A report from a few months ago found that The Voice coaches Blake Shelton, John Legend, and Kelly Clarkson were being asked to take pay cuts or leave the show as it struggled. Gossip Cop waited until we had more information to address the rumor, and we can now say our investigation is closed. Here's what we found.
Roughly a week before the show's finale aired in May, the Globe published the accusation that the program was "close to croaking!" According to the tabloid's numerous unnamed sources, the show had "fallen on hard times" and producers were pushing the show's big three to either take a salary cut or be removed from the show entirely. Oddly enough, the outlet described the ultimatum as a warning to the three to "tighten their belts and quit bickering with each other" as the show struggled. The struggles, the sources said, came from the show being "too top-heavy and bloated," as well as "the fact that The Voice's ratings have stalled is adding more strain."
"Adam Levine, who left last summer, could see the show was past its peak," the tipster revealed. "Even if Blake stays put, which he really wants to do, the show as a whole has to evolve or it will go away." The outlet didn't specify what qualifies as "evolving," but instead stuck to the impending budget cuts. "All the coaches could see some cuts to their inflated salaries soon," the source continued. "If the show wants to stay on the air for a few more years, everybody is going to have to tighten their belts — or they'll bring in cheaper coaches."
Somehow worse than the shrinking budget, the tabloid said, is the "feuding and in-fighting" amongst the three stars — but shockingly, mostly about Shelton. The God's Country singer and longtime girlfriend Gwen Stefani's time together as coaches supposedly rubbed others the wrong way, as Shelton was allegedly "promised big bonuses if he flirted with her on camera," the "deeply embedded" tipster said, "caused resentment." Shelton was also apparently embroiled in a fight with Legend. "John thinks everyone's laughing at him," the insider snitched. "He calls Blake overrated and blames him" for the show's dire situation. "Producers are hinting that they're already looking at a few recording artists who would be pleased as punch to work for half the price of the current coaches."
Despite all the talk of cinching and tightening belts, it doesn't really make sense for a massive show's budget to come down to whether or not a judge gets a fancy frappuccino each day. If the show really was in a budget crisis, it'd presumably just cut salaries and be done with it, not yell at its stars to review their expense reports. That quibble aside, nothing about these claims add up.
For one, wouldn't behind-the-scenes drama make for more exciting TV? If the show — which is well-liked for the coaches' chemistry — is falling out of favor, wouldn't such intense storylines start to appear to win viewers over? Such wild fights would make the pages of any legitimate celebrity outlet, but instead, the only news of discord among Blake Shelton, John Legend, and Kelly Clarkson is within the tabloids.
We've had to put together a list of all of the fake feud stories about The Voice coaches we've busted, so we'll brush right past those obviously baseless claims. Reality itself has proven this long-winded tabloid tale dead wrong. Shortly after the story was originally published, the show's finale won over both the 18-49 demographic, as well as total viewers. More importantly, Gwen Stefani has been confirmed to be returning as the fourth coach for season 19 alongside Shelton, Legend, and Clarkson. What has not been confirmed have been any reports of salary cuts, threatening contract negotiations, or coach departures.
Plus, we've caught the Globe in plenty of similar false reports before. The outlet incorrectly claimed that Vin Diesel was walking away from the Fast & Furious franchise that again brought up made-up drama and bogus insiders. It's also responsible for a silly "leak" about Grey's Anatomy's finale killing off Ellen Pompeo's Dr. Meredith Grey that unsurprisingly never came true. Whether it's movies, shows, or competitions, it seems like this tabloid just can't get it right when it comes what happens on or off the set.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.