Blake Shelton & Adam Levine nominate their ‘Voice’ successors

(Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
(Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

The Voice is about to launch its 12th (yes, TWELFTH) season, and while many superstars have filled the show’s famous spinning chairs, two coaches have remained constant: self-declared “rusty old men” Blake Shelton and Adam Levine. This prompts the question: If either of them were to pull a Christina Aguilera and finally take a season off, which music stars would they choose to warm their respective red seats?

“Well, I am irreplaceable,” Levine smirkingly tells Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks. “I’m an excellent coach. I almost win every year… I will tell you this much: I will never take a season off. If I take a season off, it will be for every season thereafter, in perpetuity, for the rest of my life.”

“Adam is the most competitive person I’ve ever met in my life. He can’t help it. He’s passionate. And that’s probably why he’s made it this far in life,” interjects Levine’s fellow Season 12 coach and SoCal pop star, Gwen Stefani.

“Well, it definitely has to be passion, because it ain’t talent! Minimal talent, maximum passion,” Levine jokes, in a rare moment of humility. “But inevitably, when that day [when I quit] comes — unless I’m on the show until it’s done, who knows? — I would entrust my position with very few people. Maybe, like, I’d let Bruno Mars in the door. I think he’s great. And we’ll see how many kids Justin Timberlake has, if he can handle another job. Maybe Justin can do it. And yeah, that’s pretty much it.”

When Levine is reminded that on last season’s Voice finale, Mars’s “24K Magic” performance almost seemed like an audition to be a coach — since Mars sang much of that song while sitting in a red chair — Levine grins and nods. “And he looked good in that chair, didn’t he?”

Shelton mulls over the same question. Returning coach Alicia Keys, sitting to his left, suggests Chris Stapleton, but Shelton shrugs. “I don’t know about Chris. Chris is too nice. Chris is a nice, friendly, shy guy. We need somebody that’s, like, going to come in swinging. So I’m gonna say David Lee Roth!”

Interestingly, when Roth’s onetime replacement in Van Halen, Sammy Hagar, served as a Team Adam advisor last season on The Voice, he told Reality Rocks that Diamond Dave “would make it all about himself” and would be a terrible coach. “Oh, no!” Hagar scoffed at the time. “He’s one of those guys — it would be all about him. He’s not there to help the other guy. He’s there to glorify himself. Come on. He’s too quirky for that.”

“But I want to see that!” Shelton insists now. “Come on! Let’s get Dave in here!”

You know, it’s not a bad idea. Roth would make for some must-see TV; someone really ought to ring up the guy’s manager. But for now, Levine and Shelton obviously aren’t going anywhere. They’ll be back on the show, along with Stefani and Keys, starting Feb. 27 on NBC.

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