Country superstar Blake Shelton had “The Voice” fans reaching for the tissues during the March 21 episode, when he pushed his button for the last time. Blake is the only remaining original coach on NBC’s reality TV show, having appeared in every episode from Season 1 to Season 23. In the video above, watch as he spins his chair around for aspiring country singer Grace West and fights with rival coach Niall Horan over who will acquire her onto their team.
Grace is a 19-year-old songwriter at a publishing company from Canton, Michigan who chose to perform “Maybe It Was Memphis” as her blind audition song. While Blake and Niall pushed their “I Want You” buttons, Chance the Rapper‘s team was already full and Kelly Clarkson chose not to turn her chair around.
SEE All 16 ‘The Voice’ coaches ranked worst to best
“Your voice is impeccable with so many sweet tones,” Niall told her. “You’re such a real born storyteller. I’ve got nothing like you on my team. Obviously, I’m up against this [pointing to Blake] and that’s where you’re probably leaning. But I was brought up on traditional Irish music, which obviously led me to country music, and that’s the kind of lane that I fall in to.” The former One Direction boyband member then delivered a hilarious Blake impression, complete with a country drawl, and joked he’d be “honored” to have Grace “on the last Team Niall.”
When it was Blake’s turn to try to woo Grace onto his team, he revealed, “I moved to Nashville when I was 17. Same thing, worked at a publishing company there. But I always just wanted to be a country singer. My dream was to be on the radio one day, so I relate to that so much.” He then pleaded, “I have one slot left on my team. I would be honored if you would join the last Team Blake as the last person that I will ever hit this freakin’ worn-out button for.”
Kelly surprised herself when she encouraged Grace to pick Blake, her years-long rival. “I can’t even believe I’m doing this,” she began, “but it’s his last season. I will say, Blake is a great coach for you in this sense … he’s the guy that really does help artists out.” Blake then smiled ear to ear as he declared his “love” for Kelly.
Grace didn’t think too hard about her decision, ultimately choosing to be the last-ever member of Team Blake. “That’s it! I’m finished! I’m never doing that again!” Blake shouted as he shook the hands of his fellow coaches on his way to meeting the teenage singer in person.
In a private confessional, Blake called Grace a “perfect female country singer” before reflecting on his 12-year tenure at “The Voice.” “My heart swells up to think about my journey on this show for 23 seasons,” he told the camera. “And for the last artist for me to hit this button for, I didn’t let it take over. I can’t show any emotion, but I did get a little bit shook up.”
Besides Grace, the following artists are also a member of the final Team Blake: Neil Salsich, Tasha Jessen, Alex Whalen, Carlos Rising, Walker Wilson, EJ Michels, Mary Kate Connor, Kylee Dayne and Kason Lester. Now that the Season 23 blind auditions are over, it’s time to gear up for the battles and knockouts.
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