Blake Shelton Reflects On The Past 12 Years Of ‘The Voice’ In ‘Bittersweet’ Farewell Message 

The country star has been a part of the show since its inaugural season in 2011.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

May 23, 2023


8:00 pm

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Blake Shelton pens a heartfelt goodbye to The Voice ahead of the show’s finale night, airing Tuesday, May 23 on NBC. The live two-hour episode will close out his 23rd and final season as a mentor on the singing competition show. 

The country music superstar took to social media to share a series of throwback photos that showcased his journey and commemorated his time on the show as a coach

Shelton then dubbed his exit “bittersweet” as he has been a part of the show since its inaugural season in 2011. 

“Can’t believe it’s been 23 seasons of @nbcthevoice… and especially can’t believe today is my final episode. It’s bittersweet. When we signed up for season 1, I don’t think any of us knew what this was going to be… These past 12 years I have made lifelong friends and memories,” Shelton wrote in the caption. 

He went on to praise all the rising contestants that have been taken under his wing throughout the past 23 Seasons. He currently holds the title for the longest and winningest coach in the history of the show with nine wins. Team Blake’s Bryce Leatherwood, Cam Anthony, Jermaine Paul, Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery, Craig Wayne Boyd, Sundance Head and Chloe Kohanski have been crowned champions of The Voice.

In the fall of 2022, the singer announced that he would be making his departure from the Emmy-winning singing competition show. 

“I’ve been wrestling with this for a while and I’ve decided that it’s time for me to step away from The Voice after next season,” Shelton revealed at the time “This show has changed my life in every way for the better and it will always feel like home to me,” Shelton continued. “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.”

Going into the finale episode, Shelton hopes to bring that total to 10 with one of his two remaining team members. 

“I’ve had the great opportunity to coach some really talented artists, 9 who have taken home #TeamBlake wins (let’s make that 10 tonight?), and watch these artists grow so much from the show.”

In conclusion, Shelton shared his gratitude for all those who have joined him on this journey including his wife, Gwen Stefani, who he met while working on The Voice in 2015. 

He wrote, “Thank you to everyone… the crew, the coaches, the contestants, the fans, and my wife who have made these some really great years. Love y’all!!!!!!”

Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC
Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

On Monday (May 15), NBC announced that as Shelton steps down from his chair, Reba McEntire will serve as his replacement. 

McEntire may be joining as the newest team member on The Voice, but she is no stranger to the show. She was originally supposed to be cast in the inaugural season of the Emmy Award-winning musical competition series, but ended up turning down the opportunity before it first debuted in 2011. 

“The first time I ever heard of The Voice, I saw the tape from Holland’s [version of the show],” she told the outlet. “They asked me to do it, and I turned it down.”

While she didn’t serve as a coach at the time, the “Does He Love You” singer briefly served as Shelton’s battle round advisor. Most recently, she appeared on the latest season of the show, when she served as a Mega Mentor. 

“It’s so much fun to be back on The Voice again,” McEntire said in a recent interview on The Jennifer Hudson Show, referring to her time as a “Mega Mentor.” “It’s always a lot of fun to give advice because I study people when they perform, and I want to be touched when they’re singing to me.”

McEntire will be joined by returning coaches Gwen Stefani, Niall Horan and John Legend. This will mark Stefani’s seventh season on the singing competition show while Horan prepares for his second run as a coach and Legend will make his return after a brief hiatus to welcome his new baby.

The Voice Season 23 finale airs Monday, May 22 and Tuesday, May 23 at 8 p.m. PT/ET on NBC.

Season 24 is set to premiere this fall and will air on Mondays (8/7c) and Tuesdays (9/8c). The show will also stream the next day on Peacock.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.