"This year is going to be awkward at the CMAs, speaking of jokes," the country star says in a new interview
The country crooner, 39, made light of his divorce from Lambert, 31, during an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Tuesday, saying he’s prepared for the topic to come up at the Country Music Association Awards on Nov. 4.
“This year is going to be awkward at the CMAs, speaking of jokes,” said Shelton. “[Country music] is such a family. Everybody there is friends, you know? There’s gotta be a joke about me and Miranda. [Co-host] Brad Paisley is not doing his job if he doesn’t look down there and go, ‘Haha!’ I mean, he’s gotta do it.”
Meyers took it a step further, asking Shelton if preparing for zingers aimed at his personal life helps him deal with the reality.
“You have to address the elephant in the room,” Shelton replied. “We’ve had the conversations, like, ‘Okay, dude, I will go sit there and let you kick me in the face a few times. I know it’s coming, you know.”
The longtime regular of NBC’s The Voice also cracked a few jokes about his connection with [CELEBRITY_LINK” “” “” “0” ], who has served as a mentor to contestants during the current season of the singing competition.
“She’s such a smart ass,” Shelton quipped. “I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I’m totally going to push this girl around with my crazy wit. I never could get the upper hand with her. The only thing I could embarrass her about a little bit was … because I was trying to get her to be flirty, a little bit. I mean, why not? I mean, I’m a perfect match for Rihanna.”
He continued, “I was coming up with our couple name. Blihanna was one of them. I tried Rake.”
Shelton has been working on season 9 of the show alongside fellow judges Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine and Pharrell. In the meantime, he’s also caught up with Christina Aguilera, who is returning to the hit next season. Things got hilarious when Shelton tried bonding with Aguilera’s 14-month-old baby girl Summer Rain, who cried when he held her. Of course, the hilarious Instagram went viral.
“I’m not good with babies,” said Shelton, who went on to explain that Summer’s father Matt Rutler asked him to hold his little girl. “I have clearly been drinking in that picture. So I’m like, ‘Are you sure you want me? I’m not the guy, you know? Okay, so.’ And the baby senses that. I didn’t want to hurt the baby and I could fall in that picture.”
He later added, “I like babies – I just don’t want to drop one.”
Shelton, who released a greatest hits album Reloaded: 20 #1 Hits earlier this month and is recording a new set while amping up for his new tour in 2016, has been turning the page after his split from Lambert.
“Clearly he was upset during the breakup, but he’s not someone to sit around and lick his wounds,” a close friend of his told PEOPLE earlier this month. “He’s about moving forward and not looking in the rearview mirror.”
Shelton has echoed the sentiment, recently telling CMT, “I’m in a good place. I wasn’t, but I am now. It’s amazing how quickly life can turn around for you. I’ve had some pretty cool things in recent times that have happened, and I’m loving it.”