Adam Levin made his exit as a coach on The Voice in 2019, after 16 seasons on the show. With The Voice season 18 underway, Levine’s absence is still being noticed on the show’s 2020 season, even though he wasn’t a part of the previous season 17 either.
In his place, Blake Shelton’s longtime girlfriend Gwen Stefani took over as a coach, joining Shelton, John Legend, and Kelly Clarkson for season 17. Stefani did not return for season 18 and was replaced by new Voice coach Nick Jonas. The introduction of new celebrities to the coaching panel is the most noticeable effect Levine’s departure from The Voice has had on the show, but not the only way it’s changed since he announced he was leaving after season 16.
Without Levine on the Show, Blake Shelton Is the Only Remaining Original Coach
When The Voice first began with season 1, the four celebrity coaches were Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and CeeLo Green. With Aguilera and Green long gone from the reality singing competition, Levine and Shelton kept the show tied to its roots as the two remaining original coaches. Now that Adam Levine is gone, Shelton is the only coach left who has been around since the beginning.
When Adam Levine appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show after departing from The Voice, he spoke about his decision to leave and how his life changed by stepping away from the role he held for 16 seasons. He told Degeneres “I really do miss it. I love the people that I met and worked with, and you all obviously know how I feel about Blake.… I do miss it but I don’t miss how much I had to work. I was constantly working for so many years — very lucky, very fortunate, very blessed and all that — but to just be able to stop in this moment to spend time with my new young family and just have the greatest time ever. Now I’m a stay-at-home dad. I just stay at home and do very little.”
Once the news broke in May 2019 that Adam Levine was leaving The Voice, Shelton was quick to react on social media. He wrote “Having a hard time wrapping my head around @adamlevine not being at @NBCTheVoice anymore. After 16 seasons that changed both of ours lives. I only found out about this yesterday and it hasn’t set in on me yet. Gonna miss working with that idiot.”
The two were known for their “frenemy” banter that served as a source of comic relief and made the show feel all the more competitive. John Legend has seemingly tried to step into that role, poking at Shelton’s competitive tendencies to make up for the absence of Levine.
‘The Voice’ Season 18 Premiere Had the Show’s Lowest Season Opener Ratings Ever
While loyal fans are still tuning in to new seasons of the series week after week, the show’s season premieres have taken a hit since Levine’s departure. According to TV Line, season 18’s premiere had a total of 9 million viewers – the show’s second-lowest viewership for a season premiere. The only season premiere with fewer viewers was season 17, The Voice‘s first season with Adam Levine as a coach.
Although season 18 didn’t have a strong start relative to past seasons, its season premiere did lead the Monday night primetime programming.