We’re only one week into The Voice Season 21, aka the one where the show introduced Ariana Grande, and the rumor mill has already kicked up dust and started churning out juicy ideas. According to the latest gossip, Blake Shelton might soon be leaving The Voice to be replaced by Ariana Grande, that is, if the producers allegedly get their way. Honestly, it’s a wild thought, but it does have some merit.
The rumor this week is full of chatter that The Voice producers might be looking to replace Blake Shelton. He’s the longest tenured coach on the show and has appeared in every single season since The Voice kicked off back in 2011. However, a new rumor over at Radar Online indicates that the show might be trying to find new ways to stay fresh and skew younger. If true, Grande replacing Blake could be the key formula there.
Basically the gist of the report is that The Voice was having trouble landing guest talent until newcomer Ariana Grande signed on. Then the "floodgates” opened and more celebrities got excited about appearing on NBC. An unnamed insider said this ability for Grande's name to bring in more exciting talent is why The Voice could be heading in a new direction in future seasons.
Look, to be clear there’s no official evidence Ariana Grande has been brought in to replace Blake Shelton. It’s true The Voice has skewed toward an older demographic in the ratings as more younger people have cut cable. It’s also true that The Voice has been striving to bring in younger talent and be more relevant with its coaching and mentors in recent seasons. Nick Jonas, for example, has been a more recent addition to the show as well.
However, honestly, the rumor has some merit, if only because Blake Shelton himself has hinted about leaving the series in recent years. Actually, back the spring of this year, Shelton literally said the end was going to come sooner rather than later, noting,
I would not be remotely shocked if Blake does decide to leave and focus on his new marriage to Gwen Stefani or even other career possibilities for a while. I do have trouble with the idea that it could be because The Voice producers want him out in order to bring Ariana Grande in for a larger capacity. Blake Shelton may not be as big of a draw for the talent, but he is for the fans and he also has landed the most wins on The Voice of any other of its coaches. People love the banter Blake brings to the table.
So, I totally buy that NBC wants to draw in a younger and more relevant audience and I would actually love to see some more young and diverse talent appear on the show as coaches in future seasons. But will Ariana Grande be a staple on every season from here on out? I don't know, but given Blake Shelton's popularity, it's hard to imagine producers would force him out to make that happen. The good news is: she seems pumped to be on the show for now. You can catch her on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET only on NBC. Or take a look at what’s yet to come this fall with our full TV premiere schedule.
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Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.