The Voice is going to have a whole different feel once Blake Shelton makes his exit following next spring’s Season 23. The country star is the only member of the coaching panel who has been there since the NBC series’ 2010 premiere, and even with a whole other season to go, there’s already a lot of opinions being shared about who could take over as the show’s resident country music expert. Shelton himself threw out an idea, and it seems like lots of folks agree with his endorsement of fellow country singer Neal McCoy.
Country artists have traditionally done well on The Voice — thanks to Blake Shelton's loyal voters, on top of the expertise he provides his team members — so it makes sense that the “Come Back as a Country Boy” singer would want to keep someone devoted to the genre on The Voice’s coaching panel. Shelton took to Twitter with an idea about his replacement:
Y’all know that next spring The Voice season 23 will be my last… So I’d like to throw @NealMcCoy's hat in the ring as my replacement! Can I get an amen?!!!!December 2, 2022
Neal McCoy has put out 10 studio albums since 1990, with hits like “No Doubt About It” and “Wink” reaching the top of the Billboard country charts. A lot of Blake Shelton’s followers were on board with the idea, with one fan responding:
Another fan on Twitter thought Neal McCoy’s personality would fit right in:
Lots of people were surprised about the news of Blake Shelton’s impending departure, including host Carson Daly — who is set to co-star with Shelton on a new show Barmageddon — as he expressed some strong feelings. Even the fans who agreed that Neal McCoy would be a good artist to take up the mantle tweeted that they would be sad to see Shelton go:
Many commenters said the “If I Was a Drinkin’ Man” had the right personality to fill the Big Red Chair, and used his experience as a judge for Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader auditions as proof. He also, apparently, has the ability to bring the laughs, as Blake Shelton is known to do. One fan of Neal McCoy said:
Veteran coach John Legend has thrown out Carrie Underwood’s name as a possible country replacement for Blake Shelton. The two performed a duet together on The Voice’s Season 21 finale, and Legend pointed out that she’s already part of the NBC family, as she sings the Sunday Night Football theme. That could be interesting, particularly given Underwood’s rumored feud with fellow American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, who is set to return in Season 23 for Shelton’s final season.
Before we worry about replacing Blake Shelton, though, there’s still plenty of competition to go. The remaining Season 22 contestants will perform in the semifinals at 8 p.m. ET Monday, December 5, and Barmageddon is set to debut later that night, at 11 p.m. ET on USA. See what other premieres are in store this month with our 2022 TV schedule.
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