The Voice season 9 premiered Monday night, and the show is using Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton‘s romance to its advantage.


The couple, who met on set of The Voice, provided great fodder for the show’s ad campaign before the new season. In the first episode of the new season, the pair were very cutesy, a fact that fellow coach Adam Levine will take advantage of.

Levine and Shelton always had an on-screen bromance, but this season that will be overshadowed by Shelton and Stefani’s very real romance. Levine hopes to gain on Shelton in terms of season wins (Shelton has 5, Levine has 3).

For example, when one particularly talented young country singer was on stage, Shelton and Stefani were both vying for the singer, and Shelton stepped down. “What happened to you Blake? Are you ok?” asked Levine, jokingly, as Shelton never used to give up so easily on a contestant. The couple even spent some time sharing a chair, with Stefani on Shelton’s lap, before fellow judge Alica Keys joined in.

In total, eight contestants were chosen to continue through to the next round. Team Gwen picked up R&B artist JChosen and country songstress Stephanie Rice. For Team Adam, it was country man Johnny Hayes and cutie Mark Isaiah. For Team Blake, it was crooner Lauren Duski and 14-year-old Brennley Brown. And finally, for Team Alicia, we saw former American Idol contestant Anatalia Villaranda and Felicia Temple, who the gang affectionately called Felicia Keys.

See some of the performances below.

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