To the surprise of absolutely no one, NBC has renewed its singing competition juggernaut The Voice for Season 23. For its next cycle, which begins in Spring 2023, the show is adding two new coaches to its roster: British pop star Niall Horan and Chicago native Chance the Rapper.
Per a press release provided to The Root, Chance and Niall will join longtime coaches Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton, who has announced Season 23 will be his final run on the show.
“I’m thrilled to join The Voice as a coach for the next season,” Chance said in a statement. “I’m excited to help other artists get to the next level and make the most of this life-changing experience. Get ready for #teamchance.”
While the Grammy winner is not the series’ first coach from the rap world, he is the first since Pharrell Williams in Season 10. In that time, several pop, country and R&B singers have joined Shelton in the rotating red chairs, but rap has been noticeably absent.
Unlike some of its international counterparts, the U.S. version of The Voice doesn’t get a lot of rappers auditioning, however, Chance’s presence on the show could definitely change that. If you look at the most popular artists in music, most of them are from hip-hop, which makes it kind of crazy that this show doesn’t have it represented on a regular basis. Why aren’t we seeing more duos with rappers and singers, or performers like Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion, Drake, Nicki Minaj or Chance himself, who blend rap into other styles of music?
The addition of the “No Problem” artist brings new excitement to the show, which has been airing for nearly 20 years. One of the reasons The Voice has had such difficulty launching stars outside of the country world is that it doesn’t always feel current. The audience can only hear so many Adele and Mariah covers before we get super bored with the contest.
As a fan of reality singing competition shows, I can tell you The Voice is the best of the bunch but it’s definitely hit a very predictable rut. Once the singers are narrowed down to the live shows, it becomes pretty clear who the frontrunners are and any semblance of suspense leaves the competition. A new coach with a different perspective and experience in the business might shake things up, which could lead to a more musically diverse pool of contestants, more interesting song choices and some actual surprises in the competition.
Ultimately, it’s the show’s producers who decide which singers get to be on TV, but if Chance is in the room maybe can help give the show a refresh.
The Voice Season 22 currently airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.