The Voice’s John Legend Reacts To Blake Shelton’s Announcement About Leaving The Show

John Legend and Blake Shelton on The Voice.
(Image credit: NBC)

Season 22 of The Voice is in full swing, as the teams have been fully formed, with the contestants now going head-to-head in the Battle Round. But some of the attention has already been turned to Season 23, after Blake Shelton's big announcement revealing that season will be his final one. The country star is the only coach to have served on the panel for all 22 seasons so far, so the fact that his days are numbered sent shockwaves through the fanbase. His fellow coach John Legend had some kind words about the impact Shelton has made on the NBC singing competition over the past decade. 

John Legend, who will be stepping away from The Voice ahead of Season 23, said after serving alongside the cowboy for the past seven seasons, he understands Blake Shelton’s desire to exit the show. Legend told ET:

Well, you know, he's been doing the show for 22 seasons, it'll be 23 when he's done, and you can't do something forever. We're gonna miss him though. He's been the heart and soul and anchor of the show for a long time, and he's a friend of mine, and I really enjoy working with him. We're all gonna miss him.

How long Blake Shelton would remain a coach on the show had been a big question over the past couple of seasons. He hinted that he was nearing the end of his run back in April 2021, but when the show went on hiatus in spring 2022, allowing the longtime coach a much-needed break, it seemed like Shelton might stick around a little longer

Turns out, that spring hiatus actually played into John Legend’s decision to not return to the Big Red Chairs next season. (Season 23 will see Kelly Clarkson return for one last battle in her rivalry with Blake Shelton.) While he won’t be around for the country crooner's last rodeo, Legend said his own exit from the show is not expected to be permanent, telling ET:

My family's growing, I have a new album out, I'm gonna do a little bit of touring, and so it's probably better that I take a break. We took a break last season because we had another show in our slot that the network tried -- and I thought that was gonna happen this season, but it ended up that they wanted us back...but I'll be back on The Voice, just not this coming season.

It sounds like John Legend enjoyed having last spring off ahead of his Las Vegas residency and his recent album drop. Promoting that album, along with the new baby he and wife Chrissy Teigen are expecting, will be keeping the EGOT winner busy for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, Chance the Rapper and Niall Horan are stepping up to fill the last two spots on the Season 23 panel.

The Voice’s next season is shaping up to be pretty epic, and Season 24 will undoubtedly feel strange without Blake Shelton. But for now, there’s some great talent to behold amongst the contestants of the current season. Season 22 of The Voice airs at 8 p.m. ET Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what new and returning shows are premiering soon. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.