After a shocking shakeup on The Voice last month, newly added coach Gwen Stefani says that she can’t wait to return to the hit reality singing competition. The No Doubt frontwoman was announced as a Season 17 coach just hours after Adam Levine decided to quit the show, which he had been a coach on since Season 1. Speaking with E! News, Stefani told host Jason Kennedy, “I’m so, so excited about it and so shocked.” Excited, yes. Shocked? Ehh.
The “Cool” singer continued, saying, “Every season that I’ve been back, it’s been a shock ’cause they kind of wait till the last minute [to tell you]. I guess they really want you to be like, ‘Please, take me.'” That kind of tense will they/won’t they seems really on brand for a show that eliminates singers on a weekly basis.
Stefani says that she thinks it will be “really fun” to join fellow coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, and boyfriend Blake Shelton, who, like Levine, has been on The Voice since the show premiered back in 2011. Stefani and Shelton famously met while they were coaches on Season 7, with the pair finding common ground as they both endured very public divorces, with Stefani separating from husband Gavin Rossdale and Shelton and fellow country singer Miranda Lambert calling it quits.
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Stefani returned to The Voice stage as a coach in Seasons 9 and 12, and says that while the show can feel overwhelming, she loves fighting for her singers. “It’s one of those things where it feels overwhelming but in reality, it’s reality,” says Stefani in a very meta soundbite. “So you just go there, be yourself, try to work as hard as you can for your team and fight for who you love.”
Levine announced his departure on May 24, with the news arriving after NBC had already confirmed the Maroon 5 frontman as a coach on the upcoming season. This left execs scrambling to find a replacement, with Stefani saying that she was ‘shocked’ that her name came up. We love Gwen, but this was definitely a Taylor Swift at an awards show-level of shock.
If the choice is between trying to broker a deal with a new pop star or sending Blake a text and asking him to nudge the woman sitting next to him on the couch about whether she can come back to a show she’s already starred on for three seasons, it seems like an easy decision. Almost as easy as keeping a job that pays $30 million to sit on a comfortable chair. Since Stefani continues to be an ageless wonder, NBC doesn’t even have to shell out for new headshots.
Though Stefani will be able to carpool to work with Shelton (in our mind it’s a pickup truck with anime Harajuku Girl characters on the side), she did say that not having Levine on set to constantly harass Blake and the audience (our words, not hers) will be bittersweet.
“I feel a little overwhelmed in so many different ways,” said Stefani. “I haven’t done it in a while [and] because Adam’s not gonna be there. He’s the first person to reach out to me and say ‘Hey, you gotta do this show. The show’s great, you’re gonna love it.'” We agree, Adam. Being a coach on The Voice does seem like a great job.
The Voice will return with Season 17 this fall on CTV.
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About 8 years ago, Mark Burnett convinced us to sign up for this show where you sit in a big red chair with your back turned away from the singers on the stage. First thank you must go to Mark. ❤️ We had no idea what we were doing or where it was going. After the first day of shooting, I sat there, stunned. I said to myself “theres some magic here. Something is definitely happening.” It went on to be a life shaping experience that will be close to my heart forever. Thank you NBC for signing me up. I am truly honored to have been a part of something I’ll always cherish for the rest of my life. Thank you to every single coach I ever sat in those chairs with. That is shared experience that is singularly ours. We have that for life. Thank you to everyone who supported this long strange and amazing left turn into a place I never thought I’d go. Thank you Carson Daly for babysitting the musicians and making sure our shoes were tied and we had our lunch boxes. You are the backbone of this thing and we appreciate you more than you know. Audrey, thank you for being perhaps the most patient person in all the free world. 4 musicians all at once is a lot. Sainthood is imminent. Thank you to Paul Mirkovich and the band for their ridiculously hard work and learning more songs than maybe any band ever. 😂 Thank you to the people behind the scenes who do the real work and make this machine hum. To the amazingly talented vocalists who competed on the show and blew my mind on a daily basis. And, BLAKE FUCKIN’ SHELTON. I couldn’t hide my love for you if I tried. Seriously. I tried. Can’t do it. Our friendship is and always will be one for the books. Whatever this whole surreal experience was, Im just happy I got to experience it with you. You’re my brother for life. Kelly and John, take care of the cowboy and I’m sure I’ll be back to say hi very very soon. So much love to you both. And lastly, to all of the loyal voice fans, there’s literally no show without you guys. For me, it was time to move on. Your support has meant EVERYTHING. And Lastly, I’d like to thank my manager Jordan for convincing me to take that meeting. 😊 What an amazing ride. Thank you all so much. ❤️ Adam