Blake Shelton, The Voice
Credit: Trae Patton/NBC via Getty Images

Since he announced his retirement as a coach after 23 seasons, fans have had one question: Who is replacing Blake Shelton on The Voice? Well, the answer is finally hear, and Shelton’s replacement were originally offered his spot in Season 1.

The Voice is NBC’s reality TV singing competition, in which four celebrity coaches form teams of contestants through blind auditions — where the judges can hear the singers but not see them — and compete against each other until there’s one winner. The series, which is based on The Voice Holland, premiered in 2011 with coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green. Green left in Season 5; Aguilera left in Season 10; while Levine left in Season 16. Shelton was the last original coach to leave, announcing his exit in 2022 after 23 seasons.

“I think I was close to calling it a day right when COVID hit,” Shelton said of his decision to leave The Voice in an interview with Today in February 2023. “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.”

Shelton also told Today about how The Voice — during which he met his wife, Gwen Stefani — has changed his life. “I met my wife on this show,” he said. “It’s changed my life in every way it possibly can, from personal standpoint.” He continued, “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 not even what’s next. A little bit of nothing would be nice.”

Now that he’s officially leaving, who will replace Blake Shelton on The Voice? Read on for who Blake Shelton’s replacement on The Voice will be. (Hint: They’ve been on the show before.)

Who will replace Blake Shelton on The Voice?

Blake Shelton, The Voice

Who will replace Blake Shelton on The Voice? NBC announced at its Upfronts on May 15, 2023, that Reba McEntire will replace Shelton after he leaves The Voice at the end of Season 23. Reba will be one of four judges for Season 24, along with Niall Horan, John Legend and Shelton’s wife, Gwen Stefani. Reba performed her 1991 song “Fancy” at the NBC Upfronts after her announcement.

Season 23 isn’t the first time Reba has been on The Voice. She first appeared in Season 1 in 2011 as a Battle Advisor to Team Blake. She returned in Season 23 in 2023 as a Mega-Mentor to the contestants. In an interview on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2020, Reba revealed that she was asked to be a judge on Season 1 but turned it down, with her spot later going to Shelton. “It is very true,” Reba said. “It was a very popular show in Holland, I’m pretty sure, and I watched the tape, and I said, ‘No, I’m going to pass on that,’ because I don’t think I could ever be able to tell somebody that they’re terrible or go find another job or hope you like your nighttime job. I couldn’t do that day in and day out. I just couldn’t do it. So I did pass on it.”

Reba also admitted on Watch What Happens Live that she regretted her decision. “I mean, after you see a very successful show that’s been running, what, 15 years? Uh, yeah!” she said. “I’m like shoot, I should have done that.”

Adam Levine, Reba McEntire, The Voice

Why is Blake Shelton leaving The Voice?

Why is Blake Shelton leaving The Voice? Shelton announced he was leaving The Voice after 23 seasons in an Instagram post in October 2022. “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 the next season,” he wrote. “This show has changed my life in every way for the better and it will always feel like home to me. and it will always feel like home to me. 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.”

In an interview with People in December 2022, Shelton hinted that he decided to leave The Voice to focus on his family, which includes his wife, Gwen Stefani, and his three stepsons — Kingston, Apollo and Zuma — from Stefani’s marriage to ex-husband, Gavin Rossdale. “Gwen and I have done so much traveling and touring and work the first half of our lives that now we’re like, ‘Hey, I’m good to put my sweatpants on at 6 p.m. and watch Ozark eight times,'” he said. “That’s our life now, and we love it.”

Shelton also told People about how becoming a stepfather changed how he viewed his career. “If I walked away from my career at this time, the only thing that I run the risk of is having regrets that I’m missing out on some more important things in life. For now, that’s our kids. This isn’t about me anymore and never will be again,” he said. He continued, “Even though I’m a stepparent, I take that job very seriously. The kids see me as a very important person in their life. When they ask,] ‘Why isn’t Blake here?’ I take that stuff to heart. I’ve made plenty of money, but you can’t buy time back. I don’t want any regrets.”

As for why he decided to stay on The Voice for so long, Shelton told People that he remained on the series for more than a decade because of how much it’s done for his career. “The holdup over the years has been that it’s a hard thing for me to let go of. I’ve been here literally since the first minute,” he said. “When I started on The Voice, that was 10 years into my career as a country artist. I never really made it to the A-level of country artists until I became a coach. The show did a hell of a lot more for me than I brought to the table at the time. I’ve far exceeded anything I thought I could ever accomplish in the entertainment world.”

Shelton also told People that he wanted to leave the series to pursue other career opportunities, such as his USA Network game show Barmageddeon, which he produces with The Voice host Carson Daly. “In all the time I’ve been working in television, I’ve really just been a guy the network or producers say, ‘Hey, go over here and then go over here and be funny,'” he said. “I never really got to understand what goes on behind the scenes.” He continued, “I’ve been media trained, but I wasn’t cut from that cloth ever, and Carson is so good at capturing that personality of being in the moment. He was the perfect guy for me to do this thing with and learn from.”

Still, despite his new career opportunities — which also includes his clothing line with Lands’ End — Shelton told People that he was looking forward the most to relaxing. “I’ve had people say, ‘Man, come on. You’re not quitting The Voice [to do] nothing!’ But I really am. Please, I’m accepting ideas,” he said. “I have Barmageddon — we can do a whole season in a couple weeks, and it’s a blast for me — and my Lands’ End clothing line. It’s time to push some of this [work] stuff out and let more family and personal life in.”

The Voice airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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