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The Voice Might Have To Replace At Least One Coach When Season 22 Premieres This Fall

The turn of a new year usually means a new season of The Voice is around the corner. With the singing competition’s switch to just one season a year, however, fans are left with a Blake Shelton-sized hole in their regularly scheduled programming. Season 22 isn't returning to NBC until the fall, so the network hasn't yet announced which four coaches will be taking the Big Red Chairs when filming resumes, and there’s a big question mark surrounding a couple of them. 

Kelly Clarkson landed the Season 21 winner — or should I say winners — as the trio Girl Named Tom became the first group to win the overall competition. Clarkson and her rival Blake Shelton each had two artists in the finale, and John Legend had one, with rookie coach Ariana Grande’s last contestants, the duo Jim and Sasha Allen, getting eliminated in the Semifinals. Will Grande get a chance for redemption? Will the coaches’ other projects force NBC to replace them for the upcoming season? Let’s look at what we know. 

Wicked Filming Might Prevent Ariana Grande From Returning For The Voice Season 22 

In November it was confirmed that Ariana Grande will star as the bewitching Glinda opposite Cynthia Erivo’s Elphaba in Jon M. Chu’s movie adaptation of the Broadway staple Wicked. The role was originated on the stage by Kristin Chenoweth, Grande's longtime friend and mentor who also served as her Battle Advisor on The Voice

Wicked has seen a number of delays on the road to theaters thusfar, but according to information tied to the production’s search for real wheelchair users to play Nessarose Thropp, rehearsals are set to begin this summer in the UK. Unless Wicked sees further delays — and we'd never hope for that to happen — it seems like that production schedule would conflict with filming for Season 22 of The Voice, especially with the adaptation filming out of the country. Meaning Ariana Grande is the likeliest member of Season 21's quartet who won't be returning.

John Legend’s Las Vegas Residency Doesn’t Necessarily Conflict With The Voice’s Filming Schedule 

Many fans wondered if John Legend’s upcoming residency at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas meant that he was out for Season 22 of The Voice. That’s not necessarily the case, thankfully. 

The Voice Season 21 filmed its Blind Auditions and other pre-taped rounds in June 2021, with live shows picking up in November. Legend’s residency schedule includes dates in May and April, no dates in June or July, and then resumes again with live shows from August through October. Assuming The Voice follows a similar filming schedule for Season 22, it doesn’t appear the residency would be a conflict for Legend.

Blake Shelton And Kelly Clarkson Seem Poised To Return To The Voice 

Blake Shelton's future on the show has been speculated on quite a bit in the past couple of years. As the only coach to have been on the frontline for all 21 seasons, Shelton has hinted at being close to the end. However, with the show switching to just one season a year, the cowboy is getting a much-needed break to spend with wife Gwen Stefani and work on other projects. He even suggested that he’d spend the time off learning how to resell himself. It sounds to me like Season 22 will see a refreshed Shelton gunning for his ninth win.

Speaking of winners, after Kelly Clarkson took home the Season 21 honors, it's clear she's found an extended groove on the singing competition, with the latest victory being her fourth in eight seasons. With the success she’s seen on the show — coupled with the way she seems to have somehow figured out how to balance doing that plus her daytime talk show — it would be a shame to see Clarkson leave at this point. Besides, The Voice fans really need that Shelton-Clarkson rivalry!

If we do have to say goodbye to any of the Season 21 coaches, it doesn't mean we won't see them again. Over the course of The Voice's 10 years, artists including Miley Cyrus, Usher and Gwen Stefani have stepped away from the show to pursue other projects, before returning on a later season. Host Carson Daly said being able to switch up the coaching panel is one of the reasons the show is able to attract such A-list coaches, because it grants the superstars the freedom to come and go. 

No official announcements have been made about the Season 22 coaches or about a premiere date for the fall, but stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest, and be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what shows are premiering soon. 

Heidi Venable
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.