Blake Shelton Opens Up About His Decision To Leave "The Voice"

"This has been incredible, but it’s time. It’s time for not even what’s next. A little bit of nothing would be nice.”

<p><a href=&quot;;>NBC</a>&nbsp;/&nbsp;Contributor/Getty</p>

NBC / Contributor/Getty

After 12 years, Blake Shelton is saying goodbye to The Voice. The country singer announced that the show’s upcoming 23rd season will be his last go-round as judge and mentor. Shelton  has been coaching singers to stardom on the hit reality show since it premiered in 2011. Now, he is opening up a little more about the decision to leave the show that he has won a record nine times, including last season.

“I think I was close to calling it a day right when COVID hit,” Shelton told The Voice host, Carson Daly in an interview on Today. “And then, because of COVID, I didn’t want to walk away from the show and leave everybody in a bind. I mean, this show changed my life. I’ll stay here until the world kind of gets back to normal again.” Very relatable, right?

Now that the world is returning to normal, Shelton is ready for a new kind of change. Of course, his time on The Voice made a huge impact on him professionally and personally. “I met my wife on this show,” he said. “It’s changed my life in every way it possibly can, from [a] personal standpoint." Shelton began dating his wife, Gwen Stefani in 2015 after meeting as coaches on the NBC singing competition. They were later married on July 3, 2021 at Shelton's Oklahoma ranch with Voice host Daly officiating the nuptials. When announcing his departure from the reality show, Shelton noted his desire to have more free time to focus on his family, including Stefani and his three stepsons—Kingston, Zuma, and Apollo, whom Stefani shares with ex-husband Gavin Rossdale.

“When I came on as a coach on this show, I mean, everything in my life was turned upside down," Shelton said. "And in a good way, you know? This has been incredible, but it’s time, you know. It’s time for not even what’s next. A little bit of nothing would be nice.”

For his final season on the show, joining him in the judging chairs will be fellow longtime Voice coach, Kelly Clarkson, with whom Shelton has a playful friendship. He joked in the interview,

“I’d like for Kelly (Clarkson) to not be on the show anymore.” To which Clarkson reacted with a big belly laugh. The rivalry is all fun and games and something we will surely miss after Shelton’s departure.

Joining the two veteran coaches will be Chance the Rapper and Niall Horan who rose to fame on Britain’s version of X Factor, where he became a member of One Direction. We have a feeling that this season is one not to be missed.

For more Southern Living news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on Southern Living.