Evans Vestal Ward, NBC

Why Blake Shelton Isn’t Performing on His Final Season of ‘The Voice’


Throughout his 23-season run on NBC's The Voice, Blake Shelton has taken a "show, don't tell" approach by commanding the stage himself to school contestants. His last rodeo, which wraps on May 23, will be an exception by design.

"This'll be the first season that I've ever not performed on the show," Shelton told E! News. "I just kind of want to sit back and watch it all happen and enjoy it."

For Shelton, his final episodes have been about relaxing in his familiar coaches seat and reflecting on a gig that's elevated his celebrity status and positioned him to meet his spouse, former and future coach Gwen Stefani.


"I've never really been good at, like, taking in the moment while it's happening," Shelton explained. "And so I'm trying to do that. Gwen and I talk about that a lot. She's like, 'Just try to take it in.' And we both struggle with that, whenever something cool is happening."

As he's wont to do, Shelton went on to identify falling in love with Stefani as the highlight of his life, much less his run on The Voice.

"I met my wife while I was here, so I would say that's easily been the best thing," Shelton said. "That's been the best thing about my entire career journey, really, you know? Who would have ever ... no one could have ever predicted that."

When The Voice returns in the fall for its 24th season, Reba McEntire will replace Shelton as the series' country music expert. With that announcement came the news that Stefani will rejoin the show alongside John Legend. Unlikely McEntire pal Niall Horan will round out the coach roster.


"She just really comes at coaching in a way that I don't think anybody else has done still and there's been a lot of coaches," Shelton told People about what Stefani brings to the show. "But she's such a visionary, and that comes through with her artists. You can see these kids come on the show... by the end they actually look like stars, and that's the Gwen Stefani effect."

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