Taking a look back. When The Voice debuted on NBC in 2011, no one knew what to expect from yet another singing competition show. However, it quickly became a success, with Carson Daly as host and a group of successful, entertaining coaches ready to find the next superstar.
Kicking off the first season, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green and Adam Levine filled the coaches’ chairs, each bringing their different expertise to the table. Though the Maroon 5 frontman was the first to win season 1 with singer Javier Colon, the country superstar then went on to win the following three seasons in a row with Jermaine Paul, Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery. Each winner was awarded $100,000 and a record deal with Universal Music Group.
Aguilera and Green both took season 4 off and were temporarily replaced by Shakira and Usher. The original judges returned for their chairs in season 5 before leaving again in season 6.
The “Genie in a Bottle” singer briefly appeared as a part-time adviser on season 7 before returning as a coach twice more — for seasons 8 and 10, officially exiting in 2016 and later referring to the show as an “energy sucker” in her life.
“It became something that I didn’t feel was what I had signed up for in season 1. … You realize it’s not about music. It’s about making good TV moments and massaging a story,” she told Billboard magazine in 2018. “I didn’t get into this business to be a television show host and to be given all these [rules]. … Especially as a female: ‘You can’t wear this, can’t say that.’ I would find myself on that show desperately trying to express myself through clothing or makeup or hair. It was my only kind of outlet.”
Fans were shocked at her admission. Through the years, multiple other coaches have come and gone, but only one other had a similar impact. At the end of season 16, Levine announced that he would not be returning following a suspicious performance with the other judges at an Upfront presentation in New York City. At the time, he appeared lackadaisical, something both press and advertisers noticed.
In a 2019 Instagram post, he hinted that there was no bad blood, adding he would “be back to say hi very very soon.” However, in 2020, he wrote “no thank you” when a fan asked whether he’d return.
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Scroll through the gallery below for all the coaches through the years and why they left the show.
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