Blake Shelton Shares Hilarious Socially-Distant Hug Photo for His Team on ‘The Voice’

by Jennifer Shea

Country musician and “The Voice” coach Blake Shelton is hamming it up in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a hilarious Instagram post on Monday, Shelton shared a picture of himself hugging a glass partition, a nod to the impossibility of group hugs during the pandemic.

“When you can’t hug your team…” Shelton posted, adding, “#TeamBlake #VoiceBattles.”

As Season 19 of “The Voice” gets going, the coaches are coping with COVID-19 adaptations, like a socially distanced set. And producers replaced the live audience during the blind round auditions with a remote audience of fans watching from home.

Still, this season has brought the return of Shelton’s new fiancée and longtime sweetheart, Gwen Stefani, to the coach’s chair. And they’re enjoying each other’s company as much as ever.

“Having Gwen back is very comforting to all the coaches,” Shelton told Entertainment Tonight from the set. “We were all able to just go back to the game we already knew. We all know how to play each other at this thing. It felt like the old gang got back together again, and we’re having a blast.”

Executive producer Audrey Morrissey told reporters that some adaptations, like the lack of an audience, have actually helped improve the show. 

“It’s definitely one of our better singing vocal seasons,” she said, according to Billboard. “And a lot of us are wondering if that has something to do because there was no audience, and maybe the singers could actually hear themselves better without the crowd. I’ll tell you that the coaches commented that they felt they could hear the singing better, which makes sense because they didn’t have the audience.”

Meanwhile, Shelton is apparently just looking to make it through the year without catching COVID. He told Ellen DeGeneres during a recent appearance on “The Ellen Show” that he’s had enough of 2020.

“2020 sucks and I refuse to spend another minute of it sober,” Shelton said. 

“The Voice” airs at 8 p.m. ET Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC.