Kelly Clarkson was in the hot seat on The Voice. The returning coach, who is everywhere lately, isn’t new to the TV talent show, but she took on a new persona in this season’s red chair quartet — at least according to OG coach Blake Shelton.
Although Adam Levine’s departure from the NBC reality competition after 16 seasons wasn’t addressed on the Season 17 premiere of The Voice, the Maroon 5 frontman was mentioned once by his old pal as part of a diss to Clarkson during the blind auditions.
Gwen Stefani, although also not new to the show, is Levine’s replacement on the panel that also includes John Legend and Shelton, but it was Kelly who sat in the original Voice star’s red chair in the seating lineup for the Season 17 premiere.
After Kelly engaged in some aggressive talk about “blocking,” Blake cracked a joke that became the only mention of his dearly departed Voice pal. As Kelly threatened to take Shelton down by blocking him “on the greatest country singer of all time,” a bitter Blake shot back with an epic response, according to Yahoo Entertainment.
“It’s not Kelly’s fault! She’s in Adam’s old chair, and it makes her… possessed! You have to go for the jugular if you’re in that seat.”
The two-hour episode featured virtually no other mention of Adam, who ruled The Voice with on-screen bestie Blake for years.
While Adam Levine was barely mentioned on The Voice premiere, at one point Kelly actually said she missed Jennifer Hudson, who was a Voice coach for Seasons 13 and 15. As for Gwen Stefani, she declared war on her real-life boyfriend Blake Shelton early on as the rivalry among the coaches kicked in immediately.
Fans of The Voice were shocked earlier this year when Levine announced his departure from the show. In an interview with Extra, Kelly admitted her co-star’s announcement caught everyone off guard, but she expressed understanding of his situation.
“It was kind of a shocking thing,” Kelly said. “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. Still has a career. Still touring. It’s a very rigorous schedule fitting everything in.”
Kelly also admitted “it’ll be weird going to work. Where’s Adam?”
Turns out Kelly channeled Adam with her more aggressive gameplay, providing Blake with a hilarious foil beside his real-life girlfriend.
There is no word on how Adam Levine spent his first night off from The Voice in eight years, but just one day before the Season 17 premiere aired on NBC, he posted a sweet photo to Instagram in celebration of his daughter Dusty Rose’s birthday.
The Voice airs on Monday and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.