Blake Shelton Came 'Close To Calling It' Quits On 'The Voice' Just Before 'COVID Hit': 'I Didn't Want To Walk Away'
Blake Shelton's final season on The Voice has come three years later than the country star would have liked.
"I think I was close to calling it a day right when COVID hit," the 46-year-old revealed during a guest appearance on the Monday, February 27, episode of the Today show. "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," he explained of why he decided to postpone his departure as a coach on the famed singing competition series.
"I met my wife on this show," Shelton emphasized in regard to how strongly The Voice has impacted him. (The "God Gave Me You" crooner tied the knot with costar Gwen Stefani in 2021.)
"It's changed my life in every way it possibly can," Shelton added, as he reflected on the person he was when he joined the NBC series for its first season in 2011.
"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," he expressed of the bittersweet ending to his longtime television gig.
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During his interview, Shelton joked about one thing in particular that just might convince him to stay for a 24th season.
"I'd like for Kelly to not be on the show anymore," he sarcastically teased of his Season 23 costar. "I just think there's too much Kelly Clarkson on television, in general."
The American Idol winner recently opened up about Shelton's upcoming final season on The Voice, which premieres Monday, March 6, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
"I actually have been talking to Blake a bit about this being his last season. And I'm like, 'It's not gonna hit you until afterwards. It's gonna hit you. It's been a part of your life for so long. And it's gonna hit you after. I think he knows that, but I also think he knows that it's time. He's been doing it a long time, and I think it's a really cool way that we all know he's leaving so we get the time to, like — I mean, I can't stand him, but I also love him," Clarkson quipped to NBC Insider.
"So we get the time to actually, like, lift him up and say how great he is. He is the ultimate Coach on this show. Everybody knows that. He's won the most, and he, honest to God, helps the artists afterwards," the "Stronger" singer, 40, concluded. "And it's an incredible thing that he's done for so many Artists. It's a loss for The Voice."