It’s Blake Shelton’s final season of The Voice, and he’s leaving some big boots to fill!
The NBC singing competition kicked off season 23 on Monday with a new batch of Blind Auditions that left Blake as impressed by the level of talent as he was by new coach Niall Horan.
The pair seem to have hit it off right away, with plenty of father-son jokes and Niall’s spot-on impression of Blake’s Oklahoma accent.
“Blake is really on Team Niall,” the Irish singer joked after Blake endorsed him to a hopeful contestant. “Or, he just really hates Kelly Clarkson. I’ve yet to figure it out.”
Their connection got put to the test, however, when Niall had a “tough start to day one,” as the last coach standing without any singers on his team. Heartbroken, he even asked Blake to join his team!
But everything changed when Ross Clayton took the stage with his cover of Keith Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color” which earned him a four-chair turn.
Niall had an uphill battle ahead of him, but he was prepared and pulled out a major stunt: turning all the other coaches’ chairs back around!
“See how much power I’ve got around here?” Niall joked. “I can spin chairs. That’s never been done!”
“There’s fans of mine that would really love to take you under their wing,” he added, even getting on his knees to plead with Ross to join his team!
Thankfully, it paid off, as Ross became the first singer to join Team Niall — and impressed the new coach’s on-screen father figure in the process.
“Niall needed that one, I’m actually happy for Niall,” Blake teased. “I feel like Niall is gonna take my seat on this show. Playing those kind of dirty tricks gives me confidence that he can be the liar that he needs to be to cover for Team Blake from now on.”
ET spoke with the season 23 coaches ahead of the premiere, who all shared how excited they were to be on the show for The Cowboy’s last go-round.
“I texted him,” Kelly shared. “If he was gonna do a last season, I wanted to make sure I was there.”
However, the talk show host insisted that she won’t be letting nostalgia affect her competitive nature.
“If [Blake] wins, I am very happy for him, because that is super cool to win on the last season and he’s literally the show, from its conception,” she conceded. “But, like, I’m not, like, rooting for him to win. I’ll be happy for him if he does, but I’m obviously trying to win myself.”
As for the show’s new coaches, Niall and Chance said they were ready to put in the work against the Team Blake dynasty.
“It’s been awesome,” Chance said of joining the show. “Kelly’s very, very sweet, very nice to me. And Blake is… here.”
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. PT/ET on NBC.
‘The Voice’: Blake Gets Blocked on Season 23’s First 4-Chair Turn!
‘The Voice’ Coaches Talk Blake Shelton’s Final Season
Blake Shelton’s Run on ‘The Voice’: All the Winners, Coaches & Mentors