With the fifth season of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” set to debut on October 23, 2023, from her new studio, Clarkson has revealed in new interviews that she feels like “a weight has lifted” since leaving her life in L.A. behind, including her seat on “The Voice.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Clarkson Says She Couldn’t Smile Anymore While Taping ‘The Voice’
Clarkson’s big move came after a tumultuous few years of going through a nasty divorce, being sued by her former father-in-law, and dealing with stalkers in L.A. She has been open about the stress of splitting from her ex-husband Brandon Blackstock, with whom she shares daughter River Rose, 9, and son Remington, 7. After seven years of marriage, the couple split in 2020 and finalized their divorce last year after many contentious court proceedings.
On June 23, Clarkson released her 10th studio album, “Chemistry,” with 14 songs that chronicle her emotional journey through her marriage and divorce. But finishing the album wasn’t enough for Clarkson to shed the past and start anew. She wanted a new environment and knew her family’s ranch in Montana wasn’t a viable option.
“I knew I needed a fresh start and couldn’t be in LA.,” she told USA Today in an interview published on October 16. “I really wanted to be in Montana, but you can’t really do a show from there quite yet. So I was like, ‘The only other option would probably be New York.'”
NBC agreed to move her talk show to 30 Rockefeller Center, building a brand new studio in the building where Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and the “Saturday Night Live” cast all film their shows.
But that decision also meant leaving past commitments behind to give herself more room to breathe, which included stepping away from “The Voice,” where she’d been a coach for many seasons.
“I’ve learned a lot about what I’m capable of handling, and also what you should not handle,” she said. “That was me saying ‘bye’ to ‘The Voice’ and having this big move. I love that family, but I was like, ‘I’m struggling. I can’t smile anymore. I don’t feel like smiling.'”
Kelly Clarkson Has a Long History at ‘The Voice’
Clarkson, who got her start as the original winner of “American Idol,” has appeared on 124 episodes of “The Voice” since 2012, per IMDb. She first served as an advisor to Team Shelton during the second season, and later returned in season 13 as an advisor for all the coaches, according to Deadline.
Clarkson became an official coach on the show starting with season 14, and promptly won that season with teen singer Brynn Cartelli, per NBC. Clarkson continued on the show through season 21. She then took a break to spend a summer with her kids at the family’s Montana ranch, but returned for season 23, which aired in early 2023.
Clarkson bowed out of returning for season 24 given her big move, but little attention was paid to her departure given that it was original coach Blake Shelton’s farewell season. Many fans also hoped Clarkson would figure out a way to return, but she is also not part of season 25.
Season 24 is airing now, with Shelton’s coaching chair now filled by country legend Reba McEntire, who is Clarkson’s former mother-in-law. She was married to Blackstock’s father, talent manager Narvel Blackstock, for 26 years until their divorce in 2015.
Backstage at Audacy’s 10th annual We Can Survive concert on October 14, Clarkson said her kids are unaffected by her fame, and think it’s “normal” to have other friends and family members who are famous.
“(River) thinks it’s cool, but she actually thinks every kid has the same opportunity, so she doesn’t even know” Clarkson said.
Laughing, Clarkson added, “I mean, her grandma…she goes, ‘Oh, did Grandma Reba take your seat on ‘The Voice?’ And I was like, ‘Nope! Nope, she didn’t. She took Blake’s!’ She knows Blake, and she knows Gwen. She knows all of them, but she thinks that’s normal!”
Clarkson told USA Today she feels at ease as she heads into the fifth season of her talk show and settles into life in New York.
“I feel like a weight has lifted,” she said. “That move was very needed. I think the thing I’m most excited about with season 5, on a selfish level, is just showing up to work smiling and actually meaning it. That’s a beautiful gift that you don’t realize until you’re out of it.”