Blake Shelton on Adam Levine Leaving 'The Voice': 'It Worries Me'

Blake Shelton is opening up about Adam Levine's surprise exit from The Voice earlier this year, at the end of Season 16. Shelton and Levine are the only two coaches who have been with The Voice every season since it began in 2011, which makes Levine's departure that much more painful for the "God's Country" singer, even if Levine is being replaced by Shelton's longtime girlfriend, Gwen Stefani.

"I have to say that it worries me not having Adam there, because he's been there from the beginning," Shelton shared with and other media. "It would freak me out if Carson [Daly] left; we were the three that have been there all along, and it's just odd to be honest with you. The one thing that makes it better and okay is that they brought Gwen in. Not just because Gwen's and my relationship – it's because she's a veteran of that show. Also, she's familiar with it, gets it, and that made me feel better."

Shelton admits being on The Voice is a lot more challenging than it likely looks, which is why he is grateful that it is Stefani who is filling Levine's seat.

"That show, it's a complicated thing when you're a coach on there, to try and navigate and keep in mind at the same time that you're also supposed to be entertaining the audience at home," Shelton conceded. "Its kind of a juggling act, so having her there, selfishly for me, made me happy, and I think it kind of saved the show with Adam going away. Because there's no way around it, it sucks not having Adam there. He's a major pat of that show, and my favorite person to kick in the nuts."

Shelton might be grateful Stefani is returning to The Voice, but he, perhaps surprisingly, didn't have anything to do with her return, even though he tried.

"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 told Entertainment Tonight. "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 –'" he continued, "and before I could even finish my sentence, she said, 'Blake, it's done. What are you doing?' And I went, 'Oh, OK. Perfect.'"

The Voice, which will also include the return of both Kelly Clarkson and John Legend, premieres on Sept. 23 on NBC.

Photo Credit: Getty / Jason LaVeris