So what went through his mind when he first heard the news? “That y’all must be running out of people,” he tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “Like, Wow, we’re down to somebody who is somewhat symmetrical.”
All kidding aside, Shelton, 41, credits his girlfriend of two years, Gwen Stefani, for convincing him to embrace the crown. “She goes, ‘Listen to me, you’re going to regret this for the rest of your life if you don’t take this gift and just live in the moment,” Shelton says of his “You Make It Feel Like Christmas” duet partner.
But a bigger incentive for the singer was being able to stick it to his fellow judge (and 2013 Sexiest Man Alive) Adam Levine. “I can’t wait to shove this up Adam’s a**,” Shelton adds. “As proud as I am and honored that you guys asked me, that’s really the only thing I care about.”
Watch PEOPLE Cover Story: Sexiest Man Alive — Blake Shelton, available now, on PeopleTV. Go to PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite mobile or connected TV device.
Despite being a heartthrob with a fan base of millions, the 6’5″ Oklahoma-bred Shelton — whose latest album, Texoma Shore, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums this week — insists he had a few awkward phases while growing up. “I think to describe myself as a child, one word comes to mind. And that’s fat,” he says. “People say I haven’t changed since before I made it. And I’m still fat today. That’s proof!”
For more of Shelton’s revealing interview—including his life with Stefani—pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
Shelton does try to stay in shape by exercising on the treadmill and eating as healthy as possible, though all bets are off when he’s home in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. “It could be 2 o’clock in the afternoon before I eat and then I realize I’m starving, so then it’s a bag of Cheetos,” he says. “And there’s a Sonic in town, they got jalapeno poppers. And then I’m not hungry again until 10 o’clock, well what’s in there? Fishsticks. And like a big pickle, those pickles that come in its own package with juice? It is really bad.”
Even with his weakness over food (he calls his love for chips and dips “a problem”), Shelton says his new title is “like a confirmation” that he’ll enjoy for the rest of his life.
“It’s going to be used in every conversation, whether it’s at The Voice, or at the feed in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, or in a conversation with a doctor,” he says. “When [people] would say to Adam, ‘Mr. Sexy,’ you’d always see him go, ‘Well, awwww…’ If you say that to me, it’s going to be, ‘You’re damn right, I’m Mr. Sexy! I’ve been ugly my whole life, if I can be sexy for a year, I’m taking it. I’m taking it.”