Blake Shelton says Gwen Stefani replacing Adam Levine on ‘The Voice’ helped save Season 17

Blake Shelton got candid about life on “The Voice” without former rival Adam Levine, noting that Gwen Stefani replacing the Maroon 5 singer has helped him cope.

As Season 17 ramps up production, Shelton is officially the longest-running coach on the reality singing competition, having started right alongside Levine in 2011.

The show’s host, Carson Daly, announced Levine’s departure in May on the “Today” show, where he also revealed Shelton’s girlfriend and former “The Voice” coach Stefani would replace Levine alongside Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend.

“Having her there, selfishly for me, made me happy, and I think it kind of saved the show with Adam going away,” Shelton said during a press conference Wednesday in Nashville (via People). “Because there’s no way around it: It sucks not having Adam there. I mean, he’s just a major part of that show.”

Shelton joked that Levine, with whom he had a playful rivalry with on the show, was his favorite person to “kick in the n—s.”

Stefani was last on the show in 2014, which Shelton said helped her and the show transition without Levine in Season 17.

“She’s familiar with it and gets it,” he said, “And that made me feel better because that show is a complicated thing. When you’re a coach on there … and at the same time you’re also supposed to be entertaining the audience at home, it’s kind of a juggling act.”

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