Carson Daly Opens Up About 'The Biggest Hurdle' The Voice Has Endured, And Of Course Blake Shelton Is Involved

Carson Daly Opens Up About 'The Biggest Hurdle' The Voice Has Endured, And Of Course Blake Shelton Is Involved

Blake Shelton became The Voice’s biggest star after serving as a coach on the singing competition for its first 23 seasons. However, fans can’t forget that Carson Daly has stuck around even longer. The Voice recently wrapped on its 25th season — with Asher HaVon securing a deserving win — and Daly has been there for all of them. As the host reflected on the show’s longevity, he opened up about “the biggest hurdle” the series has faced, and of course it had to do with Shelton.

While the ability to swap coaches in and out of its panel has been one aspect that Carson Daly thinks has contributed to The Voice’s long-term success, it presented a huge challenge when Blake Shelton chose to step away in 2023. In fact the host told Gold Derby that Shelton's departure was “the biggest hurdle that this show has ever had to endure.” Daly continued: 

To try and succeed in a post-Blake Shelton world — he was the least known star when we started, yet ironically got the biggest bounce from the show and left the biggest star of anybody on the panel. Arguably, he will go down as one of the biggest stars in the history of NBC as a network, as a TV star.

That’s a pretty huge compliment, but not an exaggeration, as any fan of the show could tell you. Not only was the cowboy fun to watch for how he trolled Carson Daly and the other Voice coaches, he was really good at the job. Blake Shelton gave honest feedback and unbridled support, winning nine seasons of the show, and he has famously continued to work with many of the artists from his teams long after their seasons ended.

In any competition show, like American Idol or America’s Got Talent, the judges become characters, with their individual personalities and preferences. The Voice’s format made its panel an even bigger part of the show by having the coaches form teams that compete against the others. This resulted in rivalries, and what viewer doesn’t love that? Blake Shelton excelled in that area, forming a bromance-turned-rivalry with Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine. Carson Daly said: 

I mean, The Voice is really part sitcom hidden as a singing competition. And a lot of that’s because the personality of Blake and Adam [Levine]. He’s been sort of at the epicenter of our paneling. So in a post-Blake world, that’s where Reba McEntire comes in.

Replacing Blake Shelton on the coaching panel was no small task for The Voice, and it made sense that they’d go with country music royalty. Reba McEntire has been on the show for two seasons now, and she’s set to reunite with Shelton’s wife Gwen Stefani and new coaches Snoop Dogg and Michael Bublé when the competition returns to the 2024 TV schedule this fall. 

So far The Voice hasn’t totally been able to replicate the fun that Blake Shelton brought to it through his rivalries with Adam Levine and, later, Kelly Clarkson, but that just goes to show why the cowboy was such an important figure for so long.

It’ll be exciting to see what the new coaches bring to Season 26. Both Snoop Dogg and Michael Bublé have served as guest mentors on past seasons — the “Gin and Juice” rapper most recently as the Mega Mentor in Season 20. Carson Daly will be back, too, and I wonder if he’s like me in hoping we’ll see a rivalry form between the Queen of Country and the D-O-Double G.