‘The Voice’ Mainstay Details How Blake Shelton’s Exit Became the “Biggest Hurdle” in Show’s History

Many fans of The Voice would agree that Blake Shelton helped make the show what it is today. The country star was one of the original coaches—alongside Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo Green, and Adam Levine—when The Voice debuted in 2011. For 13 years, other musicians drifted in and out of the big red chairs while Shelton stayed firmly put. Viewers kept tuning in to hear the “Ol’ Red” singer’s homespun wisdom and fierce support of his artists. However, all good things must come to an end, and Shelton left The Voice in May 2023 after 23 seasons and nine championships. The 10-time Country Music Association Award winner’s departure presented “the biggest hurdle that this show has ever had to endure,” host Carson Daly admitted.

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Carson Daly Opens Up About Blake Shelton’s Exit From ‘The Voice’

Like Shelton, Daly has been a mainstay of The Voice since its 2011 debut. The TV personality has had a front-row seat to all of the show’s ups and downs. He recently spoke to Gold Derby about the challenges of trying to “succeed in a post-Blake Shelton world.”

It’s hard to believe now, but as Daly pointed out, Shelton had the least name recognition when the show kicked off. By the time he left, however, the “God’s Country” singer was the unofficial face of The Voice.

“Arguably, he will go down as one of the biggest stars in the history of NBC as a network, as a TV star,” Daly said.

Shelton’s playful personality and friendly rivalries with fellow coaches Levine and Kelly Clarkson turned The Voice into “part sitcom hidden as a singing competition,” Daly said.

“That’s Where Reba McEntire Comes In”

Shelton left big shoes to fill on The Voice, but his replacement is more than capable of filling them. Country legend Reba McEntire took over the “Austin” singer’s big red chair in season 24. Reba claimed her first championship in her sophomore season when Asher HaVon was crowned the winner.

[RELATED: ‘The Voice’ Winner Asher HaVon Issues a Heartfelt Promise to Reba McEntire]

“Immediately we saw, not just in the ratings, but in sort of just the way we felt watching the show with Reba post-Blake, we were like, ‘Wow, what a perfect chess play for us just on the heels of not having Blake on the show,'” Daly said.

The “Fancy” singer is season 26’s only returning coach. She and fellow veteran Gwen Stefani are joined by newcomers Michael Buble and Snoop Dogg.

Featured image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

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