games, then we know we have something here.”

“The Voice” airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. “Barmageddon” airs on Mondays at 11 p.m. ET/PT on the USA Network.