The Voice will never be the same, as the show has officially said goodbye to Blake Shelton, the only coach to serve on the panel for all 23 seasons so far. It’s going to be interesting to see how the new coaches carry the show when it returns this fall — and if viewers tune in to find out. That’s no longer the cowboy’s concern, however, because his calendar just got a lot less busy, and after the wild Season 23 finale, the “No Body” singer shared what he’s most looking forward to now that it’s all over.
Time seemed to play a big role in why Blake Shelton decided to step away from The Voice after 12 years. The singing competition has aired twice a year since its 2011 premiere (with Spring 2022 being the lone exception), and Gwen Stefani said her husband wanted to make more time for other things. That seemed to line up with Shelton’s thoughts when he shared (per OK! magazine) what he was most looking forward to now that he’s off the show. The cowboy said:
I want to finally have the opportunity to say yes to more stuff in my personal life, and not say, 'Let me check,' or just flat-out no.
That makes complete sense, having been beholden to The Voice’s filming schedule for over a decade. I can imagine he's had to turn down quite a few invitations and events in order to make his regular appearances, and it must feel so good to be able to not structure his life around that anymore.
It’s not like the cowboy will have nothing to do. In addition to his country music career, his other show Barmageddon (which he co-created with Carson Daly and Lee Metzger of The Voice) was renewed for a second season, and he and Metzger just announced the launch of a new production company, Lucky Horseshoe Productions (per Billboard). Still, I’d have to imagine there’s a more flexible schedule with those endeavors than there was on the singing competition.
Family seems to be the main focus for Blake Shelton these days, as marrying Gwen Stefani and becoming a stepdad to her three sons changed his priorities. He said late last year that if he were to have stayed on his current path, he’d regret missing out on their lives, which were more important than The Voice.
NBC pulled out all the stops to give the cowboy the send-off he deserved on the show's season finale that aired May 23. Niall Horan’s team member Gina Miles was crowned the champion, spoiling what seemed like an otherwise perfect night for Shelton, as all nine of Blake Shelton’s winners over the years returned with other Team Blake alumni for a surprise performance.
The Voice coaches who served alongside him in the past also sent congratulatory messages, while his fellow OGs Adam Levine and CeeLo Green each performed. Celebrities including George Strait, Dolly Parton, Peyton Manning, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and more appeared in videos, and Gwen Stefani surprised him by showing that she’d had his Big Red Chair delivered to their house. After all that revelry, there’s one thing that Blake Shelton said is NOT in the plans for the near future:
I've had enough parties thrown for me in the last few weeks. [Gwen] goes, 'We're just celebrating you, you're good right?' Yeah, I'm good. Please, no more parties for me.
That’s fair, although Barmageddon is pretty much just one big party anyway. Keep your eye on the 2023 TV schedule for that, as well as Season 24 of The Voice, which will see Reba McEntire taking over for Blake Shelton, alongside Gwen Stefani, defending champion Niall Horan and John Legend, who will return after a single-season hiatus.