Kelly Clarkson on Blake Shelton leaving ‘The Voice’: ‘He’s the king’ and ‘will be missed by everyone’

Things are getting rather emotional on “The Voice” this season, as original coach Blake Shelton is gearing up for his final run. After sitting out last year, Kelly Clarkson has returned to the judging panel in Season 23 to send off Blake in proper style, and they’re joined by new coaches Niall Horan and Chance the Rapper. “Blake is killin’ it his last season,” Kelly stated at the end of the fourth episode. “I suspected that would happen. Don’t tell him I said this, but he’s the king of ‘The Voice.’ So it’s gonna be really weird that he’s not here. He will be missed by everyone.”

As of this writing, Blake has one of the strongest rosters of this Spring 2023 cycle, thanks in part to his being able to pitch to aspiring singers that they could be a part of his historic last team as he’s leaving “The Voice.” He’s acquired a four-chair-turn artist (Neil Salsich), a three-chair-turn singer (Tasha Jessen) and several two-chair-turn contestants (Alex Whalen, Carlos Rising, Mary Kate Connor and EJ Michels).

Kelly poked fun at Blake’s frequent successes this season, particularly when it came to him wooing Mary Kate Connor onto his team. “You didn’t remember a damn thing about her,” she noted. “You didn’t know what she was singing. You didn’t know anything. And you still won.” Kelly then angrily ran across the stage and karate-chopped him, playing up their infamous rivalry.

After four blind audition episodes, Kelly is the only coach so far to not have a four-chair-turn artist on her team. Niall currently has two (Ross Clayton and Ryley Tate Wilson), while Chance has one (Noivas) and Blake has one (Neil Salsich). Blake has jokingly started grooming Niall to take his place after he leaves, even referring to the boy-bander as his “son.” But no official announcement has been made yet about Blake’s replacement on the long-running NBC reality TV show.

Having appeared in all 23 seasons of “The Voice,” Blake obviously has the most successful record in terms of wins. To date, he has coached nine artists to victory: Jermaine Paul (Season 2), Cassadee Pope (Season 3), Danielle Bradbery (Season 4), Craig Wayne Boyd (Season 7), Sundance Head (Season 11), Chloe Kohanski (Season 13), Todd Tilghman (Season 18), Cam Anthony (Season 20) and Bryce Leatherwood (Season 22). Will Blake sail off into the sunset with 10 total wins? Stay tuned.

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