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The Silent Way Blake Shelton Helped Niall Horan Prepare for His Return to The Voice

"I learned a lot from Blake last year," Horan told NBC Insider about how his The Voice Season 23 experience readied him for Season 24.

By Christopher Rosa

Niall Horan had the funniest father-son dynamic with Blake Shelton on The Voice Season 23. The "Meltdown" singer was a first-time Coach on the show, and Shelton did a great job showing him the ropes. 

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“Blake, he’s like a dad to me," Horan told NBC Insider at the start of The Voice Season 23. "Y’know, he’s really helped me during the show. I’ve really enjoyed his company, and watching him has been a real honor...It's been amazing to work with him and Kelly Clarkson. Meeting them for the first time, the bond that I’ve grown with them has been amazing. It's been so funny to dive into that Southern sense of humor with them and see the stuff that goes on behind-the-scenes. It's been hilarious." 

And for Shelton, the feeling is completely mutual. Several times during Season 23, which was Shelton's last on the show, he joked about Horan carrying his torch for future seasons. “I feel like Niall is going to take my seat on the show,” Shelton told producers, quipping “I’m passing the baton on to my son.”

Thankfully, Horan is more than prepared for that gig. He returns to Season 24 as a Coach alongside Reba McEntire, John Legend, and Gwen Stefani — and teachings from Shelton make him more confident than ever in his red-chair capabilities. 

RELATED: From Tremors to Colonel Sanders: A History of Reba McEntire's Acting Roles

Niall Horan says watching Blake Shelton helped him prepare for The Voice Season 24 

Niall Horan and Blake Shelton cheers.

"I learned a lot from Blake last year sitting next to him," Horan told NBC Insider. "That's what they tend to do: stick everyone down beside Blake if you're new. I learned a lot from even just watching him. Nothing that he said. Just watching how he does it. I think that made a lot of difference to how I've been in the show this year." 

Another difference in Horan between the seasons? "I've been more myself this season than probably than last season," he revealed.

That said, filming the show is still a challenge he's getting used to. "I'm not used to being on TV unless it's an interview," he said. "This is a completely different beast. When Carson [Daly's] not there, we're hosting the show. You have to think on your feet a lot...We're not used to being the ones giving advice. We're just going about our careers day to day, doing gigs, going to the studio, writing songs and stuff like that. We're not used to being, like, 'This is what I think' and, 'This is how I think you should do it' and advice, advice, advice." 

RELATED: What Awards Has The Voice's Reba McEntire Won?

For being new to the Coach game, Horan is certainly killing it. He won Season 23 with his Artist, Gina Miles, so McEntire, Stefani, and Legend should keep a close eye. This guy is the one to beat!