Irish singer-songwriter Niall Horan only needed one season as a coach on “The Voice” to earn a win. But according to Blake Shelton, the singing competition show’s longest-tenured coach, he was Horan’s guiding light.
The One Direction superstar filled a red seat during season 23, and his team member, Gina Miles, was crowned the champion on May 23. After Miles and Horan were revealed as the winners, the latter embraced Shelton, who had a cheeky response for the 29-year-old artist.
“When we left the seat, they announced the winner and I stood up, and then he came for a big hug,” Horan laughed during an interview with People published June 5. “I gave him a big hug, and he said, ‘I taught you everything you know.’ That’s all he said, not congratulations or anything.”
“I’m going to miss him,” Horan said. “He is not one of those famous friends, in my eyes. I think if I had met him outside of The Voice, I would have probably been friends with him anyway. Weirdly enough, we’ve got a lot in common, we’re quite similar people. Though not in dress sense.”
Niall Horan Will Coach Against Blake Shelton’s Wife Gwen Stefani
Chance the Rapper and Kelly Clarkson both coached on season 23, as well, and like Shelton, they’ll part ways with “The Voice.” Reba McEntire, John Legend and Gwen Stefani will join Horan for season 23, which is set to premiere in fall 2023.
Stefani, who has participated in seven seasons previously, met Shelton on the show in 2014. They started dating in 2015 and were married in 2021 — and Horan is ready to battle it out with Shelton’s “other half.”
“I’m going to miss [Blake], but I get to work with the other half of that marriage,” Horan continued. “I met Gwen at the afterparty for this season’s ‘Voice.’ She came and surprised Blake on the last night, and she was so funny and so cool, so I’m excited.”
Niall Horan’s Time on ‘The X Factor’ Helped Him as a Coach on ‘The Voice’
Horan placed third on season 7 of “The X Factor” in 2010 alongside his One Direction band members Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Harry Styles. And he told the outlet that experiencing the process of a singing competition show as a contestant helped his abilities as a coach on “The Voice.”
“[The X Factor] did come into play more than I thought it would, or more than I thought I would allow it to,” Horan said. “Being there with the contestants every week, picking songs, keeping them calm — because it’s crazy how talented these young kids are, and with that level of talent comes a level of seriousness, and I was always trying to get them to enjoy it.”
“Having come from a show like that, it felt normal to be doing ‘The Voice’ to me,” he continued. “If I was just a singer and I hadn’t been on a show like that before, I’m sure I would have been a bit more deer in the headlights, but I knew what I was getting myself into, and I think it was helpful.”