Big changes are happening on The Voice. Longtime OG coach Blake Shelton announced that Season 23 will be his last, and Kelly Clarkson is returning.
Blake Shelton shared news of his departure from The Voice in a post made to social media Tuesday evening (October 11).
“This show has changed my life in every way for the better and it will always feel like home to me,” he wrote, in part. “I’ve made lifelong bonds with Carson and every single one of my fellow coaches over the years, including my wife Gwen Stefani!”
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Shelton’s news was preceded by an announcement from The Voice with news of the full coaching panel for Season 23.
Veteran coaches John Legend and Gwen Stefani won’t be returning, but Kelly Clarkson will be claiming her red chair once again. Clarkson previously coached during Seasons 14 through 21 and won four titles with singers Bryn Cartelli, Chevel Sheperd, Jake Hoot, and Girl Named Tom.
Joining Shelton for his final season alongside Kelly Clarkson will be rookie coaches Niall Horan of One Direction, and Grammy Award-winning artist, songwriter and record producer Chance the Rapper.
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“I am so excited to be back with my Voice family!” Clarkson said. “Let’s do this, Team Kelly!”
Kelly Clarkson told Today Show hosts Hoda Kotb and Carson Daly that skipping Season 22 was necessary for her.
“It’s maybe common for a lot of working people. You don’t get summers off, generally, unless you’re in high school. But I hadn’t had a minute, and it’s obviously been a rough couple of years,” she said, referencing her highly publicized divorce from Brandon Blackstock. “So, it was really important to me to shut down for a minute.”
“The kids were with me and with their dad, and it was nice because they usually have to travel a lot because of our separation,” Clarkson added. “We were both in Montana, so it felt like kind of the first time my kids felt more centered. It was nice.”
Blake’s exit from The Voice will leave an obvious void as Shelton has been the show’s only country coach in its 22 seasons.
There are some obvious choices for his replacement, like Kelsea Ballerini who served as Comeback Stage coach during Season 15 and temporarily filled in for a sick Kelly Clarkson during Season 20.
And Keith Urban who recently announced his exit from The Voice Australia in order to focus on his family and his music.
“I will be finishing this album, put it out and then we will be resuming our Vegas residency, which we hadn’t been able to do through the pandemic,” Urban said. His schedule won’t allow for him to continue to act as coach on The Voice Australia, but perhaps it would allow for him to fill a red chair in the U.S. since Las Vegas is much closer to where The Voice films in Los Angeles than Australia.
It’s unlikely we will hear an official coach announcement until Season 23 is well underway. In the meantime we will savor the time we have left to watch Blake Shelton on The Voice and anticipate Kelly Clarkson’s return to her coach’s chair.
Watch some of our favorite Kelly Clarkson moments from The Voice in the video below.