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Niall Horan Says He “Really Struggled” with This Part of The Voice

During his Season 23 debut as a Coach, Niall Horan soaked up the experience every step along the way — but it wasn't always easy.

By Joe Dziemianowicz

As Blake Shelton readies for his emotional exit from The Voice after 23 seasons, fellow Coach Niall Horan is looking ahead to his second spin in the iconic red chairs.

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Yep. Shelton’s mini-me, as Horan has been called, is staying. In the fall he’ll sit alongside first-time Coach Reba McEntire and two returning favorites Gwen Stefani and John Legend

On the red carpet for The Voice Live Semifinals, Horan admits that he has come a long way since Day One as a Coach and being like “a deer in the headlights.”

Why Did Niall Horan Struggle On The Voice?

Niall Horan performs on The Voice.

With experience comes confidence. Yet judging by what veteran mentors have said, there’s an unavoidable part of The Voice that doesn’t get easier: Choosing which Artists advance and which ones get cut. 

RELATED: Simon Cowell Says Niall Horan Becoming a Coach on The Voice Is a "Weird, Full Circle-y Thing"

“I’m sick of making hard decisions, I’ve really struggled,” Horan said. But as the Finals loom large, he is “excited to see what happens.”

How Did Niall Horan Grow as a Voice Coach?

Niall Horan Tattoos

Horan also took stock of how he’s grown as a Coach during the red carpet interview. At the jump, his skills were, well, basic, he admitted.

“It was just like, there’s a red chair. Press the button when you feel like it,” he joked.

That wee nugget of know-how served him pretty well as he acclimated alongside Coaches Kelly Clarkson, Chance the Rapper, and Shelton. 

“The rest of it, navigating your way through the production of the show" was another challenge, he added. No surprise, what with Blind Auditions, the Battles, Knockouts, and Playoffs. That took time — and some keen observations.

Horan said Shelton, “a legend around these parts," didn’t dole out advice but he was definitely a go-to resource. It was invaluable, he explained, “just watching him doing stuff.” 

RELATED: Niall Horan's 2023 Tour: Get the Details

Horan clearly paid close attention, judging by Team Niall's many triumphs.

“It’s been the best learning experience for me,” said Horan. “I’ve just grown into it, and just really enjoyed it.” 

Niall Horan and The Voice "Team Environment"

How Niall Horan Did During His First-Ever Battles on The Voice | The Voice | NBC

The esprit de corps that fills the NBC reality contest was another extraordinary plus: “The team environment with all the artists and contestants [has] been really fun. I do look forward to doing it again,” he said.

Horan has tucked away many favorite moments from Season 23, including singers who didn’t advance to Finals. Kala Banham's cover of “My Funny Valentine” and Ryley Tate Wilson’s take on “when the party’s over” are among the memories he cherishes from Coaching on The Voice.

The big party for the finalists continues: Gina Miles from Team Niall, D. Smooth from Team Kelly, NOIVAS and Grace West from Team Blake, and Sorelle from Team Chance are all competing to become the winner in the Finals.

“God knows what's gonna happen,” Horan says. “It’s all up to the people of America now.”

The winner of Season 23 of The Voice will be revealed during the finale on Tuesday, May 23 at 9/8c on NBC. Can’t watch live? Stream the episode the next day on Peacock.

—Reporting by Tara Bennett 

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