The Real Reason Why Gwen Stefani Isn’t on ‘The Voice’ Season 20

The Voice‘s reigning winning coach is stepping away from the show. Just a few weeks before Carter Rubin took home the win for Gwen Stefani‘s team, it was announced that Gwen wouldn’t be returning as a coach for season 20 of The VoiceNick Jonas, who recently took a one-year break from the show, will make a triumphant return, sitting in Gwen’s big red chair in the upcoming season.

Gwen’s exit may come as a surprise to viewers, especially since she just won the show for the very first time and her chemistry (and adorable banter) with fellow coach and fiancé Blake Shelton is loved by many. This sudden move begs two important questions: Why did Gwen Stefani leave The Voice? And more importantly, will she ever come back to the show?

Why did Gwen Stefani leave The Voice?

So far, Gwen has been quiet about her decision to leave the the show. Right after season 19 of The Voice wrapped, she released her first solo single in years titled “Let Me Reintroduce Myself.” This song is said to be part of her fifth studio album, which she says will drop “probably soon.” So, it’s possible that Gwen is taking the next few months to focus on her music, similar to what other coaches have done in the past.

Actually, it’s pretty common for coaches to rotate seasons. Although the other three coach (Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, and John Legend) have stayed put for the last few years, the fourth couch’s chair has often been up for grabs. Gwen has been a coach for seasons 7, 9, 12, 17, and 19, and Nick has taken the vacant seat in seasons 17 and 20.

Will Gwen Stefani ever return to The Voice?

Seeing as this isn’t the first time that Gwen has skipped out on a season of The Voice, it’s safe to assume that she’ll be back as a coach in future seasons. All of this is dependent on the deal that Nick Jonas and Gwen Stefani have with NBC, as well as their other commitments. If Nick comes out on top this season, however, he might not want to give up his chair. We’ll just have to wait to see how it unfolds!