Fans Divided Over Premiere Announcement for Next Season of ‘The Voice’

The Voice judges

Getty "The Voice" Season 23 judges: Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Chance the Rapper, and Niall Horan

With the Knockout Rounds for season 22 of “The Voice” now over and fans gearing up for live shows to begin November 14, NBC has announced when season 23 of the show will premiere: March 6, 2023. But not all fans are looking forward to it. Here are the reasons why…

Lots of Fans Are Dreading Blake Shelton’s Final Season

Blake Shelton Exit

NBCBlake Shelton revealed that he will be officially leaving “The Voice.”

Blake Shelton announced in early October that season 23 of “The Voice” will be his last, saying that he’d been “wrestling” with the decision for a while. He’s been a beloved part of the cast since its premiere in April 2011, when the show launched with fellow coaches Adam Levine, CeeLo Green, and Christina Aguilera. Shelton has won the singing competition eight times and even met Gwen Stefani, who’s now his wife, on the show.

When the Twitter account for “The Voice” shared the season 23 premiere date, numerous fans responded that they don’t even want to think about a final season for Shelton.

One person replied, “Don’t know what your so excited about. That means Blake’s last season is coming. And If you had stuck to only one season a year. He would have stuck around. After next season. I won’t be watching anymore. Letting him walk away is a big mistake”

Someone else tweeted, “Sad it’s going to be his last season. I hope you give Blake one heck of a tribute thought the season 23 live shows. Bring back past contestants of how. Do something big for him.”

Another person wrote, “I’m not ready for Blake to leave” with three crying emojis.

But others defended Shelton and the show over his decision to move on.

“It’s literally his choice to walk away,” one fan replied to the naysayers on Twitter. “Why are you blaming the show when it was his choice to walk away? He’s been doing it for over 12 years, he can’t do it forever.”

Many Fans Are Also Uncertain About Season 23 Coaches

Shelton is the only current “Voice” coach returning to the show next season; veteran coaches Gwen Stefani, John Legend, and newcomer Camila Cabello will step away when a season 22 winner is crowned on December 13.

Less than three months later, Shelton, will return for his final season, joined by former coach Kelly Clarkson and two new faces: Chance the Rapper and Niall Horan. When NBC announced the season 23 premiere date on “The Voice” Facebook page, there was plenty of pushback about the future coaching panel.

“Don’t know who Niall is and I can’t stand rap so I feel like The Voice will not be around much longer,” one fan wrote. “I understand the need to move on, but it just isn’t the same without Adam and will go down hill fast without Blake. No offense to Kelly, I love her, but she can’t carry the show on her own.”

“The Voice” page admins responded to that comment, writing, “Niall Horne was a member of One Direction and Chance the Rapper has won 20 music awards in his lifetime. We are so excited for them to join Blake and Kelly this coming season!”

The same level of dismay has been expressed on the Heavy on The Voice Facebook page, particularly about the two new coaches. On a November 6 post listing the members of next season’s cast, quite a few fans said they won’t tune in for season 23, posting comments like “I’m done” and “That’s when I’ll quit watching.”

One wrote, “Who in the h*** is Chance the Rapper? Can’t they find anyone else who sings for heaven’s sake?”

Another chimed in, “I will not be watching next year don’t care for the new judges or Kelly!!”

But there are also plenty of people who are thrilled with next season’s judging lineup.

Niall Horan has a huge, passionate fanbase, including 70 million followers across Twitter and Instagram, that have followed him from his days in One Direction. They’ve been over the moon about every update the Scottish-born singer posts from the set, where filming is already underway.

Meanwhile, 29-year-old Chance, who’s a Chicago native and dad of two young girls, also has a large and loyal following as a Grammy-winning, independent artist. In addition to rapping, he’s a singer-songwriter who loves mentoring other independent artists, according to a recent profile by Complex. He also has judging experience, after serving as a judge with T.I. and Cardi B on Apple TV’s “Rhythm + Flow,” a 2020 competition show that gave unsigned hip-hop artists a chance at stardom.

When Horan tweeted the news of him joining “The Voice” judges, his post was flooded with excited fans.

One wrote, “I can’t. I am so excited!!!! I love every single judge on this season, so I’m not gonna miss a single episode!”

The March 6 premiere of season 23 marks NBC’s return to filming two seasons of “The Voice” per year. While that’s been the tradition in past years, only one season of the show has aired in 2022. While Shelton, Clarkson, Horan and Chance the Rapper are already filming season 23 with their chosen teams, virtual auditions will begin this month for season 24. Judges for that season have yet to be announced.

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