The Voice will return for a new season on Sept. 23, but it's going to look a bit different. One of the show's original coaches, Adam Levine, will be noticeably absent from the swivel chairs, and in his place will be superstar (Blake Shelton's girlfriend) Gwen Stefani.

While the country crooner is elated that his superstar girlfriend will appear alongside him on the show, he admits to Access that the show isn't the same without the Maroon 5 frontman.

"It sucks not having Adam on the show," Shelton admits. "He's been there since the beginning, and it's hard not to have somebody that stupid to make fun of. Everybody here now, they're more talented, and he's not here to kick around."

Remember When Adam Levine Broke Blake Shelton's Heart? The Voice

Levine left the hit show abruptly after serving as a judge on The Voice for sixteen consecutive seasons, but his departure hasn't broken his relationship with the country star, who says they talk on a regular basis.

"We talk. We never have lost contact," Shelton shares. "Literally last week, I don't know what was going on. I know what I was doing – I had been drinking for a few hours, and I don't know what he was doing, but I was at home in Oklahoma, by myself, and we ended up FaceTiming each other for 45 minutes, just nonsense talk."

As to what the two music stars are discussing for such long periods of time?

"Just stuff that you could never say on TV ... We just went at it," he continues. "It was just a typical conversation. We stay in touch. We'll be friends from now on. Maybe someday, who knows, he might end up coming back. I doubt it, but maybe. But we got Gwen Stefani now. Gwen Stefani is back on The Voice."

Stefani previously served as The Voice coach during seasons 7, 9 and 12, and as an advisor for seasons 8 and 10. Shelton also credits her for her role in softening the blow that came when Levine announced his exit.

"The one thing that makes it better and okay is that they brought Gwen in," Shelton says, according to PopCulture. "Not just because Gwen's and my relationship — it's because she's a veteran of that show. Also, she's familiar with it, gets it, and that made me feel better."

Season 17 of The Voice begins on Monday, Sept. 23 at 8PM ET on NBC.

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