Blake Shelton Reveals Reason Behind 'The Voice' Exit

Blake Shelton has finally opened up and revealed one of the main reasons why he's chosen to exit The Voice after being a coach for 23 seasons. During an appearance on the Today show, Shelton explained that it was the Covid-19 pandemic that first sparked his motivation for moving on. "I think I was close to calling it a day right when COVID hit," the singer-turned-competition judge stated. 

Shelton went on to say, "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." The songwriter then joked that there is one thing that could get him to return for Season 24, after his final season, which is coming soon to NBC. "I'd like for Kelly to not be on the show anymore," he quipped. "I just think there's too much Kelly Clarkson on television, in general."

Finally, in a moment of sentimentality, Shelton spoke highly of his time at The Voice. "I met my wife on this show," he said, speaking of former fellow coach Gwen Stefani, whom he married in 2021. "It's changed my life in every way it possibly can." Shelton added, "When I came on as a coach on this show, I mean, everything in my life was turned upside down. And in a good way, you know? This has been incredible, but it's time, you know. It's time for what's next. A little bit of nothing would be nice."

Back in October, Shelton revealed his plans to leave The Voice, writing in an Instagram post, "It's been a hell of a ride over these 12 years of chair turns and I want to thank everyone at The Voice from NBC, every producer, the writers, musicians, crew and catering people, you are the best. It takes a lot of work, passion, and adult beverages (Ha!) to pull off a live show twice a week." He continued, "I have to give a huge shoutout to the singers-the 'voices,' who come on this stage season after season and amaze us with their talent and a special thanks to those who chose me to be their coach. It's about y'all, the fans, who watch and support these artists, us coaches and everyone at The Voice who are chasing their dreams. It would not happen without you!" Shelton's final season of The Voice premieres Monday, March 6. at 8 p.m. on NBC.