New Stage, New Gameplay, New Coaches! THE VOICE Season 23 Exclusive Sneak Peek!

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New Stage, New Gameplay, New Coaches! THE VOICE Season 23 Exclusive Sneak Peek!

Pictured (l-r) Kelly Clarkson, Chance the Rapper, Niall Horan, Blake Shelton. / Photo by: Art Streiber/NBC

Hollywood Junket visited the set of “The Voice” season 23 during the Blind Auditions and got a first look of some of the most exciting new talent who will be part of this season.  The show has a new set, along with two first-time ‘Voice coaches who are Niall Horan from One Direction group, and Chance the Rapper.  The two returning coaches are Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton. Oh, yeah, have you heard?  It’s Blake Shelton’s last season!  An ongoing reminder from the coach himself was enforced throughout the day.  

Before the start of the show taping, fake snow was dumped upon the stage twice!  After about 20 mins of cleaning it up, the coaches arrived to take their seats. Blake Shelton started his shenanigans as soon as he made his entrance.  As Blake passed by Kelly Clarkson’s chair, he took the lid off of her cup and sat it on her chair.  As soon as Kelly arrived to see it, she was freaked-out and asked her assistant for a new cup and water.  

The order of the coaches’ seating are as follows from left to right.  When the coaches are facing the stage, starting from far left, Kelly is seated where she normally is, the far left end chair, Chance to her left (normally John Legend’s chair), Niall to his left (Camila Cabello’s chair last season), and Blake at the very far right end chair. 


Niall and Blake quickly took on a father-son role. Blake jokingly called him”son,” and even passed him a tip in a note to try to win-over an artist.  Blake used the fact that it would be his last season to win over contestants.  Making his case that it would be their last chance to be on Team Blake.  On that note, referring to whether Blake would stay on the show, Niall turned to Blake and said unless they pay you more money.  Blake smiled and replied “yes.” 

At the start of the show, every coach had anywhere between three to four artists on their teams.  Niall only had one.  It was a very slow start for Niall in his first season. However, he did pick up a lot more artists by the end of the taping.  A room full of fans were present in the audience to cheer Niall on, and he openly reciprocated, freely talking with his fans throughout the show.

Blake has a new prop this season.  It’s a large foam hand with a finger pointing up that reads “Pick Blake”

There were three Blind Audition dates this season out of the planned four.  When the last day got cancelled, like it sometimes does, that means the coaches filled their Teams early.  

The first contestant we saw was named  Al Boogie.  He had a Country/Rock vibe and auditioned with his guitar.  Unfortunately, none of the coaches turned for Al. He sang a Travis Tritt song that was first done by Elvis.  Blake said there were certain moments in that song that he was waiting for, that Al never fully went for and that’s why he didn’t turn.  Chance said he didn’t know that song at all, and felt he didn’t have anything to offer to help him advance.

After another artist didn’t get any chair turns, Kelly told her that it seemed like she was a lot more focused on the technical side of the song, which is why she didn’t turn.  The majority of the artists who auditioned while we were there did make it on a Team.  We witnessed one four-chair-turn.

“The Voice” stage has had a renovation. The back wall displays when the artists receive a four-chair-turn.  They no longer exit the stage by walking past the coaches. Which honestly can be a bit awkward if no one turned for them.  However, a lot of contestants still wanted to go that way!


Chance scored a trio of singing sisters named Sorelle.  The youngest in the group is 15-years-old.  They auditioned with a Queen song.  Kelly said she didn’t turn because she already has a group on her Team.  When Chance fought to get them, he stated that he would put them on another artist’s album as a “sample.”  Blake responded to Sorelle by stating, “would you like to make your own album or be on someone else’s?”  Niall said he regretted not turning because afterwards he could hear a lot of songs he would have liked to match them with.

Chance went in for another shot by showcasing what he could do with them. He sampled a line from “The Whiz,” “what would you do?” and had them join in at noted points.  Chance also scored a keyboard playing singer.  But, the rest of the show definitely belonged to Niall!

Niall won over a four-chair-turn artist who sang a Keith Urban song.  This artist, who is from Oklahoma (we all know what that means) got emotional when telling the coaches about how he paused his music career to be there for his wife and three kids.   Kelly said she could help him with the emotions in his performance.  

Pictured (l-r) Kelly Clarkson, Chance the Rapper, Niall Horan, Blake Shelton. / Photo by: Art Streiber/NBC


Here’s where a new game play feature was used by Niall.  He said he felt very strongly about this artist, and needed to “pitch” to him privately.  Niall pressed Blake’s button first, which turned his chair back around, then Chance’s, and Kelly’s.  Now, it was just this artist and Niall.  As Niall referred to Blake in this instance, he told the artist that it’s time to pass the baton (on to him).  He said he’s seen one hundred singers now, and hasn’t heard anyone that sounds like this.  Niall then imitated Blake pretty well by saying, ‘you know what Blake’s going to say, it’s my last season…last chance to be on Team Bake..etc..’

Once Niall was done and the coaches turned back around.  Blake said he’s not going to pitch to the artist.  But, if I was, I would tell him about how I stay in touch with my Team members, how I got Todd Tilghman a spot at the Grand Ole Opry where he performed with him.  

As the show taping continued, Niall also won over a performer who auditioned with her electric guitar dressed in a very vibrant outfit, black-and-white-striped leggings.  She called it her “clown couture.”  The coaches all really liked her and her cool vibe.  She sang “Say a Little Prayer.”  Added on his Team was also an impressive 15-year-old from Alabama who amazed everyone with his bravado and falsetto.  Kelly and Niall both noted how he sang the song with feeling and put emotion into certain notes.  Niall said he bet if he sang that song again, it wouldn’t sound the same because of that.

KELLY vs. NIALL… Plus, Blake’s note!

Kelly and Niall competed with each other a lot over fighting over the same artists to have on their Teams.  One artist who was soft-spoken, but sang very powerfully, Blake intervened when he slipped Niall a note while Kelly was speaking to this artist.  The kicker came when Niall decided to read that note out loud! The note read, “Kelly can’t coach nerves.  She admits it.”  When Kelly heard Niall read this note, she responded “that’s true.”  I CAN’T coach nerves.
Then suggested that the artist shouldn’t pick her if she has a lot of nerves.  After it was all said and done, Blake chastised Niall for reading the note out loud, he stressed “who does that!?”  

One artist slipped Kelly up when she sang a Harry Styles song with a slight country twang to it. When Kelly heard it, she quickly decided to Block Blake!  Of course, she should have Blocked Niall! 

Kelly admitted to not recognizing the song right away and had to quickly decide who to Block, Niall or Blake.  She heard a slight twang of Country from the start, and decided to Block Blake.  However, If Kelly had recognized the Harry Styles song, she would have known to Block Niall!


Kelly did score a very talented hearing impaired singer who wears a hearing aid.  During her audition, none of the coaches could believe that she’s hearing impaired.   Blake said if you lined up one hundred artists and he had to pick the hearing impaired one, he’d pick her last.  She said it was her birthday that day.  Kelly was intrigued and asked how she heard the rhythm, by feeling?  The artist shared that her middle name is Lauren, the same as Lauren Hill.  She sang her version of “Killing Me Softly.” 

THE VOICE season 23 premieres Monday, March 6th on NBC network. 



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