Blake Shelton Reveals Surprising Pick to Replace Him on ‘The Voice’
Blake Shelton is retiring from The Voice after Season 23 airs in 2023, and he's got another country singer in mind as his successor on the long-running reality singing competition. Shelton turned to social media on Friday (Dec. 2) to recommend a classic country star for consideration, and it's an outside-the-box choice that might not have occurred to some fans.
"Y’all know that next spring The Voice season 23 will be my last," Shelton begins his post.
"So I’d like to throw @NealMcCoy's hat in the ring as my replacement! Can I get an amen?!!!!" he adds.
His post sparked a landslide of replies from fans who wholeheartedly agree with Shelton's endorsement of the singer, who scored a long string of top country hits in the '90s, hitting No. 1 with "No Doubt About It" and "Wink." McCoy has long been one of country music's most entertaining live performers, and fans seemed to agree that his infectious energy would be a welcome addition to The Voice.
"How cool is this?" McCoy tweeted to his followers in response to Shelton's post.
Shelton revealed his decision to retire from The Voice in a lengthy social media post on Oct. 11, writing, "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."
"The show has changed my life in every way for the better and it will always feel like home to me," he added. "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 hard work, passion, and adult beverages (Ha!) to pull off a live show twice a week."
Shelton also gave shoutouts to his wife, Gwen Stefani, and The Voice host Carson Daly as two people the show had brought into his life, as well as the contestants who had chosen him to shepherd them over the years and the viewers who support the show.
Shelton joined The Voice in Season 1 alongside Adam Levine, Christiana Aguilera and CeeLo Green in 2011, and he's the only original coach left in 2022. He's won the singing competition eight times, more than any other coach in the history of the program.
Shelton's current co-star, coach John Legend, has shared his own ideas about which country star could replace Shelton on The Voice. Legend says he'd like to see Carrie Underwood as a coach on the iconic reality show.
"I think it should be someone in country," Legends tells the official NBC website.
"We've never had another country coach before because it's only been Blake, so I could see Carrie [Underwood] doing it," he reasons, adding, "She's in the NBC family. She sings on our Sunday Night [Football] broadcasts every Sunday. She could be good. Just an idea, Carrie!"
Season 23 of The Voice is slated to feature Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan and Chance the Rapper as coaches. NBC has not yet revealed further details of the season.
The Voice Season 22 is currently airing on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8PM ET on NBC.