Fans of “The Voice” are still reeling over the news that the last remaining original coach, Blake Shelton, will retire from the series after season 23 in May 2023. He hasn’t given a very in-depth explanation of his decision, but now his wife and fellow “Voice” coach Gwen Stefani has chimed in with her theory about the huge change — and whether she’ll return to the show without him.
Gwen Stefani Says Filming ‘The Voice’ Can Be Grueling
On November 15, 2022, a reporter at Extra asked Stefani why she thinks Shelton, whom she married in July 2021, has decided to leave the show. Stefani gave a thoughtful response about the grueling nature of being on “The Voice” season after season.
“I think he just wants more time,” Stefani said. “I don’t know if people realize if he’s doing two seasons a year, in between that he’s touring. So he actually has two teams at the same time at a certain point, they overlap. It’s a lot of brain power. It’s a lot of time away from the family. Those kinds of things, he just got to a point, he just wants time at his ranch time to do the other things he loves to do.”
Stefani then quipped, “I’m totally speaking for you Blake, I’m sorry…I’m married to you so I can say whatever I want!”
Shelton is the only coach during season 22 who’s been overlapping with coaching another team. He has already been filming blind auditions and Battle Rounds for the next season, which starts airing on March 6, 2023. The others joining him are veteran coach Kelly Clarkson and newcomers Chance the Rapper and One Direction’s Niall Horan.
Stefani went on to say she’s looking forward to seeing a new side of Shelton, whom she didn’t even know before they met on “The Voice.”
“I’m so excited for him, because we have lives outside of work and it’s a really good life and it’s really fun,” she said. “We have Oklahoma, which is something I never knew I needed and wanted; we plant a garden…We are looking forward to doing some of that family stuff.”
Will Gwen Stefani Return to ‘The Voice’ Without Blake Shelton?
In Stefani’s sixth time serving as a coach on “The Voice,” she’s still loving mentoring younger artists and being on the show with Shelton now that they’re married.
“I am so excited,” she told Extra. “My team is just, there are so many talented people here, there always is, but there was something about this season that was really relaxed. I came back and thought I was going to be really nervous being married to Blake. As soon as I walked on to set I was like, ‘I am back,’ it just felt normal again! I don’t know if it’s the combination of coaches, having my little daughter Camila (Cabello) here, knowing John (Legend) so much more and me and Blake being married, I don’t know.”
That said, fans want to know whether she might return to the show after Shelton is gone.
“I have no idea,” Stefani told Extra. “Every season I have been on the show, it has been a last minute… Yes, ask me back, I will come back, it would be really weird without Blake.”
As for the new coaches joining Shelton for the next season, Chance the Rapper and Niall Horan, Stefani said she thinks they’ll do great and will love the experience.
“I’m excited for both of them to be on ‘The Voice’, it’s just such an incredibly inspiring show to be on if you are an artist,” she told Extra. “You look back at your journey, and you just you go, ‘Wow, like, I know all this now, I can share this,’ and I think playing that role has just been so inspiring for me since I’ve been on the show now six seasons.”
“I never thought I’d do something like this, but honestly feel like it’s one of the most fun things I’ve ever done which I just never saw it coming,” she continued. “I think they’re gonna really like it. They’re gonna be really inspired in a way that they didn’t know, and just I would just say have fun, be in the moment, ’cause nothing lasts forever, guys.”
Meanwhile, Stefani said she has just the thing to give him for his retirement gift next spring.
“This is crazy ’cause everyone’s coming after me for ideas, ‘What should we do?’ and it’s hard, you know, he has everything,” Stefani told Entertainment Tonight. “But I think his favorite thing would be a bag of corn, like honestly, he would be so thrilled. Or fertilizer or something like that.”