Carson Daly is ready to name the next person who’s ‘The Voice’

Fanning Out

Carson Daly

Host and producer of NBC contest is grateful for its ratings ‘uptick’

America is about to get a new “Voice,” and as usual, Carson Daly will lend his own voice to revealing who that is.

A producer as well as the host of the popular, Emmy-winning NBC singing competition, one of the network’s busiest employees — with “Today,” “Last Call With Carson Daly” and the upcoming New Year’s Eve festivities also on his plate — will close out Season 15 of the contest Monday (Dec. 17) and Tuesday (Dec. 18). Coaches Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton will have their last opportunities to assess the remaining four finalists.

“We carry a lofty weight on the network,” the friendly Daly reflects of furnishing two seasons of “The Voice” – one in the fall and one in the spring — each television year. “In a time when things are burning out quickly, it can be a fickle thing. (The ‘Voice’ cycles) are not all going to be special; there are different coaches, different dynamics and different groups of talent, and music trends change.”

Carson Daly

With that said, Daly believes the “Voice” season now ending “really felt like a big comeback, and Kelly Clarkson has had a lot to do with that. I think she’s added a tremendous amount of spark and energy to our coaching panel, and she’s brought out a renewed energy in Blake. I think she’s lit a fire under both Blake and Adam, who have been there since Season 1.”

Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony (or “EGOT”) winner John Legend will join the “Voice” panel in Season 16, succeeding Hudson. ”Rotating coaches is something that if you’d told us eight years ago it would be the key to the success of the show, we might have laughed,” notes Daly. “With ‘American Idol’ back in the day, if anyone left the panel, that was almost a sign that there was trouble in paradise and the show would be going downhill. The secret of success for ‘The Voice’ is that the format is stronger than any one member.”

Daly is pleased and proud to have had Clarkson and Hudson, both “American Idol” alums, servicing “The Voice” this season: “They’re both sitting there, talking to the contestants and saying, ‘Both of us have been you.’ And Jennifer can say, ‘I’ve been you and I’ve lost, and look at me.’ She’s won an Oscar and Grammys and has had a successful career, so having two coaches with reality-competition experience is a great thing for us.”

While appreciating what he terms “the uptick” in ratings for “The Voice” lately, Daly maintains, “This is a format that’s really not built for a host, though I say that being the host. We have four of the biggest names in music, and we focus on the talent that comes on the show. And I’m just the traffic cop in the middle that’s trying to keep all these parts moving smoothly … especially when we’re on live.”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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