updated 03/20/2012 AT 7:55 PM ET
•originally published 03/21/2012 AT 8:00 AM ET
“A few weeks ago somebody asked me, ‘What about you and Adam’s bromance. Is there anything to it?’ ” Shelton, 35, tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.
“And I sputtered off, ‘Yeah, I’m going to make out with him.’ The next thing you read is, ‘Blake wants to kiss Adam.’ Man, I can’t believe how …”
“True that is?” interjects Levine, 33.
“How honest I was,” says Shelton with a chuckle. “But it’s fun. It’s just like we’re sitting around the bar, making jabs at each other.”
Levine says says he wasn’t expecting to make such a close friend while working on The Voice. But he has one request: Stop using the word “Bromance.” “Can we please kill that stupid term?” he asks. “We’re just friends. It’s called friendship!”
For more of Shelton and Levine’s hilarious and revealing interview – including their clashes with Christina Aguilera, and their double-date adventures with significant others Miranda Lambert and model Anne V – pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday