Why Kelly Clarkson Isn’t a Coach on Season 22

The Voice has some new faces for season 22.


While Blake Shelton and John Legend are set to return to their red chairs this season, Kelly Clarkson will not be back, marking the first time she hasn’t appeared as a coach since season 14.


In her place, Gwen Stefani is set to make her return as a coach alongside Grammy-nominated singer Camila Cabello, who joins the cast as a first-time coach.




While there are sure to be many sweet moments between married couple Stefani and Shelton, fans are certainly going to miss Clarkson’s fun rapport with Shelton and Legend.


So why exactly did Clarkson decide to leave the show? The answer is pretty simple: she wanted to spend more time with her family.


As The Voice filmed its upcoming season over the summer, Clarkson told Hoda Kobt and Carson Daly on the Today show in August that she thought it was necessary to take a break as The Kelly Clarkson Show was also on a short hiatus.


“It’s maybe common for a lot of working people. You don’t get summers off, generally, unless you’re in high school. But I hadn’t had a minute, and it’s obviously been a rough couple of years,” she said, appearing to referenc her recent divorce from Brandon Blackstock. “So, it was really important to me to shut down for a minute.”


“The kids were with me and with their dad, and it was nice because they usually have to travel a lot because of our separation,” Clarkson added about spending quality time with her children over the summer. “We were both in Montana, so it felt like kind of the first time my kids felt more centered. It was nice.”




Voice coaches Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend.
Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Clarkson also told Entertainment Tonight that her costars were super supportive of her decision to take a step back from the show: “I texted the other coaches and the executive producer and everyone and I was like, ‘I’m really sorry, you know, I gotta take a minute .’ And everybody understood it. They’ve been on this ride with me behind the scenes and they get it. Some have gone through similar situations.”


“It was really important, I think, to show my kids that, yes, Mommy loves work and I love to do what I do, but family is first,” she added. “So, when we need a moment to step back and we need to be together, that’s when you take the time when it is necessary. We need to take those moments. And that’s what it was for me. But it’s bittersweet for me, because I love doing it. It’s so fun.”


While Clarkson hasn’t revealed whether or not she’ll return for another season, she certainly isn’t the first longtime coach to exit the series.


Adam Levine was one of the original coaches until his exit in season 16. Since then, Shelton, who has won the show eight times, has remained the only original coach on the series, appearing in every single season.


Many other A-list names have taken a seat in the coaching chair, including Ariana Grande, Pharrell Williams, Nick Jonas and Jennifer Hudson.


New episodes of The Voice air on Mondays on NBC.

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