‘The Voice:’ Why Gwen Stefani Is a Bad Replacement for Adam Levine

To the dismay of Maroon 5 enthusiasts everywhere, Adam Levine will not be returning for season 17 of The Voice. The news comes following the backlash that the singer/songwriter “played favorites” this past season when he went to bat for Reagan Strange. He later faced criticism after delivering a lackluster performance on the May 13 episode of the show alongside his fellow coaches.

Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani | Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Whether Levine is leaving due to criticisms, or to follow other artistic pursuits, is still up in the air; however, one thing is for sure: Gwen Stefani will return to the show to replace the coach who has been there since the start. The pivotal question: is Gwen Stefani the best pick?

Gwen Stefani served as a coach in season seven and season nine. While on the show, she fell victim to criticisms surrounding her focus on an artist’s “image” and what it means to look the part. As Gold Derby puts it, this was simply out of line with the show’s entire shtick.

Gwen Stefani’s last album was a Christmas one titled You Make it Feel Like Christmas, released in 2017. So, in terms of creative musical ventures, she’s been a bit dry. As for having an “in,” it seems probable that the star’s relationship with Blake Shelton may have had something to do with her return (after seven seasons of absence).

Gwen Stefani was one of the least popular coaches on ‘The Voice’

The Voice, in its sixteen seasons on the air, has brought on several musical icons to the fill the coveted four spinning chairs. From Jennifer Hudson and Miley Cyrus to Alicia Keys, John Legend, and Shakira, the show has no problem attaining top-tier talent. However, Gwen, according to Ranker, was never the best choice.

On a Ranker page titled “The Best Coaches on ‘The Voice,’ Gwen Stefani comes in tenth place out of the twelve coaches listed. The sample accounts for 12,600 votes and 2,400 voters. So, while not the largest pool, it definitely shouldn’t be dismissed on the grounds that not enough people chimed in.

Though brand new to the show, Kelly Clarkson comes in second place right under Blake Shelton! Thus, it’s clear that viewers’ perceptions do not sway in the favor of longevity. While Gwen Stefani was on the show, she simply failed to garner widespread popularity as a coach and advisor.

As a show heavily reliant on the appeal of its coaches, why wouldn’t the casting directors request a coach with a history of satisfying viewers: Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams, etc?

What happens to ‘The Voice’ if Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani don’t work out?

If you are unaware of the romantic involvement between Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, you’ve been living under a rock. The two singers have been together since 2015 (officially). While this may be a long time in Tinseltown, Hollywood couples have lasted longer and still wound up at each other’s throats.

What happens if Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani break up, or merely have a disagreement before a recording? These two are musicians, not actors; thus, fans will likely sense if there is any tension, which will make things awkward. There’s a reason that career advisors, and therapists alike, tell you to keep your professional and personal lives separate.

It seems impossible to argue that nepotism was not at play when it came to Stefani’s return, and, moving forward, nepotism may be the very reason that the interrelationships between the coaches on season 17 fall flat, or feel less bitingly playful.