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The Voice's Carson Daly Explains The 'Big Secret' To Show's Success Ahead Of 500th Episode

The Voice host Carson Daly sits in a coach's chair.
(Image credit: NBC Press)

The Voice will mark its 500th episode during Season 21, and of all the ways the singing competition has evolved in its ten years on NBC, only two people have been around to witness it all (at least on camera). One of those is Blake Shelton, the only celebrity coach to appear in all 21 seasons so far. The other is host Carson Daly, who has a different view of the reality show than his superstar co-workers, providing him a somewhat unique perspective on what he thinks The Voice’s big secret is that has made the show so successful.

Carson Daly recently spoke with THR ahead of The Voice’s milestone episode, as well as its Season 21 premiere, and said he thinks part of what has kept the competition show fresh is actually an aspect that might have hurt similar reality shows. In his words:

When the show started, had a show like [American] Idol, for instance, had a panel change as many times as we’ve had, that would have been a bad thing; it would have been like, ‘Oh, this group of coaches or judges are falling out with each other.’ But The Voice came on the air with four of the biggest names in music, and so it was never a surprise to anybody that John Legend or Adam Levine would need to go out on tour. I think our revolving door of coaches has been a big secret of our success.

American Idol found huge success in its early years and held strong to the different judging styles that Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson brought to the table, and Fox didn't even attempt to shake things up during its peak years. While Carson Daly agrees "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," he said you still want the show to be able to evolve. By making the coaching swaps part of the standard procedure, The Voice has been able to keep the panel fresh and experiment to find the right chemistry among the four. Sure, The Voice coaches have their rivalries and their smack talk, but that competitive fire is (usually) all in good fun, and it makes the show more entertaining for the audience, and probably the coaches too.

For all the fans out there who thrived on watching Blake Shelton and Adam Levine's verbal tugs-of-war, Carson Daly gave those moments credit for definitely being another part of the show’s appeal, saying:

What makes the show good is the ribbing. When you watch Blake give it to Ariana Grande and she gives it right back and calls him her grandpa, it’s hilarious. As soon as there’s a comfort factor and people can get in the rhythm of the show and have fun with each other, that’s when we know we’re onto a good panel.

The musicians who adorn the Big Red Chairs are certain to continue to change as the show adapts to the current music landscape and continues working around the stars’ busy schedules. Even OG coach Blake Shelton has hinted that he likely has more seasons behind him than ahead of him. But Carson Daly thinks regardless of who’s pushing the buttons, The Voice’s format has longevity, and Daly hopes he’ll be there to witness it for as long as possible.

The format is so strong, it could outlive any of us. Now we’re on once a year, so maybe we won’t be in people’s faces as much, so there’ll be more of an appetite when we are on. I hope I’m hosting it for [Episode] 1,000 if there’s a God in heaven.

While there's a long way to go until the episode count hits quadruple digits, The Voice Season 21 premieres at 8 p.m. ET September 20 on NBC, with Blake Shelton, Ariana Grande, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson ready to build their teams. Be sure to check out our 2021 Fall TV Schedule to keep up with all of the upcoming premieres for your favorite shows.

Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.