As a coach on "The Voice," Blake Shelton is ready to take the gloves off, even against girlfriend Gwen Stefani

David Lachapelle/NBCBlake Shelton might be known as one of country’s biggest jokesters, but when it comes to NBC’s popular TV talent search The Voice, which returns for a 12th season Monday night, Blake takes his competitive streak very seriously.

“It’s so competitive, and it gets pretty rough sometimes. I mean things are said that you go, 'Whoa! I can’t believe you just said that,' but that’s The Voice, it’s a competition,” Blake notes.

And Blake ought to know, he’s been the winning coach five times. In one of those instances he poached the final winner from his now girlfriend Gwen Stefanie, who he says is gearing up for a major win this year.

“You know, this is Gwen’s third season as a coach on this show she knows what it takes to win, she’s seen it happen, she’s been close. She had a winner on her team her first season and I was lucky enough to steal that artist from her and go on to win the show. And so, she’s had a little bit of a taste of it and I think she’s also got a score to settle with me and with all the coaches, honestly,” Blake guffaws.

The premiere of The Voice is Monday, February 27 at 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC

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