We are only a few days away from the Sept. 23 premiere of Season 17 of The Voice, marking the first time Blake Shelton will take his place in the red swivel chair without his good friend, Adam Levine, joining him as a coach. While Shelton is thrilled that his longtime girlfriend, Gwen Stefani, took Levine's place, he admits he is still mourning the loss of the Maroon 5 frontman.
"It sucks not having Adam on the show," Shelton admitted to Access. "He's been there since the beginning, and it's hard not to have somebody that stupid to make fun of. Everybody here now, they're more talented, and he's not here to kick around."
Levine might have abruptly left The Voice, but Shelton and Levine still maintain regular contact, which Shelton says will likely never end.
"We talk. We never have lost contact," Shelton said. "Literally last week, I don't know what was going on. I know what I was doing – I had been drinking for a few hours, and I don't know what he was doing, but I was at home in Oklahoma, by myself, and we ended up FaceTiming each other for 45 minutes, just nonsense talk.
"Just stuff that you could never say on TV ... We just went at it," he continued. "It was just a typical conversation. We stay in touch. We'll be friends from now on. Maybe someday, who knows, he might end up coming back. I doubt it, but maybe. But we got Gwen Stefani now. Gwen Stefani is back on The Voice."
Shelton previously opened up about Stefani returning to The Voice, which he admitted softened the blow of Levine's exit.
"I have to say that it worries me not having Adam there, because he's been there from the beginning," Shelton shared with PopCulture.com 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," he added. "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."0comments
Season 17 of The Voice will premiere on Monday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
Photo Credit: Getty / Jason LaVeris