We are only a few weeks away from the Season 17 premiere of The Voice, and returning coach Kelly Clarkson is already enjoying spending time with Gwen Stefani, John Legend, and even Blake Shelton, who she jokingly calls a cowboy in a new social media post.
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"I have loved hangin’ with John and Gwen this season…. and I guess the cowboy as well," Clarkson wrote, along with a smiling face. "Can’t wait for y’all to hear these incredible singers we have this season! #TheVoice"
Season 17 marks both Clarkson's and Stefani's fourth turn in the red swivel chairs, after Stefani was brought back to replace Adam Levine, who left after 16 consecutive seasons. Although Stefani is eager to join her friends on The Voice, she admits that her return comes with mixed emotions.
“To think that [Adam’s] not going to be there is like bittersweet. And plus, like, being between him and Blake, the amount of laughter, I would have to stop and massage my face, because it would hurt,” Stefani told The Talk.
“But it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be exciting. I mean, Blake’s my best friend, so I get to hang out with him at work,” she continued. “I wanted to come back so bad. I mean, the show is so fun.”
Clarkson admitted she was stunned by Levine's surprise exit, even though she understood why he would want to take some time away.
“I found out the night before everybody else found out," Clarkson recalled to Extra. "I was texting him and everybody else. It was kind of a shocking thing, but I kind of get it. He’s been doing it for eight years — that’s a long time.”
"He’s got a couple kids," Clarkson acknowledged of the Maroon 5 frontman. "Still has a career. Still touring. It’s a very rigorous schedule fitting everything in.”
Clarkson is already close friends with Stefani, thanks in part to her longstanding friendship with Shelton, but she did concede the first few days on set would be difficult.
“It’ll be weird going to work,” she said. “But I totally get how busy it is trying to fit everything in plus having a family.”
Season 17 of The Voice will premiere on Monday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
Photo Credit: Getty images / Jeff Kravitz