Blake Shelton Calls Adam Levine His 'Frenemy' as 'The Voice' Begins Filming Season 17

Blake Shelton will soon begin filming his 17th season on The Voice, which will mark his first season without Adam Levine sitting in one of the other red swivel chairs. His loss from the set is one that Shelton admits he will likely feel for a long time, even as his girlfriend, Gwen Stefani, takes his place instead.

"I can't imagine, honestly, what the show is gonna feel like at first without Adam there," Shelton told Entertainment Tonight. "I mean, we're about to start filming the 17th season of the show, and Adam has been my frenemy from day one, down there on the end."

Still, the "God's Country" singer acknowledges he had a feeling Levine was ready for a change.

"I think we all knew, on the inside of the show, that he was ready to make a move," Shelton conceded. "For a guy like Adam, who is just – he's the most ADD person I think I've met – for him to have even done it as long as he did without wanting to move on to the next thing, is amazing. But I know he's happy with his decision. Doesn't mean I am, or any of us [are happy], but at least they were able to soften the blow a little bit and bring Gwen back."

Shelton, who hints he might be close to proposing to Stefani, perhaps surprisingly had nothing to do with Stefani's return to the show, which is where her romance with Shelton began.

"I knew it was gonna be hard for me," Shelton said. "We just have that thing that's just so comfortable," Shelton said, adding, "Gwen and I click too," and that The Voice "pulled the trigger" before Shelton even had time to process the loss of Levine.

"By the time I found out what was going on, which was only about 12 hours before the announcement, they had already reached out to Gwen's camp and said, 'Look, Adam's decided he's gonna move on. We're ready for Gwen if she's in,'" Shelton recounted. "I'm trying to get in the middle of this, literally, I got on the phone with one of the NBC executives, and I was saying, 'Hey man, if Adam's gonna do this, we have got to –' and before I could even finish my sentence, she said, 'Blake, it's done. What are you doing?' And I went, 'Oh, OK. Perfect.'"


Season 17 of The Voice is scheduled to premiere on Sept. 23 on NBC, with Kelly Clarkson and John Legend also returning to the show.

Photo Credit: Getty / Jason LaVeris