"I didn’t expect it. I didn’t expect Adam to pull the trigger like he did," Shelton told Extra. "We all knew he was getting to the point — it was 16 seasons he had been doing the show, and it’s hard to keep him focused on anything. He was ready to move on."
Shelton conceded that the return of his girlfriend, Gwen Stefani, to the coaching lineup for Season 17 would "soften the blow" of Levine's departure.
"I was pretty upset that Adam was gone," he admitted.
The "God's Country" singer also reflected on his long-running friendship with Levine and the fact that the often jokingly insult each other on the show.
"I can’t go head-to-head with Gwen like that," he said. "I have a feeling they will keep us separate."
"We had no idea what we were doing or where it was going. After the first day of shooting, I sat there, stunned. I said to myself 'theres (sic) some magic here. Something is definitely happening,'" the Maroon 5 singer wrote. "It went on to be a life shaping experience that will be close to my heart forever. Thank you NBC for signing me up. I am truly honored to have been a part of something I’ll always cherish for the rest of my life. Thank you to every single coach I ever sat in those chairs with. That is shared experience that is singularly ours. We have that for life."
He also thanked the show's fans, host Carson Daly and band director Paul Mirkovich before giving Shelton a special shoutout.
"BLAKE F—IN’ SHELTON," Levine wrote. "I couldn’t hide my love for you if I tried. Seriously. I tried. Can’t do it. Our friendship is and always will be one for the books. Whatever this whole surreal experience was, Im just happy I got to experience it with you. You’re my brother for life."0comments
Shelton reacted to his friend's announcement on Twitter, naturally getting a jab in at Levine in the process.
Having a hard time wrapping my head around @adamlevine not being at @NBCTheVoice anymore. After 16 seasons that changed both of ours lives. I only found out about this yesterday and it hasn’t set in on me yet. Gonna miss working with that idiot.— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) May 24, 2019
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Gabriel Olsen