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 coach (and 2013 Sexiest Man Alive) Adam Levine. “I can’t wait to shove this up Adam’s ass,” Shelton adds. “As proud as I am and honored that you guys asked me, that’s really the only thing I care about.”