'The Voice': Blake Shelton 'Couldn't Be Happier' to Have Gwen Stefani Back on Show

Gwen Stefani is returning to her judges' chair for Season 17 of The Voice, joining Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend after the departure of Adam Levine. Naturally, Shelton is thrilled to have his girlfriend back on the show, telling Entertainment Tonight that he "couldn't be happier."

While the two have now been dating for years, that hasn't dampened their competitive spirit, with Shelton sharing that he's more competitive than Stefani in "any kind of game."

"You know, she wants to win and I want to win and that's what they pay us to do on this show is to try to win the show," he said. "It's harder for [Gwen]. She's not, she's not competitive. She'll be the first to tell you right up until it gets competitive and then all of a sudden she is."

In June, the "God's Country" singer responded to a competitive taunt Stefani had shared on her Instagram Story, which saw her post a photo of Shelton and write, "Getting excited to beat this guy on the voice this season!"

"I'm glad that she's already feeling competitive," Shelton told PEOPLE. "Of course, I'm not going to let her win. I'm going to have to win, but I'm going to have to do it in a way that she doesn't feel like I beat her. I don't know if that's possible or not because I definitely don't want to upset her — that's not going to pay off for me in the long run. This will be her fourth time on the show, so she's no stranger to it. She knows what she's doing."

Shelton and Stefani have been dating for four years after meeting in 2015 on set of The Voice.

"It's actually shocking that it has already been that long," Shelton mused. "It's kind of a blur. It still feels like it's pretty new to me. I guess it is, relatively. Four years isn't forever, but man, it seems like it just happened in no time."

"You know, I gotta say that we couldn't be happier, and we've never been doing better," he added to Entertainment Tonight in June, adding that their bond "gets stronger every day."

"She's never not been supportive or a cheerleader, just the most encouraging person I've ever had in my life, on any level. It's unbelievable how supportive she is," the Oklahoma native gushed. "I tell her this all the time, and she doesn't realize it, but Gwen's one of these people that I learn so much from, because no matter what the situation is, she has a way of looking at something from every angle possible, and understanding if there's turmoil or something going on, instead of just jumping to conclusions or reacting, it's, 'Well, here's why they may feel that way.' I've learned a lot from her — to not be so reactive as I used to be," he added. "She's definitely helped to calm me down, for sure."

Season 17 of The Voice premieres Monday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.


Photo Credit: Getty / Gabe Ginsberg