Blake Shelton became candid about life on "The Voice" without former rival Adam Levine, noting that Gwen Stefani replaced singer Maroon 5 has helped him succeed.
As Season 17 moves up production, Shelton is officially the longest running coach of the reality singing competition, having just started 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 with Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend.
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"Having her there, selfish for me, made me happy, and I think it saved the way Adam passed away," Shelton said during a press conference Wednesday in Nashville (via People). "Because there's no way around it: It sucks not to have Adam there. I mean, he's just an important part of that show."
Shelton joked that Levine, with whom he had a playful rivalry with the show, his favorite character was to "kick in the n ̵
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Shelton previously addressed the situation with Levine and Stefani on the show, admitting he could not imagine to work with "The Voice" without Levine.
"I can't imagine, honestly, what the show will feel like first without Adam there," Shelton shared with ET Online. "I mean, we'll start filming the 17th season of the show, and Adam has been my frenemy from day one, you know, down there in the end. "
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He continued:" I think we all knew, on the inside of the show, that he was ready to make a move. For a guy like Adam, who's just – he's the most ADD person I think I've met – that he even has doing it as long as he did without wanting to move on to the next thing is fantastic.
"But I know that having n is happy with his decision. Does not mean that I am, or any of us [are happy] but at least they could soften the blow and get Gwen [Stefani] back. "