The Voice’s Kelly Clarkson Has Heartfelt Words For Blake Shelton Ahead Of His Final Season, But She Couldn’t Help But Slip A Jab In There

When The Voice returns next week for Season 23, it’s going to be a bittersweet moment for the longtime singing competition. The March 6 premiere will mark the beginning of the end for Blake Shelton — the only coach of The Voice to appear in every season since its 2010 premiere. At least he’ll have a (somewhat) friendly face alongside him, as Kelly Clarkson is returning after taking a season off. Despite their on-air rivalry, Clarkson revealed the heartfelt message she’s shared with the cowboy, but she just couldn’t help but stir the pot with some shots fired in Shelton’s direction.

Blake Shelton said back in 2021 that his time with The Voice would end sooner than later, but there’s still been plenty of speculation about why he’s is leaving now — whether it’s his renewed focus on family, wanting to do more with his music or even rumors about his marriage to Gwen Stefani. Kelly Clarkson knows a thing or two about what it’s like to leave The Voice, and even if this is the right move for her buddy, she told him (per NBC Insider) that it’s not going to be easy. In her words:  

I actually have been talking to Blake a bit about this being his last season. And I'm like, 'It's not gonna hit you until afterwards. It's gonna hit you. It's been a part of your life for so long. And it's gonna hit you after. I think he knows that, but I also think he knows that it's time. He's been doing it a long time, and I think it's a really cool way that we all know he's leaving so we get the time to, like—I mean, I can't stand him, but I also love him. So we get the time to actually, like, lift him up and say how great he is.

Kelly Clarkson had been on The Voice for eight seasons before she took a hiatus for Season 22, so while she can empathize with Blake Shelton’s situation, I’m sure whatever feelings she had about leaving will only be amplified for the country superstar. 

She did throw in that subtle joke about how she “can’t stand” Blake Shelton, after he spent Season 21 consistently trying to undermine her country music expertise. (Something tells me Reba McEntire would put a stop to that strategy this season, though, when she appears as the Mega Mentor.) But even though Kelly Clarkson and Shelton are friends in real life, fans have come to love watching them feud on the show, and the “Since U Been Gone” singer is already stoking the flames, as she continued: 

He is the ultimate Coach on this show. Everybody knows that. He's won the most, and he, honest to God, helps the Artists afterwards. And it's an incredible thing that he's done for so many Artists. It's a loss for The Voice. But it's a gain for humanity because we get to see less of him. So there's that!

Dang, Kelly! Shots have definitely been fired. Nobody should feel too bad for Blake Shelton, though, because he’s proven to be the show’s biggest troll, and he’ll definitely get his payback. I just hope NIall Horan and Chance the Rapper know what they’ve gotten themselves into. The Blind Auditions will kick off at 8 p.m. ET Monday, March 6, on NBC. Check out our 2023 TV schedule to see what other premieres are coming soon. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.