Is he really outta there?
Or is he really just having a good time amid speculation that he might be?
This is the question fans of The Voice are now asking after a report surfaced this week that stated Blake Shelton might soon be replaced as a panelist on the popular singing competition.
To kick off Season 21 of The Voice, you see, NBC brought on Ariana Grande.
The young pop star has already made a strong impression on viewers, bringing enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to a show that’s been on the air for well over a decade at this point.
What does this mean for Shelton, who has been a mainstay on the program since it first premiered?
Or maybe a whole lot.
“After a decade on the show, producers are quietly looking to replace Blake with someone younger and more current,” wrote Radar Online a couple days ago, adding via an anonymous sourrce:
“Blake is great but he is not in Ariana’s league.”
Shelton has been a presence on The Voice since April 2011, even meeting and falling for his second wife, Gwen Stefani, due to his role on the reality show.
Has has grown stale, however?
Continued the Radar inside:
“Current top ten artists like Justin Bieber, Lil Nas X, Billie Elish, Olivia Rodrigo, and The Weeknd, were all hesitant about starring on a competition show before Ariana Grande signed on.
“She has changed everything and opened the flood gates to future relevant talent — which isn’t good news for Blake Shelton.”
Shelton remains a big country music star, but “it is time for a shake-up,” concluded this report.
“The only way the show remains fresh is by constantly evolving.
“Huge stars that wouldn’t even consider joining the show a few months ago are now thinking again, thanks to Ariana.”
Is there any truth to this rumor? Or is it mere conjecture?
Moreover, how does Blake feel about such speculation?
We may now have the answer.
On September 24, Grande uploaded a text message from her The Voice counterpart that depicted Shelton sharing a link to one article, which claimed:
Producers at ‘The Voice’ May Replace Blake Shelton After Ariana Grande Brings a ‘Fresh’ Energy.
“Thanks a lot Ari… Thanks a f–kin’ lot,” wrote Shelton in response.
Grande hearted both of her alleged foe’s texts, suggesting there’s not actually any bad blood between music superstars.
Not exactly a shock, is it?
We’d have to imagine Shelton feels pretty comfortable and secure with his spot on the long-running series.
“I’m excited about Ariana joining the show because it’s somebody new for me to beat,” Blake told reporters earlier this month during a virtual Q&A with his fellow season 20 coaches John Legend and Nick Jonas, as well as mega mentor Snoop Dogg.
He joked at the time:
“I’m tired of beating John every season — and Nick…
“The easiest defeat of my career was Nick Jonas. So I’m looking for a challenge. I think Ariana could be a challenge.
“I’m looking forward to beating her, though.”