Blake Shelton is revealing how he really feels about having Kelly Clarkson on The Voice following the departure of Adam Levine. The country superstar revealed his true thoughts about Kelly ahead of the airing of the second episode of the blind audition stages of Season 17, admitting that he doesn’t think the show could go on without her.
“The show can’t be the show anymore now without Kelly. She has definitely become a staple of The Voice. I can’t imagine a season without her now,” Blake recently told ABC News Radio Online, admitting that – although she actually didn’t take on her coaching role until Season 14 in 2018 – it feels like she’s one of the originals.
“It’s almost like she… was one of the original coaches…” the “God’s Country” singer explained. “I think because of her work and her involvement with The Voice since early on, it seems like she’s been here forever, anyway. And so she was such a natural fit as a coach.”
Notably, Kelly has long been around behind the scenes of The Voice set, as her husband, Brandon Blackstock, is actually Blake’s manager.
Shelton also went on to admit that he thinks having the “Love So Soft” singer on the show now that longtime co-coach Adam has departed is more important than ever, as he revealed that Clarkson really “came in swinging” when it came to bringing the competition that would otherwise have been missing in the new episodes.
The country star admitted that he and Clarkson are by far the two most competitive coaches on the show and are determined to beat each other on Season 17. He joked about not wanting his co-coach to get too close to his number of wins.
“John [Legend] and Gwen [Stefani], they’re very focused on being great coaches,” Blake said of their fellow coaches.
“Kelly and I, we want to be great coaches, but we desperately want to beat each other,” he continued of their fierce rivalry. “And so I’m glad Kelly’s here to bring that competition.”
The latest confession about Clarkson’s competitive side comes shortly after Shelton teasingly joked that she was actually the reason Adam Levine quit the show earlier this year, despite NBC previously confirming that he would in fact be back for Season 17.
Blake made the quip during a joint interview, though Kelly was quick to make it clear that she really had nothing to do with the Maroon 5 singer’s departure.
As for Clarkson, she also recently opened up about what it’s really like on the set of the popular singing competition with the new superstar coaching lineup and without Adam, who had previously sat alongside the country superstar for every single season of the NBC singing competition since it first began airing eight years ago in 2011.
The Voice Season 17 airs on NBC.